Lack of Classrooms Overwhelms Sauyemwa

Over 500 Grade One learners have been registered at Sauyemwa Junior Primary School and many are still seeking space at the school.

Sauyemwa is one of the biggest informal settlements in Namibia in terms of population size and it only has one junior primary school, which starts from Grade One to Grade Four and a combined school which starts from Grade Five to Grade 10.

Its schools are overcrowded and many learners are still left with no space, particularly for Grade One.

The principal Joseph Shininge told New Era that, “We have just sent many parents back home, who are seeking for spaces for their children in Grade One, we told them to come back on Wednesday. Maybe we will see where to put them as we are also waiting for many of the learners who registered last year to report for class. If they won’t then we can squeeze in their places other learners.”

The Ministry of Education had made plans to build another primary school in the area by 2013 and this plan is still in the pipeline, as the area for the planned construction has been identified.

Shininge said, “From here if our school is full the only nearest school will be at Kasote informal settlement, which is about 5km or more from here. As I am speaking now, we have 2 028 learners at our school and out of that 557 are Grade One to be taught in 13 classrooms.”

The principal added that Grade Ones are taught in the morning and Grade Twos to Grade Fours rotate in the afternoons.

“They rotate every term, for example, this term we teach the Grade Twos in the morning while Grade Threes and Fours are taught in the afternoon and next term they change the other way round,” he said.

Grade One space and the overcrowding situation gets worse every year and the only way to address it is to build another primary school.

“A primary school, which will have Grade One to Grade Seven should be built if the crisis is to be solved as Sauyemwa is a big location and many people can’t afford to send their kids to attend school in town, they won’t be able to pay taxi fares for their kids all year round,” he noted.

Other Rundu surrounding informal settlements also face similar problems, as they also have one primary school each while the population of people living in the area is overwhelming.

Ndama Combined School of Ndama location and Kehemu Primary School of Kehemu location are faced with a similar problem when it comes to Grade One placements and these communities want the Ministry of Education to find a solution.

Source : New Era