Learners, teachers, security guards and cleaners were all recognised for their outstanding performances at Iihenda Senior Secondary School last Thursday.
This is a departure from many awards which ordinarily only recognise learners and teachers. “Something which pleased us at this school was that all people who have worked hard were awarded – security officers were also awarded as well as cleaners, and this really touched us. I have been to different awards ceremonies, but they only award learners and teachers, but at Iihenda it was a different story,” says Abrahama Vincent Kamati, one of the students from the University of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba campus at Ondangwa who attended the awards ceremony.
Kamati and fellows Jafet Shihepo, Aktofel Mathew, Aune Aushona and Selma Mwanyekange went to motivate the learners. Hundreds of learners at the school benefited from the outreach programme that was initiated earlier this year to help them progress in their education.
The motivation visit was on the request of the school’s principal, Shimwaza Simasiku, that the student teachers be present and witness the awards ceremony.
“I shared my school history with learners, how I used to behave when I was a learner, what I used to do, how bad I was and how I changed myself so that other learners will see where they are wrong and how they can change to become better,” says Shihepo, adding that diligence will always lead to success in spite of the many challenges that one faces.
Mathew says learners should take education very seriously – their future is in their own hands, they should remain focused on their studies.
“We can only [combat] unemployment if young people are educated properly,” he says.
He adds that learners who are not attentive and do not focus on their studies will end up on the backward path, while learners who study hard will follow a path that leads to new opportunities.
“Let me just be honest with you, failing is poverty, and educational achievement means a bright future and wealth. I am not going to condone laziness and indiscipline from you learners. If you indulge in alcohol and drug abuse, you are at a wrong place. I want everyone here to say no to alcohol. Forget this nonsense of boyfriend and girlfriend. Your boyfriend or girlfriend should be your books from now. You must study hard and improve your grades,” Kamati motivated learners.