Better learning at Groendraai Primary in more classrooms though MTC’s rural schools project
Learners of the Groendraai Primary School now have a more conducive learning environment following the construction of a block of four new classrooms and a storeroom to the value of N$1.2 million, enabled by mobile telecommunications provider, MTC.
The completion of the building and its handover took place three months after the company announced in February that it will construct classrooms at Kahunikwa Primary School, Onduludiya Combined School, and Groendraai Primary School through its maiden CSI initiative – the MTC Rural Schools Project.
This project is part of MTC’s Corporate Social Investment under the Friends of Education Initiative with the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
The objective is to assist the government to improve educational infrastructure such as dilapidated schools that lack decent structures or have none, by renovating and in most cases erecting new classrooms, mainly for schools in rural Namibia.
Since its launch, the project has built classrooms in Otjozondjupa, Kavango West, Karas, Oshana, Kunene and Hardap where Groendraai is the most recent beneficiary.
Later this month, MTC will hand over classrooms at schools in Zambezi (Kahunikwa Primary School) and Ohangwena region (Onduludiya Combined School), bringing the tally to 41 classrooms.
Groendraai Primary School was built in 1952 and opened its doors the following year when locals in collaboration with the Rhenish Church decided to build a school. By 1961 Groendraai had 67 learners and today, 251.
“We do not want to embark on this project alone. We are inviting all corporates to join us in building classrooms around the country. We need by all means to nationalize this project and we can only successfully do it with more funds and more partners,” said Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Officer.
It is estimated by the education ministry that around N$1,8 billion is needed to clear the backlog in classrooms. This translates to nearly 5200 new classrooms across Namibia.
“No longer should we accept that a Namibian child should be taught under a tree and in unconducive environments. It is our responsibility in whatever capacity to protect the future leaders and we can only do it if we hold hands together,” added Ekandjo.
Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon Faustina Caley praised MTC for making the clarion call to dignify education and involving people from the region.
“The education sector is faced with a multitude of challenges that the ministry cannot attend to alone. And it is the responsibility of the entire country to play its role. At this school, and around the country, we have learners being taught in unpardonable environments not conducive to learning. At this school, learners endure the heat, winds, and cold of the south. They are the leaders of this country and we can only expect better from them if we have partners like MTC come to the table to make education better for them,” said Caley.
Caley also called for the active participation of parents in the lives of their children, saying teachers can do a better job when parents do their part in streamlining the future of learners.
The school turns 70 later this year with Headmaster Calvin Rickerts saying that it will be a memorable anniversary.
“This gift will go a long way in improving the lives of the learners and a conducive teaching environment for the teachers. We cannot thank you (MTC) enough for the gesture, and we can only say continue doing this good work for other learners across the country,” he said.