By Berio Mbala Windhoek A private high school opened its doors to economically disadvantaged learners at Katima Mulilo today. Under the tutelage of Ndopu Zakaria, the former principal of Sanjo Secondary School, the first-ever private high school in the Caprivi that enrols 305 learners, started with classes today. Named Academy for Secretaril and Computing Technology, the school is located next to Mavuluma Secondary School. “Firstly, I thought about the many kids who need a really good education but haven’t been able to afford a private school that really focuses on out-of-school leavers on a full-time basis in the region. That is why last year I approached the Ministry of Education, all Traditional Khuta in the region, the Regional Council and the community on the idea of opening a new private school for our kids and, fortunately, permission was granted” he said. Ndopu said: “The main purpose of the school is for our learners to up-grade their marks for Grades 10 and 12, not on a part-time basis but full-time where learners attend classes like any other learner in school. I have noticed that learners in the region have not been doing well and therefore decided to help open the school and overcome this failure rate of learners in the region”. An official function to commemorate the opening of the school has been slated for a later date. Ndopu told New Era that at the moment his school has 6 teachers and 305 registered learners. “Teachers are well trained and are all graduates from the University of Namibia,” he said, “and they are required to teach full time”. The school was registered earlier this year. Learners are expected to pay a non-refundable registration fee of N$100 and N$1ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 500 for their tuition fee. However, they can pay a deposit of N$200 and a monthly instalment of N$190. The tuition fee includes money for examinations. Classes will run from Monday to Friday, and school will start at 07h30 and finish at 17h00, with intervals in-between. The school has no uniform as yet but Ndopu said the dress code would be casual. A new school uniform will be decided upon next year. A meeting was held between teachers and parents to discuss the future of the school. One parent, Brenda Mukande, said she was very happy with the school. Mr Ndopu is a dedicated and hard-working person, she said, and once he starts something he won’t rest until it is successful. “I enrolled my son at the school for him to achieve what Mr Ndopu has achieved in life, and I would like him to pass on his competitive and good attitudes to my son” she said. Brenda said Ndopu needs support from donors and the community at large because building a school is expensive. “The building where the school operates is very old and teachers need to be paid. Only little furniture is available, and I call upon parents to work together for the school to be a success.” Ndopu is appealing to the community to cooperate with teachers. He said education is the liberator, without which life is like a prison.
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