Kavango East regional leadership to meet over Linus Shashipapo’s issue

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John Muyamba

Rundu-The Kavango East regional leadership, including the chief regional officer, the management, regional councillors, the education director and directorate’s management team and senior officials from the works department are to meet at Linus Shashipapo Secondary School to discuss and find solutions to the school’s dilapidated state.

Many learners have already left the school because of the school’s condition.
“When the learners left the school beginning of last week I was with the councillors at a weeklong workshop on the councillors’ legal framework. It was at the coast, so tomorrow morning we’re all going to the school to sit with the circuit inspector, the school’s management and school board to talk on what has transpired,” said Ludwig Thikusho, chief regional officer for Kavango East Region.

“We’re also going to brief them on the interventions that we did, even though we were out of the region when it happened. The main purpose of the meeting is for the learners to go back to school. As you know, the school has not performed better in the past years, now if they stay away from school for long it’s going to be a disaster,” Thikusho opined.

Learners at Linus Shashipapo Secondary School in Kavango East packed their belongings and left the school on Monday last week, saying they are frustrated that government is taking so long to renovate the school that has fallen into a state of advanced disrepair.

The school has 631 learners and more than 400 of them live in the hostel. Learners left the school saying they had no other option but to go home and said they will be back only if they get a positive response from the education authorities.

Before abandoning the dilapidated school last Monday morning, LRC chairperson John Mukwathi handed a copy of a petition to school board chairperson Raphael Shonga, who was entrusted to deliver it to the education director’s office in Rundu.

Apart from falling apart the school has become a health hazard, as its sewer pipes are leaking, while the toilets cannot flush.

Learners also want mattresses and beds for those in the hostel. They demand dysfunctional toilets and that the showers be repaired, as well as the renovation of the school, which they say is “long overdue”.

The school is in a such a state of disrepair it needs major renovations, or alternatively to be demolished entirely and rebuilt, as its present condition is not conducive for learning.

It is understood that the education directorate at Rundu was informed as far back as 2004 about the messy hostel blocks, classrooms and ablution facilities at Linus Shashipapo SS, situated 113 km east of Rundu in Ndiyona Constituency.

“We’re exposed to a dangerous learning environment, as learning is disturbed by many health circumstances, such as a lack of ablution facilities and the school having no fence at all,” Mukwathi further complained in the petition from learners that has since been delivered to the education director’s office in Rundu.

The now dilapidated school was built in 1973 and has been in use as from 1974. Since then no major renovations have taken place. Initially the school was due for renovation in 2015/16, but to date nothing has been done. Visitors to the school are met by a pungent and nauseating stench that makes it difficult to breathe.

Over the years the condition of the school has deteriorated drastically and some of the walls now need to be demolished, as they have huge cracks in them, posing a formidable risk to the health and safety of the learners, who have for these very reasons refused to return to the school until it is safe for them to do so.

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