Teachers Desert School Due to Lack of Accommodation

Many teachers are leaving the Hoeksteen Combined School in Rosh Pinah because of a lack of accommodation in the mining town.

The school board chairperson Sophia January says the lack of accommodation has become a problem for the school, as it keeps losing qualified teachers who move to places where they can find cheap accommodation.

She said the problem is the school’s biggest challenge and worry, as a failure to keep top qualified teachers means good learner performance is unlikely.

“We can’t get quality education if we don’t have qualified teachers,” she emphasised.

Sophia said currently teachers have to fork out about N$1 700 per month for accommodation and on top of that pay for water and electricity, which is expensive.

Contributing to the accommodation problem is allegedly the fact government cannot build any teacher houses at Rosh Pinah as it hasn’t yet been proclaimed a town.

“The land belongs to the state so the proclamation reason is not a good excuse,” said Sophia.

The school with 1 087 pupils is also faced with a lack of classrooms and as a result has resorted to the platoon system (double session). Grades five to seven learners attend classes from one o’clock to five o’clock in the afternoon, while the rest attend the normal slot of 07h00 to 13h00. Sophia also expressed concern about the safety of children that mostly have to walk about five kilometres to their home in Tutungeni informal settlement, adding that the school is trying its best to arrange transport for learners.

The school principal echoed the opinion of the chairperson saying that with the current construction of a new school aimed at easing classroom shortage, it will be difficult to get teachers if the accommodation crisis is not resolved as well

The new school will be a secondary school for learners from grades 8 to 10 while the current school will be a primary school for learners from grades 0 to 7.

The new school is expected to have 12 classrooms, a library, a laboratory, a computer lab with offices and is expected to accommodate about 300 learners.

Source : New Era