SILUMBI – Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, James Sankwasa, has slammed the poor performance of learners in the Zambezi Region, which he said has worsened over the years.
Sankwasa made the comments at a recent schools’ awards ceremony held at Silumbi some 50 kilometres east of Katima Mulilo. The ceremony brought together all schools in the Bukalo circuit to be awarded for good performance.
According to Sankwasa, the region was very competitive before and immediately after independence but its fortunes turned for the worse in recent years.
“I was one of the people who were very excited about the then Caprivi Region, which all along enjoyed second position in academic achievement, in both grades 10 and 12. This made the region very competitive in comparison to other regions before and immediately after independence. But today the same region enjoys the decimal position 13 when Namibia had 13 regions and position 14 now that the country has been demarcated into 14 regions,” noted Sankwasa in reference to the region’s ranking last in last year’s Grade 12 ordinary level examinations.
Sankwasa was however full of praise for his former school of Silumbi which was the overall best performer in the Bukalo circuit.
“It gives me pleasure to notice that a rural-based school, without proper infrastructure necessary and required to create a conducive learning and teaching environment performs far better compared to some urban schools. This is indeed a commendable effort from teachers, pupils and other stakeholders,” stated Sankwasa.
According to Sankwasa apart from being a native of the area he felt compelled to make a donation to the school given its exemplary performance. “This school produced some people who today occupy leadership positions. I happen to be one of such leaders who started their academic career at this school. This is what indeed motivated me to make a humble contribution to the continued development of our children,” said Sankwasa before handing over computer equipment and textbooks worth N$25 000.
The textbooks are in subjects such as physical science, mathematics, life science, English and entrepreneurship.
Without being specific Sankwasa further used the occasion to accuse some senior political and community leaders of fuelling tribalism in the region.
“The Zambezi Region has for such a long time been tribalised mostly by some very well-known senior political and community leaders. This has resulted in so much energy and time being wasted on unnecessary tribal conflicts,” lamented Sankwasa.