Thousands more classrooms needed countrywide

24 July 2020 | Education

Under the “new normal”, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) is challenged with lack of classrooms and dilapidated and inadequate ablution facilities, minister Ester Nghipondoka said.
Speaking at the launch of the MTC Rural School Project symbolic acceptance ceremony of eight classrooms worth N$1.9 donated by MTC in Windhoek, Nghipondoka said some safety measures like social distancing in classrooms and hostels will prove difficult to implement if the challenges of lack of facilities are not addressed immediately and collectively.
She said that the latest statistics show that the ministry needs 5 159 more classrooms worth N$1.8 billion for construction. “This means that each of these classrooms will amongst others need a teacher, furniture and stationery. At the moment the ministry is not in a position to provide these needs and more so, not as soon as it would be required,” Nghipondoka said.
The minister added that currently there is a cumulative backlog of about 94 hostels in all regions, saying that there is a growing number of learners squatting around schools due to the long distances they have to travel to school.
She said that the current situation of learners staying in unsafe environments is a big concern and thus there is a need to provide hostel facilities at schools where there are a big number of learners squatting, which puts their lives and education prospects at risk.
Nghipondoka said a pandemic like Covid-19 should serve as an eye-opener to all stakeholders towards the need to always make contributions toward the betterment of teaching and learning environments for the Namibian child.
MTC Chief Executive Officer Licky Erastus said the project allows MTC to partner with rural schools with the objective of building new classrooms to ensure that learners study in a protected and conducive environment.
He said that the first classrooms to be constructed under the project are for Sizongoro Combined School in the Kavango West Region and Okondaune Primary School in Opuwo in the Kunene Region.
“It is our intention to finalise this project by end of September 2020 and help more schools that are in need in 2021,” Erastus said. – Nampa