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Okahandja Park school a refuge for learners

Summary

Green Leaves Primary School situated in the Okahandja Park informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek is a refuge for many children in the area, which is plagued by problems such as poverty, hunger, violence, child abuse and crime.The school, whi…

Green Leaves Primary School situated in the Okahandja Park informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek is a refuge for many children in the area, which is plagued by problems such as poverty, hunger, violence, child abuse and crime.

The school, which was inaugurated in 2015, accommodates 1 753 learners in Grade 1 to Grade 7 from Windhoek’s poorest constituency, Tobias Hainyeko, where many inhabitants face high levels of poverty.

Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Green Leaves Primary School principal Chanville Mackrill said the school is situated in an area where parents are challenged socially and economically, therefore what the school provides to its learners is guided by its motto ‘Love, Nurture and Grow’. They see it as a safe space for the children from the community.

Mackrill noted that learners from the area lack necessities such as food and clothing, noting that through efforts by both teachers and the government, children have been accommodated and assisted in efforts for them to receive an education despite the odds.

“Education is a calling and seeing the immense needs of our learners, the school tries to make sure that their needs are met academically, socially and economically. Since the opening of school on Monday there has been excitement amongst learners to be back in classrooms because our slogan is to love children. Some of the fundamental needs of a child are to be loved and to have a place of refuge,” the principal noted.

Mackrill indicated that the school provides meals to the learners through the school feeding programme, which has been highly successful as many learners do not have food at home.

“The feeding programme also contributes to them feeling cared for because for some of the learners, the meal they get at the school is the only meal for the day,” he said.

Mackrill further noted that the area has three primary schools and one secondary school which face similar challenges. He said there is a need for the government to construct another school as the influx of people in the informal settlement increases considerably every year, resulting in some learners having to be taught in tents because there are not enough classrooms.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency