Lack of funds delays hostel construction

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-The construction of a hostel and kitchen facility at Shituwa Secondary School in Endola Constituency at Eenhana has come to a standstill for at least seven months now after the government apparently failed to pay contractors on time.

The construction of the hostel has been on the cards since 2007 but construction only started last year when it was approved.

Although the N$90 million hostel was expected to have been handed over by the end of this year, there has been no construction at the site since January this year.

The hostel will consist of six hostel blocks, three of which will be boys’ hostels and three for girls.

The contractors are still at the site, but are reluctant to continue with the construction until their outstanding invoices have been settled.

The contractors released their employees months ago and may need to recruit new personnel, a situation described to inconvenience completion of the school.

As a result there is no hope for about 60 learners to be accommodated in the hostel next year.

The learners are currently accommodated in corrugated-zinc shacks at the school.
Prior to the establishment of the shacks in 2014, learners were housed in tents.

School principal Hendrick Nghinyengwasha said the construction of the hostel is crucial because in its absence the school continues to attract below average learners.

“The situation is worrying. We also do not want to miss out on above average learners,” said Nghinyengwasha.

Nghinyengwasha said although living in tents was beyond inhumane, living in shacks is also not up to standard.

The director of education Isak Hamatwi said the region is still hopeful that construction will be completed by next year.

“It is not that the school has stopped. Once the payments are done the construction will continue as scheduled,” Hamatwi said.

The governor of Ohangwena, in his state of the region address last week, said several other capital projects of the Ministry of Education had to be halted following a budget cut of N$20 million.

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