Ashihaya Primary School in dire need of classrooms

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

ASHIHAYA Primary School, situated in Okankolo circuit in the Oshikoto region, is facing a shortage of classroom needed to accommodate its growing number of pupils.

The school, which currently serves approximately 174 learners from grade 0 to grade 7, is appealing for donations of building materials, particularly corrugated zinc sheets and bags of cement to construct three more classrooms.

Established in 2014, the school currently operates with only one classroom per grade and efforts are being made to create an improved teaching and learning environment for the learners and teachers.

However, the situation is dire for learners in grades three, four and five as their existing makeshift classrooms are also in need of upgrading and refurbishment.

According to Ngolo Selma, a teacher at the school responsible for grade two and three, the makeshift classrooms are extremely uncomfortable during the cold winter months and are susceptible to dust infiltration as the windy season approaches.

“The classrooms become exceedingly cold during winters, and as the windy season approaches, dust becomes a significant issue. Our immediate goal is to create a conducive learning space that caters to the children’s well-being and educational needs,” she said.

In their pursuit of assistance, the school approached the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture for assistance but received no response.

Additionally, Selma highlighted that the school faces electricity problems, which further hindering the teaching process.

“The lack of electricity significantly hampers our ability as teachers to produce teaching materials and print progress reports. While we have a small solar system that powers basic devices, it does not suffice for our printing needs. We were fortunate to have the system restored with the help of community members,” said Selma.

Notably, the school has recently gained access to water, a vital improvement in its infrastructure.

In response to the situation, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Anna Ngipondoka, said that although she was unaware of the circumstances at the school, classroom construction has been ongoing.

“In the past two months alone, the ministry successfully constructed 520 classrooms. However, this effort extends beyond a single school, as our nationwide goal is to construct approximately 4000 classrooms. By year-end, we aspire to complete 1200 classrooms, depending on the availability of funding,” said Nghipondoka.

The minister further emphasised the importance of collaboration with various stakeholders, encouraging schools to actively seek funding to support government-led classroom construction.

“Addressing such challenges necessitates a collective effort. While the government is committed, we acknowledge that additional support from stakeholders is indispensable. We encourage schools to engage in partnerships for the betterment of our educational infrastructure,” she expressed.

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