Schools in the dark

Learners sent home due to water and electricity cut-offs

12 February 2020 | Local News

Electricity and water supply has been suspended due to non-payment at over a dozen schools in Windhoek.
The cut-off resulted in some schools sending pupils home from hostels as it is unhygienic, a health hazard and unsafe.
One of the school principals who spoke to Nampa on condition of anonymity yesterday, said that to his knowledge, 17 schools were affected by the vital service suspensions. “We were not informed; it came as a surprise for us. We just saw the municipality guys come to cut both the water and electricity. The only thing we could do was to send children that are enrolled in the hostels to their relatives here in Windhoek. It is a risk to let them stay in the hostel because it is dark and there is no electricity to cook for them even if they use candlelight,” the principal said.
A letter in Nampa’s possession availed by a parent of a learner at one of the city’s best-performing high schools, signed by the school principal, reads that the school could not accommodate learners due to the water and electricity cut-offs.
“Hereby I wish to notify parents that our electricity has been cut off and that we cannot accommodate your children in the boys and girls hostels at this time. We need to prepare their meals and provide them with light when they study. At this stage, please accommodate your child at home until further notice,” the letter reads.
A hostel matron of another school that opted not to provide her name for fear of losing her job said: “We could not keep them here because the toilets are already dirty and can lead to diseases like hepatitis. We sent them back today (Tuesday). Even the food in the fridges is rotten now and we are still thinking of what to do,” she said.
Approached for comment, Education Director for the Khomas Region, Gerard Vries told this agency to forward questions in writing for a response. – Nampa

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