Windhoek-The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has expressed its deepest condolences and has taken the liberty to reach out to the community, family and parents of the 13-year-old Grade 5 pupil from Iimbili Combined School in Ohangwena Region who was allegedly shot dead by his classmate with a pistol during breaktime on Thursday.
The incident happened when an 11-year-old learner took a gun to school and while playing with the firearm during breaktime, allegedly fatally wounded a classmate resulting in the death of the learner.
“We do register and express our deepest condolences. Surely the loss and death of a child affects an entire community and nation, as they are the hope and future of our country. We are saddened and shaken by this unforeseen incident. We render our sympathies on this tragic death to the families affected and offer our support and strength,” Nanso communications officer, Matheus Taapopi reacted.
He went on to say Nanso blames this incident on negligence from the parent owning a gun, saying it’s the gun owner’s most important responsibility to keep a firearm from falling into the wrong hands.
The grandmother believed to be the owner of the pistol, which was allegedly stolen by her grandchild, has since been arrested and charged for negligence.
For the sake of children’s safety, Nanso encouraged all gun owners to always keep guns locked away and out of reach of children and also urged them to never leave a gun unattended and finally to teach kids never to touch a gun or gun parts.
Further, Nanso called on the regional education and health directorates to dispatch a support team of counsellors, psychologists and social workers from community organisations across and beyond Ohangwena, to help the overwhelmed and traumatised classmates and school deal with this issue.
Equally, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture also expressed great sadness when it announced the death the Grade 5 learner.
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwas joined by her management as well as the Ohangwena regional directorate to convey their heartfelt sorrow and most sincere condolences to the bereaved family and the affected school community.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry Sanet Steenkamp said, “We value the life of every child. The loss of life, particularly in such a tragic and unfortunate manner, pains us deeply.
“We realise that this traumatic incident can have a major impact on the emotional wellbeing and responses of all affected. The Ohangwena regional directorate visited the school, engaged the parents and will continue to offer psychological support to the family and learners at the school.”
Furthermore, the ministry is finalising the School Safety Framework that speaks to an atmosphere of trust, peace, respect and care in the school environment to be rolled out soon.