Andara evolves from seat of a kingdom to centre of learning
Andara is a small village on the banks of the Okavango River but of extraordinary historical importance. In pre-colonial times, it was the seat of power of Tawana, the reigning king whose domineering presence reached deep into what is today Angola, Western Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.
Andara was also the spot chosen by the German Colonial government to use as a beacon where the Caprivi cutline running from Katima Mulilo, would intersect the river, marking the northern boundary between the German and the Portuegese territories.
This historical hotspot was chosen as the location for a Roman Catholic mission after negotiating with the then resident King Libebe in 1913 and about 10 years later the Andara Combined School was established under a tree by the missionaries.
This week, some 94 years later, the Ambassador of Japan, HE Hideyuki Sakamoto, officially presented to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, two new classrooms built with a grant from the Japanese Government through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
The buildings were blessed by Dr Samuel Mbambo, the Kavango East Governor, representing the teachers and learners of Andara.
At Independence, Andara Combined School became a public school. Today it accommodates almost one thousand learners from Pre-primary to Grade 10.
The number of learners has dramatically increased and the existing school buildings were insufficient to house all the learners in classrooms. Many classes took place in the shade of a large tree.
With a grant exceeding N$1 million from the Japanese Government, two more classrooms were built plus a store room and an enclosure for a security guard. The school yard was also fenced.
To date, the Japanese Government has supported 48 local community projects of which 30 are schools. The total value invested comes to about N$33 million.