Rundu-Parents in Kavango West are being advised to start registering their children who have turned six this year for Grade 1 next year, as the application and registration forms are free and so is primary education.
The education director in Kavango West, Teopolina Hamutumua, and her officials in the region have embarked on a campaign to encourage parents to start registering their children for Grade 1 on time.
The two-day campaign started last Thursday and ended on Friday and the team has been on the road to visit villages in various circuits in Kavango West, from village to village, to encourage parents to stand up and apply to register their kids for Grade 1.
Humutumua’s sensitisation message was also circulated on NBC Radio Wato to alert listeners to register their children for Grade 1 placements.
The Grade 1 registrations for next year already started on June 1 and will end in July.
“The road show is about creating awareness to parents that it’s that time again for them to register their children – the registration started in June and by September parents will be notified of their children’s admission status,” Hamutumua said on Friday.
According to Hamutumua the campaign was initiated because usually parents only flock to schools seeking space for their children for Grade 1 in January when classes are supposed to have started already, which interrupts learning at the beginning of each year.
“If we can start now we won’t have to deal with registration in January – parents must register their children now,” she said.
Hamutumua and her team reminded parents to also bring learners with disabilities and special needs because often these learners are left at home without going to school.
“Yes we can accommodate these learners – Kavango West is a new region and hosts many marginalised schools, so we need more learners in our scattered schools,” she stressed.
Hanutumua told New Era in an interview the challenge they have in Kavango West Region is they have many marginalised communities and as a result the enrolment at many schools is very low and that calls for multi-grade teaching, which sometimes even though they have succeeded to provide access to school for the children the quality of education is compromised especially at the schools where multi grade teaching is applied.
“And the majority of our schools are smaller schools, sometimes with less than 12 learners and the schools are mostly a one-teacher school. The challenge which comes with low numbers is multi-grade teaching – one teacher will teach grade ones, twos and threes combined in one class,” she noted.
“If parents can bring all their kids to school it will really be appreciated because a challenge that comes with less learners is a low number of learners in classrooms, a situation which happens mostly in rural schools,” she further stated.
“No parent is required to pay for registration – parents can go to any school and register children for free and the registration information is available at all schools, cluster centres, circuit offices, and our inspectors are ready and we have even duplicated a lot of pamphlets with admission information that we are handing out to communities during this campaign,” she said.