Lack of renovations to the school building, overcrowding, behavioural problems, a lack of interest in learning among learners, the high pregnancy rate among girls and a high dropout and the failure rate are some of the problems Okondjatu Combined School in the Okakarara Constituency is struggling with.
Despite that the school is striving towards better results, hence its belated appeal as late August, for help to improve its results. Belated as it may have been, the appeal did not fell on deaf ears, with the FNB of Namibia Foundation Trust donating N$40 000 to four projects at the school.
This includes N$5 000 towards a prize-giving ceremony; N$15 000 to facilitate and present a two-day session on motivation and enhancing life skills, which took place on October October 14 and 15; N$10 000 towards sports development; and N$10 000 towards a study skills workshop to improve the current Grade 10 results.
Last year the school achieved a 35.7 pass rate among its Grade 10 learners, which is 21.3 lower than the previous year and a 28% drop from a four-year high of 63.7%, that the Grade 10 learners achieved in 2012.
For Grade 9 the school has seen a gradual increase in the pass rate from 48.1% in 2013 to 54% in 2014 and 63.1% last year. In terms of learner pregnancies the school has also seen a notable increase in the number from three in 2014, four in 2015 and 11 in 2015.
Following the workshop on Saturday, learners of Okondjatu Combined School attended to the elderly in the settlement and surroundings by washing their feet, cutting their nails, providing lunch and giving them hampers.
“At FNB Namibia we believe that a country needs an assertive, strong generation who is able to contribute and lead change in the face of emerging global challenges, so as to build a better, stronger Namibia,” says Bolle Hanse from FNB, one of the motivational speakers at the youth workshop.
He said young people need empowering to increase their ability to personally influence what is happening in their lives and communities. He encouraged youngsters to stay in school, to love themselves, to avoid teenage pregnancy and to take their studies seriously.
“Our school is in dire need and hence we would appreciate any assistance, whether materially or financially or in other ways to change the current situation,” pleads spokesperson of the school, Theobald Kariua, pointing to the marginalisation of the school, because of its remoteness and because most of the parent of learners at the school are unemployed and thus impoverished. He appreciates the donaton by FNB saying it is the first ever of its kind in terms of promoting learning and teaching in the history of the school, besides for donations advanced towards the renovation of the school buildings previously. “It is a positive initiative because seeing tangible things such as trophies, bags and certificates would motivate learners,” appreciates Kariua.
As much he appreciates the donation towards sports, especially for children with disabilities saying engaging them in sports activities would help motivate them thus transforming their worth in sports also in scholarly worth. The event was co-sponsored by Namib Mills, Marathon Sugar, CIC and VIGO.
The school was established in the early 1970s and currently accommodates about 100 learners from the pre-primary level to Grade 10, with 38 teachers and 35 workers.