Olukupa Combined School in Oshikoto Region has received a hostel facility to accommodate at least 70 learners, who previously sheltered under trees and had to make use of makeshift tents due to the long distance between surrounding villages and the school.
Olukupa Combined School has over 360 learners and 17 teachers and has been in existence since 1984. The school is situated at Olukupa village, about 50 kilometres from Okongo.
The hostel facility came in the form of donation from the Small Miners Union (SMU) through the Ministry of Mines and Energy and was constructed at a cost of N$1.16 million.
The initiative came about following a familiarisation visit by Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Kornelia Shilunga, who was disheartened by the conditions learners had to endure.
The facility consists of two steel structure hostels, a kitchen, 40 steel beds with mattresses and linen, steel toilet structures with six shower rooms for each and water a tank, among others.
“While there is an improvement in the equity of education, inequalities in terms of resources available at public schools remain a challenge due to the inherited school infrastructure backlog, hence equity in terms of learner outcomes remains a challenge.
“However the ministry is working tirelessly to address these disparities” said Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa when she recently received the donation.
“Your donation might look small in the eyes of many, but to us in the education sector it is a gigantic effort and we embrace your donation. Education is a shared responsibility and as such SMU has become an integral part of our quest to address the infrastructure backlog we are facing,” said an appreciative Minister Hanse-Himarwa.
It is paramount that Namibian society puts emphasis on infrastructure development in order to implement without fail the Harambee Prosperity Plan, she noted. “Therefore, we need social partners to accelerate infrastructure development, as government alone cannot meet [all] the targets set out in the plan,” said Hanse-Himarwa, who in turn received assurances from the learners that they would maintain and keep the facility tidy.