The Centre for Resource and Transformation (CERET) in partnership with the Unity Community Trust and Gendev Group on Friday donated a block of three classrooms and an office to Onamatanga Junior Primary School in Omusati Region.
The new block, powered with a solar system, has a computer and printer, which were installed to enable rural learners to be taught basic computer skills from an early age. The project is valued at N$1.3 million.
The construction of new classrooms means learners in higher grades such as grades five to seven would no longer have to walk 40 kilometres to Otjimuhiva Combined School.
According to the principal Johannes Shaanika, learners at the school had to walk to Otjimuhiva clapping hands and beating drums to chase away wild animals such as elephants.
He said learners’up lives were in danger because they arrived at their homes at night from school because of the long distances.
“At this school learners from different grades are taught in the same classroom due to lack of space,” Shaanika said. “Grade 1 and Grade 2 learners share one classroom, while grades three and four also share one room. The principal and his female colleague share a storeroom as a staff office,” he added.
CERET, whose mission is to promote and improve the living standard of rural communities and contribute to socio-economic development, stepped in to offer a helping hand.
Its managing director, Muetulamba Shingenge, coordinated the donation from donor organisations as part of their social responsibility programme.
The Unity Community Trust donated N$750 000, while Gendev contributed N$250 000 towards the development of the school.
The project started with the de-bushing of the road leading to the school so that building materials can be transported to the school.
Learners now have access to clean drinking water, brought there by the works and transport ministry, while villagers’ boreholes are regularly filled up by the rural water supply division of the agriculture ministry.
The school, which has grades one to four, accommodates 61 learners. It has one teacher and the principal, Shaanika, who also teaches.
Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernhard Esau commended CERET for complementing government’s efforts to uplift schools’ development, especially marginalised rural schools.
He urged learners to maintain a higher standard of hygiene of their classes, warning that vandalism of the classrooms would not be entertained.
Esau also cautioned learners about alcohol abuse, misconduct, absenteeism and all social evils, saying they will not be endured.
Meanwhile, a week ago the fisheries ministry donated fish to marginalised communities of Ruacana and Otamanzi constituencies of the Omusati Region.
The fish was sourced from fishing companies in an effort to alleviate poverty among rural people.
Villagers of Onamatanga, Onghaanghaa, Amalika, and Okadhandu in the Omusati Region are the beneficiaries of the fish. More than 150 boxes of horse mackerel were distributed at the four villages.
Esau said he was touched by the plight of the people of Onamatanga and Amalika who are poverty stricken.
Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala commended the fisheries ministry for having the interests of the grass-roots people at heart.