By Anna Ingwafa
The Oshana Educational Directorate has shut down three private schools in Oshakati and Ongwediva because they do not comply with the requirements of the Education Act 16 of 2001. The Act, among others, stipulates that every school should have qualified teachers.
The Act also stipulates that every school should have a qualified principal and a reasonable physical facility.
The three affected private primary schools are Kabousis and Linden in Ongwediva and YWC in Oshakati.
According to the Director of Education in Oshana, Dute Shinyemba, these private schools have been operating for years on provisional registration but failed to meet the requirements of the Education Act.
The schools were informed about the ministry’s intention to close them last year but some of them failed to inform and give parents forms to look for admission for their children at other schools.
Shinyemba said that private principals at Kabousis and Linden further failed to inform parents and manipulated them and this caused a bit of strain in admissions this year.
“We are still busy placing the children who did not get places at schools in Oshakati and Ongwediva,” she stated. She said the Ministry added extra classrooms at Oshakati West Primary School so that it could accommodate some of the learners from the three schools. Kabousis and Linden offered classes from grades one to seven while YWC offered classes from grades one to six.
The school principal at Charles Anderson in Ongwediva Helena Perestrelo confirmed that most of the learners who were admitted are those entering grade one and grade eight.
“Most of the grade 8 learners came from these three private primary schools that were closed but the situation is now better,” said Perestrelo.
She added that some of the parents visiting her school for their children’s admission are those who want to transfer their children from other schools but not those who are without admission.
Perestrelo attributed the influx of children to her school to the use English as a medium of instruction and also its location in the middle of Ongwediva.
“That is a personal choice of the parents to send their children wherever they want. Although some schools still have space, they prefer coming here and if we have space, we admit them and if not, we refer them to other schools in town.”
She said information from other school principals indicates that some schools still have places available to accommodate learners who have not found places yet.