More After-School Centres Needed

Stakeholders in the education sector in the Erongo Region have called for the establishment of more after-school centres such as the Mondesa Youth Opportunities (MYO) after-school centre that has played a significant role in shaping the live’s of many underprivileged children in Swakopmund.

According to the Director of Education in the region, John Awaseb, such centres complement government’s continuous efforts to provide and improve the quality of education, especially in overcrowded schools. He said such centres not only instill discipline in the learners, but also motivate them to take education seriously. The MYO, an after-school centre that was established in 2004 in Swakopmund, started from humble beginnings and yesterday celebrated their 10th anniversary in Swakopmund’s Mondesa residential area.

The non-governmental organisation has been actively involved in offering extra classes in subjects such as geography, mathematics and life skills, while also placing g emphasises on teaching learners proper reading and writing skills. The organisation was founded by an American Peace Corps volunteer, Rob Myers, in 2004 when he saw the need to provide extra classes in the afternoons to underprivileged learners from Mondesa and the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC), as well as the opportunity to excel in school. According to Awaseb, the efforts of the organisation are highly laudable and urged parents and learners to give their full cooperation when attending the after-school centre and the extra-mural activities offered by the centre. quotThe need to establish more such centre’s such as the MYO cannot be overemphasised since it really complements the efforts of government. Therefore I would like to call upon the private sector to come on board and to assist government to set up similar centres throughout the country. The evidence is there. Many of those children from underprivileged backgrounds have excelled in our schools and have been accepted by tertiary institutions to built a future for themselves,quot Awaseb said.

According to board member of the MYO, Vera Leech, the centre is very serious about education and has been providing exceptional education and life skills interventions to underprivileged children as a way to prepare them for further studies and eventually to become the leaders of tomorrow. She added that the organisation invites all learners who show leadership and scholastic ability at their schools in the underprivileged areas around Mondesa to attend afternoon school free of charge. quotAfter a nourishing lunch which the centre also offers, we give them extra maths and english, life skills and music lessons. We also have an excellent computer centre dedicated to teaching them skills they will need in their further studies and workplaces. Because we are a small school of 120 learners we are able to stay focused and dedicated to our purpose,quot she explained. She added that their only requirement is that the learners are committed, hardworking and disciplined. quotenerous, supportive donors pay for their healthy lunches and our teacher salaries. Together, we work at producing future citizens who will be positive and productive Namibians, with solid academic credentials,quot Leech said.

According to Leech their primary objective is to develop and foster an environment where children living in communities such as Mondesa and the DRC are also provided opportunities to learn and grow in areas that are imperative to their success in life, and to promote a future generation of emotionally healthy, driven, and forward-thinking leaders. quotOur larger objective is to be an empowering force in the community, producing good citizens of the future. We are here to supplement over-crowded and under-funded schools. We strive to deliver a well-rounded education and cultivate positive thinking and self-esteem in our young learners,quot she explained.

Source : New Era