The Director of Education, Arts and Culture for Khomas Region, Gerard Vries, says the region has managed to place 90 percent of learners who were previously without a place in school.
The Khomas regional education office has over the past weeks been hard at work to finalise placements to accommodate the growing population of learners, especially for grades 1 and 8.
Although the region concluded its placement of grade 1 and 8 learners between June and October last year, Vries yesterday attributed the January clamour for places to parents from other regions who failed to make appropriate and timeous arrangements for their children to attend school.
Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua shared the same sentiment that confusion for places in schools in the region is predominantly due to parents and guardians who have not heeded the repeated advertisements and widely distributed notices containing information about placements.
Now that the dream of free primary and secondary education has been realised, she called on all stakeholders more especially parents, guardians and education management to go an extra mile to ensure that no child of school-going age is delayed, denied or deprived of her or his constitutional and rightful opportunity to attend school.
“This kind of practice leads to a lot of time being wasted, resulting in a teaching and learning backlog where it becomes impossible for teachers to cover the syllabi in all subjects. This seeming inability to plan is not the making of the directorate of education. Parents and guardians must aggressively and seriously take timeous responsibility for the teaching and learning of their children,” she said.
When asked on the statistics on how many learners have been placed and those who still remain without places, Vries said the figures would be provided today when the placement process ends.
By mid-January, more than 1 000 learners had no places in Khomas Region.
Further, he said their target is to place 100 percent, adding they were still finalising matters as the head count was done in the region and parents have been called in for the placement of learners at primary and secondary schools.
The region, which was particularly challenged this year to provide appropriate classroom accommodation, has erected tents at various project schools throughout Windhoek.
Those tents, Vries said, were erected at Havana Secondary Project School, Tobias Hainyeko Secondary School, Tobias Hainyeko Primary Project School, Otjimuise Secondary Project School and Moses Garoeb Primary Project School.
Equally, he said 22 brick and mortar classrooms were under construction at the mentioned sites.
Windhoek has 54 primary and 29 secondary government schools.
“Ninety percent of learners are placed and schools have resumed classes. Stationery has also been secured and delivered. What remains outstanding is the interlocking of the floors inside the tents. Once all that is done, teachers will be able to teach. This is where we are standing,” he noted.
The Khomas regional education office enrolled 77 000 pupils last year and this year the number has been reported to have gone up to about 82 000.