Celebrating 40 years in existence is a huge deal in anybody’s books, which is why the Secondary School Swakopmund (SSS) pulled out all the stops last week when they announced their milestone birthday, making it one of the oldest schools in the Erongo Region.
SSS was host to various guests and dignitaries, who gathered in the huge assembly hall of this landmark institution, still rich in the tradition of academy, sport and cultural activities. Among the guests were the regional director of education, John Awaseb, as well as Elias Manga (patron, deputy director of Life Long Learning and former SSS principal, plus cluster centre principals, LRC achievers, to mention a few.
Since the school opened its doors in 1967, SSS will be remembered as being one of the first schools in Namibia to introduce integrated learning, churning out doctors, lawyers, managers, parliamentarians, to mention some of the professions. The languages then were predominantly German and Afrikaans, but later it adopted the English stream.
The school is currently home to 1 200 learners, 43 staff members, the principal and five heads of departments forming the management team, two support staff and 11 institution workers. According to Principal Samuel Sinvula, the staff as well as learners, come from all walks of life and are fully reflective of the diversity that has become a common characteristic of Namibian society.
“True to its motto, SSS is made stronger by the difference in ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds of the community and has long ago learnt to embrace, appreciate and draw strength from differences,” says Sinvula. “Over the years we’ve established ourselves as a centre of excellence and have received awards for being the school with the most improved results in the Erongo Region for both Grade 10 and 12.”
“The sport teams have also excelled and at present many of our players are part of the national soccer teams, while our debaters have received national acclaim in this field, and our choir is one of the best in the country,” he adds.
“We’re aware and have taken note of the many recent successes of the institution and whilst there was a slump in academic performance due to certain challenges we face, the school has recovered from the plummet and regained its position.”
Meanwhile, the message from the Office of the Erongo Regional Governor was that the SSS has held a special place in Namibian history since its inception. Built in a time of separate racial development, SSS opened its doors to all races, with diversity always being a core value of the school.
“Let us wish that the next 40 years of SSS are characterised by even further inclusivity, equitable access to the school and its resources by Namibians of all walks of life and the provision of fair opportunities to all.”
The school is planning an exciting series of activities that are being rolled out until April 2017, including a gala dinner, music show, an anniversary book launch and sports days.