Education Concerned About San Dropout Rates

THE director of education in the Omaheke region, Peka Semba, has raised concern about the high dropout rates of San learners.

Semba said despite government’s efforts to keep San learners in schools, many have dropped out of school for various reasons in the region.

The education director made the remarks during a briefing meeting with the deputy minister for marginalised communities in the Presidency, Royal Uiooo, on Thursday.

Semba said the San children have been finding it hard to stay in school, largely due to the absence of support structures in some instances.

“Some San learners do not have proper support systems in place to motivate them to complete their studies. Others feel pressured by their families to take on their nomadic way of life and stay out of school,” he said.

The lure of employment, despite getting menial wages, has also been another thing discouraging San children from staying in schools as the prospect of earning some money appears more fruitful to them, Semba said.

He noted that San girls are most at risk of this practice, as they often end up taking care of other people’s children or work on communal farms to eke out a living.

“I am deeply touched when seeing San children serving as labourers and babysitters at other people’s homes. This calls for an even more urgent approach towards tackling this issue if we are to succeed as a government with all our other interventions,” the education director noted.

The distances between high schools and the native settings of the San appears to be another reason for the high dropout rates, as learners find it hard to maintain contact with their families.

“Some San learners may be committed enough and remain in school, but when they are in Grade 9 or 10, they are expected to go far from their homes to boarding school which has proven to be a challenge for many of them,” said Semba.

Government gives allowances to schools where San learners are enrolled for transport and other smaller logistics, but this practice is yet to be extended to all schools – especially high schools.

Nampa

Source : The Namibian