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Omatjete Grades 2 and 3 escape platoon system thanks to Japanese Govt grant

Omatjete Grades 2 and 3 escape platoon system thanks to Japanese Govt grant

The primary school in Omatjete last week inaugurated two new classrooms and a storeroom courtesy of the Japanese Embassy in Windhoek. This means that the Grade 2 an 3 learners who previously had to attend class under a tree or only in the afternoon, now have their own teaching rooms.

This week the Japanese Embassy announced it has availed just over N$700,000 for the construction of the expanded facility. The funding comes from the Government of Japan as part of its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security projects. The Japanese Ambassador, HE Hideaki Harada did the honours, presenting the classrooms to the Director of Education in the Erongo region, Ms Ernfriede Stephanus.

The Omatjete school was built in 1942 by the South West African administration. With so many new learners entering the educational system, its facilities have become inadequate for all the children of the mainly Othjiherero community. Today the school has 396 learners from pre-primary to Grade 7 with fourteen teachers.

It is part of the Daures district which consists of two former reservations, Omatjete for the Hereros and Okombahe for the Damaras. A single straight fence separates the two territories with its endless plains and low hills dotted by thousands of Mopane (Musati) trees.

The school’s Grade 2 and 3 learners had to follow the so-called Platoon System of schooling. Their classes took place under trees in the morning and only in the afternoons did the children have access to proper classrooms. With the new block, 80 learners will now have their own classrooms when face to face learning resumes next year.

At the handover ceremony, Ambassador Harada said education is one of the priority areas for the Government of Japan. Omatjete Primary is the 44th local school where the facilities have been expanded or improved with grants from the Government of Japan. This support started in 1997. Eight more schools stand to benefit from Japanese grants next year.


The Ambassador of Japan, HE Hideaki Harada (left) cutting the ribbon for the official inauguration of two new classrooms and a storeroom at Omatjete Primary School. On the right is the Director of Education in the Erongo region, Ernfriede Stephanus.


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.