WINDHOEK – Visiting former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari and his wife Eva yesterday visited the school named after him in Wanaheda and urged learners at the school to work hard, saying learning is a life-long process and that even he is still learning.
He donated music instruments and manuals on how to use them.
Yesterday’s visit came six years after Ahtisaari’s last visit to the primary school.
The school, which was then called Wanaheda Primary School – representing four tribes of Owambo, Herero, Nama and Damara – was established in 1991.
It was renamed after Ahtisaari in 1997 when the Finnish teachers’ labour organisation honoured him on his 60th birthday for the role he played during Namibia’s transition.
Ahtisaari served as a United Nations Commissioner to Namibia, who worked to secure the Independence of Namibia from South Africa.
After the independence elections of 1989, Ahtisaari was appointed as an honorary Namibian citizen and South Africa gave him the O R Tambo award for his outstanding achievement as a diplomat and his commitment to the cause of freedom in Africa and peace in the world
“As honorary citizens, there is no way we can forget some of the responsibilities which you have here and need our attention, that’s why we are here,” Ahtisaari said to the learners.
Furthermore, he encouraged the learners saying, “If we don’t manage this world wisely we will not be able to learn and enhance our knowledge, therefore I urge all learners to use your education for a good cause and get the best of it. I am also still learning, every day I learn new things and you should do the same as well.”
Finnish Ambassador to Namibia Anne Saloranto shared similar sentiments saying education is the best investment to ensure a prosperous future.
“Your hard work today represents your future, thus education will help you have a decisive future in which you can have ideas which will help you shape your future,” she stated.
To complement the words of wisdom, the Principal of Martti Ahtisaari Primary School, Hermanus Bock said for the past six years the school has maintained a pass rate of 89.8 percent, which he described as an achievement that he would strive to uphold and lift the school’s reputation.
“With the recently upgraded computer lab, as part of our achievement, the school is rated best among other schools and is an example of inclusive education, which enrols learners who are physically challenged and having included a pre-primary school,” said the principal, as he highlighted the school’s achievements to Ahtisaari, the school’s patron.
Furthermore, he said the school provides a meal per day to approximately 152 orphans and vulnerable children with help from the Ministry of Education and the public.