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Japan funds more classrooms for schools in the north to relieve congestion

Japan funds more classrooms for schools in the north to relieve congestion

Three large schools in the north that were founded long before Independence have become so crowded that learners had to follow the platoon system or attend their classes in tents. Recently however, these conditions have been relieved following substantial contributions from the Japanese Government.

Last week the Ambassador of Japan to Namibia, HE Hideaki Harada had the honour to present new blocks of classrooms at Ngweze Primary School in Katima Mulilo and at Kaisosi Combined School and Kehemu Primary School, both in Rundu, to Namibian authorities. In Katima, the new building was accepted by the regional governor, Hon Lawrence Sampofu and in Rundu by the Minister of Education, Arts & Culture, Hon Anna Nghipondoka.

Ngweze Primary traces its roots back to 1966. It has just over 1600 learners and 52 teachers. Its facilities were vastly inadequate, with many classes consisting of more than 50 learners, and some having to attend school in the afternoon, following the so-called platoon system. The Japanese Government sponsored a new building with four classrooms to relieve the acute congestion and to ensure that learners can maintain social distancing while attending school.

Kaisosi Combined hails from 1971. It accommodates around 900 learners and 27 teachers. In an effort to relieve the overcrowded conditions, many learners had to attend school in tents. This school received three classrooms and one storeroom.

Kehemu Primary was founded in 1984. With more than 2600 learners, it is the biggest school in Kavango East and one of the biggest primary schools in the country. Its 57 teachers had to battle to teach all the learners, employing an extensive platoon system for a very large number of learners. This school also received three classrooms and a storeroom.

The funding from the Japanese Government for these three schools came to more than N$3 million. Since the Japanese Government started its programme of supporting school infrastructure in 1997, it has built classrooms and other facilities at more than 40 Namibian schools.

The Embassy of Japan said, in the near future, four more blocks of classrooms will be inaugurated at other schools while construction at another five schools are currently in the pipeline.

Caption: The Minister of Education, Arts & Culture, Hon Anna Nghipondoka (centre left) and the Ambassador of Japan, HE Hideaki Harada (centre right) with dignitaries at the opening of the new block of classrooms at Kehemu Primary School in Rundu.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.