Ohangwena – Despite financial constraints the Ohangwena education directorate has vowed to improve teachers’ living conditions.
Although the directorate has not yet made a full appraisal of the development budget allocation for the current financial year, regional education director Isak Hamatwi said teachers’ houses will be certainly be budgeted for this year. He said last year they constructed 35 teachers’ houses across the region.
Hamatwi made the remark at the recent inauguration of Endola Circuit Office at Omundudu in Ohangwena Region.
The construction of the regional office is part of the drive to decentralise government services across the country.
The new N$1.9 million office will serve 28 schools. Previously, the staff of Endola schools circuit operated from a dilapidated building, which posed a threat of collapsing.
A former teacher, Hamatwi, said he has always been a proponent of improved working conditions for teachers and in 2016 proposed a programme to install air conditioners in staffrooms, but the programme was halted following a N$21 million budget cut last year.
“Once things improve, depending on our budget allocation, we will start with the programme. Even if it means installing one air conditioner at one school every year,” he pledged. Other programmes affected by last year’s budget cuts include the construction of laboratories, libraries, administration blocks and offices.
The director further implored teachers to be present at their schools, despite the hardship of having to cross vast bodies of water daily. Hamatwi said his office is aware of their plight, but urged them to continue to serve the children and communities.
“Let us rededicate ourselves to give the best to these learners. It is a challenge, but we need to strive for success,” he advised.
Only one school has been closed in the region following the heavy downpour and several others are partially affected, but school is continuing as usual, he said, adding that the directorate receives daily updates on the water levels, so as to monitor the situation and encouraged parents whose children cross bodies of water daily to ensure the children are supervised when doing so.