Linus Shashipapo Secondary School in sorry state

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John Muyamba

Katere-Linus Shashipapo Secondary School in Kavango East is in a state of advanced disrepair and it needs major renovations or alternatively to be demolished and rebuilt, as its present state is unsuitable for learning.

Its buildings and ablution facilities started deteriorating long back and the regional education office was alerted to its messy state as far back as 2004.

Linus Shashipapo is situated 113 km east of Rundu at Katere village in Ndiyona Constituency, Kavango East Region. The school was built in 1973 and since then no major renovations have taken place.

Initially, the school was due for renovations in 2015/16 but to date nothing has been done and visitors to the school are met by a nauseating strong odour that makes it difficult to breath.

The acting director of education in Kavango East Region, Fanuel Kapapero, says renovations could have started in the 2015/16 financial year but this had to be postponed due to budget cuts.

“The budget cuts have affected the plans to renovate the school. It was in the process of going to tender in order to get a contractor but it came to a halt after the budget cuts,” Kapapero said.

“If there will be funds available, the renovations will go ahead as this is an emergency. For now, we are trying to get funds to at least renovate the ablution facilities of both the school and hostel, which are out of order. All water pipes and sewerage pipes need to be replaced and toilets and showers need to be replaced,” Kapapero added.

The school buildings from classrooms to the hostel where learners are being accommodated are in various states of disrepair and showers have been out of order over the years in both the girls and boys hostels and learners use nearby bushes when nature calls.
Learners also do not have proper beds and mattresses.

According to the school principal, Faustinus Shikukutu, the issue of renovating the school has been the outcry of Linus Shashipapo Secondary School community for many years.

He said the first official letter requesting government to renovate the school was handed over by the school’s former principal the late Gondulf Kanyinga to the directorate of education at the regional office in 2004, where it was received by the then director of education Alfons Dikuua. Since then the situation kept worsening.

“Our learners delivered a petition on Tuesday to the acting director of education, Fanuel Kapapero, saying if their demands are not met they are vacating the school and hostel on Friday (tomorrow) in the petition they are stating their demands, the facility is seriously dilapidated and poses a health hazard to learners, teachers and everyone that works here,” said the school’s principal.

Shikukutu has also tirelessly reminded the education authority of the condition of the school and the urgent need to renovate it.

Over the years, the condition of the school has been deteriorating drastically and some of the walls need to be demolished, as they have big cracks.

Sewer pipes are blocked, as they are old, and the only alternative might be the total demolition of some of the school structures, especially the hostel which is a hazard and high risk to school children from distant villages.

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