Having lessons in old, tattered tents does not seem to bother some teachers despite the unconducive formal learning environment.
This has been the reality of three young teachers, likely in their early to mid-20s, who find themselves posted to remote areas of Oshikoto, where communication with the outside world is limited although it is easily accessible.
Ondera Primary School is situated some 50 kilometres from Oshivelo in Guinas Constituency on a small farm of Ondera, with a relatively small population of roughly 1 000 people – this is where the young teachers teach.
The school opened this year in March and has around 160 children attending Grades 1 to 3 with the nearest situated some 5 kilometres away, and offers primary education up to Grade 7.
Despite the unconducive learning environment these young teachers remain unshaken and committed, stressing that they have got used to the situation and accepted the reality.
Ironically no lessons have been suspended due to harsh conditions such as unbearable heat.
“I have come to like the place despite what one can term hardships but life goes on. We are concerned about helping the kids and teaching them is in the core of our hearts,” said one teacher who requested anonymity, as they are afraid they may slight their superiors.
“We are very hopeful that one day a permanent structure will be put up, although we have been informed that perhaps towards the end of the year they will soon start building classrooms,” added one teacher.
They said that government’s feeding scheme has also instilled courage in the learners to be attending classes – an initiative they wish should not be stopped.
“So I believe we have done a lot so far, considering that it’s a new school and the learners who barely knew how to communicate in English are now able to speak and that’s the drive pushing us to do more,” concluded one of the teachers.