N$58 million to clean schools

Less than 200 school days left for grade 11 and 12 learners

02 June 2020 | Education

Windhoek • [email protected]

Of more than 340 senior secondary schools across the country, the majority are ready to receive their learners.
According to education executive director, Sanet Steenkamp, at least 49 331 grade 11 and 12 learners are expected to resume face-to-face learning and teaching tomorrow. She added that the government has availed N$58 million for cleaning materials.
“We know that our hostels are overpopulated and we have shortage of mattresses and beds, thus we availed N$46 million with clear guidelines to the regions,” she said.
Steenkamp said that should a school not be ready in terms of a specific problem like water, tanks will be provided to the schools.
“If it is a situation that requires more time and it is not just a minor repair, we will inform principals and teachers to inform learners accordingly to remain home for a few days.”
She added that the ownership lies with school management and the regional director on how they wish to address the cleaning of schools.
She stated that N$600 million has been availed to the ministry of education, arts and culture for development projects, such as the provision of water, issues of ablution and hotels, upgrading and repair.
Steenkamp added that the ministry will supply one face mask per learner and urged parents to ensure that their children attend school with an additional mask. “So far we have distributed 49 348 face masks. Omusati region, which has the most grade 11 and 12 learners, is still to receive 6 800 masks. Additionally, Omaheke, Kunene, Zambezi, the two Kavango regions and Oshikoto have received their masks. Oshana and Ohangwena will produce face masks within the regions. Hardap and //Kharas will receive their masks today,” she said.
Steenkamp said that the 342 schools will receive two to three infrared thermometers for screening. In terms of social distancing, Steenkamp said they will not experience major challenges as there are classrooms open to make sure it is put to practice.
“Classrooms for grade 10 and 8 will be open. A standard classroom size is 52m². If you have a one-meter distance, there should at least be 20 desks and chairs in the classroom,” she said.
According to deputy executive director of the ministry of education, Edda Bohn, the initial number of school days for grade 11 and 12 learners was 196. However, this was reduced to 178 remaining school days for the learners.
“We call on learners and teachers to work in those hours and go the extra mile. Saturday cannot be compulsory school day, although we are aware that some schools have agreed to have school on Saturday,” she said.
Bohn said these 178 days will be used to prepare for the examinations which are expected to start towards the end of November. “We have made an assessment to see how far the curriculum is covered by teachers and learners in grade 11 and 12 and the majority of responses is that they are above 60% to 70 % through the curriculum already,” she said.
On a practical note, Steenkamp said the timetable will be adjusted to focus on six promotional subjects and Life Skills.

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