Major upgrades at Eiseb Block 10
Ned Sibeya (left), the acting Chief of National Development Advice in the Monitoring, Evaluation and Development Partners Coordination department of the National Planning Commission, school infrastructure is still a critical issue on the social agenda. Katuna Njarakana (right), a teacher at Eiseb Block 10 Primary welcomed the new infrastructure, saying the new facilities will have a positive impact on the school’s performance and the teachers’ morale. Njarakana is a product of this school as she did her primary education here.
The legacy of a young British medical student, Catherine Bullen lives on in the new buildings of the Eiseb Block 10 Primary School that were inaugurated this week.
Catherine visited Namibia in 2002 as a tourist. Shortly after arriving here, she became ill and succumbed a few days later. Her parents, Mr and Mrs Bullen then established the Catherine Bullen Foundation to support community projects. Its first Namibian project, in partnership with the Namibian German Special Programme, is the Eiseb Block 10 Primary School, located in the remote Hereroland East, close to the Botswana border.
The Catherin Bullen Foundation supported the construction of a 40-bed hostel, kitchen and dining hall for girls, while the German Special Programme supplied mattresses and beds. In addition, German Special Programme built and equipped two 16-bed hostels for boys and girls, renovated two existing 40-bed hostels as well as an informal kitchen to the combined value of N$1, 6 million.
The Namdeb Foundation donated another N$150,000 to the project.
The programme also added bathrooms and showers to the existing hostels.
“School infrastructure remains a critical issue on the social agenda” stated the acting Chief: National Development Advice, Department: Monitoring, Evaluation and Development Partners Coordination in the National Planning Commission (NPC), Ned Sibeya.
He said what motivated them to undertake this initiative is their continued belief that the youth would only be empowered when they are provided with access to opportunities, proper school infrastructure along with the necessary support, to empower themselves.
“With the high rate of youth unemployment I believe that the only solution is investment in the education of the young ones still in schools,” he added.
Speaking on behalf the Catherin Bullen Foundation, Roger Bullen said that the new kitchen will provide a hygienic and safe environment for the preparation and consumption of meals.
“It will mean that staff will no longer have to work with open fires which are the cause of respiratory problems due to inhalation of smoke,” Bullen said.
Bullen also urged the learners and the community, not to vandalise the new facilities, but to ensure that the buildings are kept in a good condition.
“Linda and I will be returning every six months to carry out inspections and we hope to find everything to be working and in place,” he promised.
The British High Commissioner, HE Jo Lomas expressed her excitement about the joint initiative, saying “Educational standards need to improve if increased economic growth is to be realised. But there are great challenges to doing that and coming to Eiseb highlights the difficulties of catering to children in remote areas. The facilities here are a small contribution to that challenge-having decent surroundings, nutrition, hygiene and care are essential to helping children to learn.”