Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-Teachers of Hanganeni Primary School say they fear for the safety of their learners, especially those who attend classes in the afternoon. The teachers who attended a meeting last week with Swakopmund Constituency Councillor Juuso Kambueshe to discuss challenges faced by the education sector said most learners that attend afternoon classes are from the informal area to the north-east of Swakopmund,
known as the DRC (Democratic Resettlement Community).
A teacher at Hanganeni, Dennis Muesee, said the school accommodates over 1000 learners from pre-primary to Grade 7. The school itself was built to accommodate
only 600 learners.
The number of learners at the school has increased significantly in recent years due to the large number of jobseekers flocking to the coast. About 270 learners from Grade 2 and 3 have to attend afternoon classes to accommodate the large number. The school has about 444 Grade 2 and 3 learners in total.
Teachers during the meeting with Kambueshe said these children do not only face social evils every day, but have to walk long distances to and from home, which can be exhausting. “… Teachers are not spending adequate time with the learners and this may also affect their performance at school,” one teacher noted.
Another issue raised by the teachers centres on the fact that some parents send
their children who attend afternoon classes to school with those who attend school
in the morning. “At the end of the day these children cannot concentrate when it’s
their turn to attend school.
This is the situation that we’re currently dealing with. “Education is something that we cannot take for granted and the school can really use some extra classrooms, or just even normal containers, that can be transformed into classrooms, as we cannot send the children away,” a concerned teacher explained.
After hearing of the plight of schools in the area Councillor Kambueshe said he would take up the issue and discuss the challenges with other stakeholders to see how best the teachers’ concerns can be addressed.