Second shift !Nara learners can now play to their hearts’ delight
Mrs Rosanna Mukumbi, the Junior Primary Head of Department at !Nara Primary School in Walvis Bay had reason to be overjoyed when she learned the Namibian Ports Authority has agreed to sponsor a playground for her learners.
!Nara Primary, similar to other schools where the number of learners vastly exceeds the available classrooms, functions on a so-called platoon system of education. This means there are two shifts of tuition daily, from early morning until just before lunchtime, and then again from lunch until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Although this helps schools to accommodate more learners, the platoon arrangement creates its own unique problems, one which is to keep the children occupied when they are at the school premises but not necessarily attending classes.
Mrs Mukumbi explained “for a school to cater for all its enrolled learners, which in most cases is 100% more than the capacity it can accommodate, it engages or adopts the platoon system where learners attend school in two shifts from 07:10 to 12:30 and from 12:30 to 15:00. In most cases learners who attend school in the afternoon are dropped off by their parents by 07:30 before going to work.” A facility like a playground is very helpful to keep these learners occupied.
“A playground at a school like ours is not only for the children to play but for the teachers it is a way of keeping the 380 Grade 2 learners who attend afternoon classes under the platoon system occupied,” she elaborated adding that personal interaction between learners on the playground affords teachers the opportunity to assess learners not only in a classroom setting, but also in terms of their social skills in a playful environment.
Mrs Mukumbi said they are over the moon as a school and she thanked Namport for this great donation. “For the past two years we have been looking for assistance and when we knocked on Namport’s doors, they really responded positively. I further call on other companies to follow this great example and help more schools.” !Nara’s application for assistance was one of about 400 requests per year received by Namport.
The !Nara playground is sponsored by the Namport Social Investment Fund. Earlier this month it was announced that the fund will also sponsor two classrooms to help lessen the need for a platoon system.