Makeshift classrooms a common sight in Onkumbula

by Nuusita Ashipala

Makeshift classrooms a common sight in Onkumbula

Oihambada

A high number of learners in Onkumbula Circuit of Oshikoto Region are taught in makeshift classrooms by over 70 percent of either unqualified or underqualified teachers.

Inspector of Education Herman Angula said more than seven schools in the circuit do not have structures while 15 of 30 schools do not have water.



But according to Angula, besides the staggering figure of children taught in makeshift classrooms the region has created more than five schools in the circuit this year.

Also relating his school’s ordeal the principal at Ohaimbada Combined School Wilhelm Thomas said they have seven makeshift classrooms at the school. He said a big population of Grade 4 to 10s taught in makeshift classrooms are exposed to rain, extreme cold and wind.

“During the rainy season we crowd them in the centre of the classrooms, but many a time we are forced to suspend lessons when the rain is heavy,” said Thomas. The pre-grade learners and up to Grade 3 learners are taught in permanent structures.

In addition to that, Thomas said, the Grade 10 learners do not have textbooks while the other grades have three learners sharing a textbook.

Thomas said the school remains hopeful that the four classroom blocks under construction will reduce the number of makeshift classrooms at the school. “We hope the building will reduce the number of learners in the makeshift classrooms, because the current classrooms are unconducive for learning and teaching,” said Thomas.

Thomas said the Grade 10 learners are accommodated at the school in order to reduce the vast distance they travel to and from school.
Some learners are said to walk between 10 to 20 km to and from school daily.

While a big populace of children are taught in makeshift classrooms at Onkumbula, several other schools in Oshikoto are on the brink of closing down because there are not enough learners to justify the schools’ existence.

In an interview with New Era earlier in May, the Director of Education in Oshikoto Lamek Kafidi said the region has at least one school that was built, but never enrolled a single learner to date while another could not attract any first grader this year.

Similarly, the region also has schools that do not have enough children, while others have too many schools catering for the same grades.

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