WINDHOEK: The Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec)’s Children’s Federation awarded the Olof Palme Primary School their first Most Child-Friendly School prize recently.
This award marks the launch of a campaign that the teens united in the the Kayec Children Federation, a group of eleven secondary school learners elected by their peers, have been planning the promotion of quality education in disadvantaged neighbourhoods across the country. For this first prize, they evaluated six Katutura schools based on educational and personal support at the Kayec Youth Development (KYD) after-school programme in Wanaheda. They visited schools to grade them against a scorecard ranging on criteria based on lack of discrimination on religion, tribe, gender or performance, to specific features such as the availability books for all, safe water and distance from shebeens.
Ndapewa Johannes, who assessed Olof Palme, says things were obvious at the school with no broken windows, clean toilets and honest learners. “We asked a lot of kids, and they gave us the same information, that shows honesty from their side,” she says. She adds that Olof Palme’s top score ran against her assumptions. “The area has a bad reputation, and the school is located there, so everybody would expect that school also to have a bad reputation. But as we did the survey, it showed that what people say, it’s not true,” she notes.
The Children’s Federation representative, Victoria Ndemuongela, says “we wanted to find out if the kids’school environment was safer for them, if the kids were being treated fairly and if their rights were protected.” In 2014 the Children’s Federation youths created a scorecard of 32 criteria describing their ideal child-friendly school, in line with the messages of the United Nations International Children Education Fund(UNICEF)’s global Child Friendly Schools campaign.
KYD Programme Manager, Flordelisa Nagar-Escultura, says it’s time to recognise schools that are child-friendly to motivate the other schools to do the same.
“The Children’s Federation plans to give awards in its eight other towns over the course of 2015,” says Escultura.