New classroom block for marginalised learners

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Malakia Nashongo

Otjikojo-The long-held dream of about 200 learners at Otjikojo Primary School in Kunene Region of being taught under a proper roof was recently realised after the inauguration of a classroom block at the school by the Deputy Minister for Marginalised Communities, Royal /Ui/o//oo.

The handover of a new classroom block marks a new beginning in the lives of many children from marginalised backgrounds at the school who for years have been taught under trees, and in tents and corrugated-iron shacks that are not a conducive learning environment as learners always suffer during the rainy and windy seasons.

According to Royal /Ui/o//oo, the Office for Marginalised Communities resolved to put up the new structure to ensure learners from these communities are not left out from enjoying the same standard of education as other Namibian children are getting.

Royal /Ui/o//oo stressed that it is his office’s responsibility to offer educational support to marginalised communities throughout the country.

According to him, his office has to date supported about 550 learners from marginalised communities, thus about 60 percent of its budget goes to educational support to ensure learners from marginalised communities are successfully integrated into the socio-economic mainstream of the country through education.

He emphasised that his office is not trying to do the work of the Ministry of Education through its programme of educational support to marginalised communities, but rather to complement the ministry’s already existing efforts.

He encouraged parents of children from marginalised backgrounds to meet the government halfway by taking their children’s education seriously and ensure children attend school at all times without any interruptions.

Speaking at the same event, the headman of Otjikojo village, Nduzuzu Hepute, appealed to the deputy minister to facilitate the construction of a clinic at his village to offer basic healthcare to his people as they cover long distances of about 40km to Okanguati to access basic healthcare.

Otjikojo Primary School has been operational since 2008 catering for about 160 learners from grades 0-7. The construction of the block commenced in February 2015 and was completed in January 2016.

The Office for Marginalised Communities in the Vice-President’s Office has built similar blocks at Otjiyandjasemo, Otjomuru and Ohaiyuua in Kunene Region where most learners from marginalised communities attend school.

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