Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-The inspector of education for the Walvis Bay schools circuit, Monica Gawises, says lower primary education at Walvis Bay is being compromised by the high demand for Grade 1 places.
Grade 1 enrolment for next year currently stands at 2,260 learners, of which only 1,031 can be accommodated. The rest have been placed on a waiting list, which the ministry is concerned about.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Namport social investment breakfast at the Atlantic Hotel in Walvis Bay, Gawises said the education system – especially at the lower level – is under pressure, as teachers cannot give the needed attention to learners.
“Periods are being shortened to accommodate the afternoon learners, whilst taking in consideration the safety of our learners as well. These learners can also not partake in extra-mural activities, such as sport and culture, as the time and the lack of classrooms does not allow them to do so. They really do not get the necessary attention, as required, and this is really compromising the quality of our lower primary level,” she explained.
She further noted that Walvis Bay currently has ten primary schools, of which one is a private school. Five of the schools cannot enrol new learners, as they have to accommodate their pre-primary learners, as well as make way for some of the afternoon learners that will proceed to Grade 2 next year.
“We simply need three new schools and thus we are appealing to the Municipality of Walvis Bay to avail land free of charge. We really need the municipality and the business sector involved to create space for our learners,” she said.
Namport CEO Bisey Uirab through their social investment fund handed over N$610,000 for the construction of four module classrooms through the project school initiative. The classrooms will be constructed in the backyard of Immanuel Ruiters Primary School.
Uirab during the handover also called on the corporate sector in Namibia to identify at least one school to invest in to assist government in creating an environment where every primary school learner receives uncompromised high-quality education.
“We are confident this investment is one such initiative that is aimed at completely doing away the current platoon education system,” Uirab said.