Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-Teachers and caretakers of hostels and schools at the coastal town of Swakopmund have expressed their deep concern about the dilapidated state of some schools and hostels at the coastal town.
The voiced their concerns at a meeting held on Tuesday this week by the Swakopmund constituency councillor, Juuso Kambeushe.
Teachers and principals at West Side High School said that not only are schools and hostels overcrowded, but in such a poor state that they consider many of them a health and safety risk for learners and teachers.
Werner Waal, the principal of Namib Primary School and manager of Hofmeyer hostel, said the facility was in such a terrible state the Ministry of Health and Social Services had already declared it unfit.
“However, the school remains open because we have nowhere else where we can accommodate these learners, as many of them don’t have relatives in Swakopmund,” he said.
The hostel accommodates about 100 learners from various schools.
The principal of Atlantic Junior Secondary School in Swakopmund, Emma Ipinge, also said her school was a safety risk because the schools ceilings started falling off many years ago.
“We are deeply concerned about our schools and the condition they are in. The ceilings a falling are falling off, whilst the walls and tiles are cracked, despite the fact the school might look good from the outside,” she explained.
She said the situation becomes worse when it is misty or rainy.
“This is really not a conducive environment for the learners. We are really appealing not only to the government, but to the business community to assist us, as renovations are very costly and the schools don’t have the necessary funds for renovations,” she added.
The head of department for upper primary at Hanganeni Primary School, Dennis Muesee, said that their school’s bathrooms also need renovation as almost all the bathrooms and toilets were not in working order.
“The school was built to accommodate 300 learners, but the school currently has 933 learners so it is clear these facilities are under strain and not necessarily because of vandalism,” he said.