Oshikoto Region rocked by GBV and teenage pregnancy

Martin Endjala

The Oshikoto Region has of late recorded a ten percent increase in the number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases while teenage pregnancies and school dropouts also pose a challenge.

Penda Ya Ndakolo, the Oshikoto Regional Governor during his State of the Region Address, revealed that GBV is a prevalent problem in Namibia that impacts all aspects of life.

Ya Ndakolo said that in most cases these incidences happen because children are left alone at home without parental care.

So far there have been 81 rape cases, 46 domestic violence cases, and 246 stock theft cases reported in the region.

The Governor pointed out that the lack of mobility to combat crimes in remote areas is still a problem due to bad roads and members of the public travelling long distances in search of police services or rather waiting for too long to report cases.

As a mitigation measure for GBV and sexual abuse, Ya Ndakolo emphasized that awareness is critical, adding that it is also important to give adolescents the knowledge and skills to comprehend sex and the underlying causes of violence in their communities, to educate and engage peers and other community members to work to prevent such violence and to help them learn where they can access support if they experience violence.

It is for this reason that the Directorate of Youth completed a week-long training with 144 adolescent girls and young women on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and Sexual Gender Based Violence.

“To the leaders at various levels and capacities in the Oshikoto Region, let us continue to serve the people of this country with humility and dedication. Let us revive the principles of good governance in all our activities,” said the Governor.

Meanwhile, the region has been hit hard by the saddening rate of teenage pregnancies rate while instances of school dropouts remained high.

Last year, a total of 567 pregnancies amongst learners were recorded while 1 814 learners dropped out of school.

The Governor called on all stakeholders, parents, guardians and the general community to play their part in ensuring that children complete school.

He believes that the quality of life they will lead depends largely on their education level.

Other challenges facing the education fraternity include old school infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, bad roads, lack of water and electricity at some schools as well as poor workmanship from some contractors.

Despite the challenges, the Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture spent a total amount of N$6.4 million on infrastructure development during the year under review.

This includes the construction of 20 pre-primary classrooms at 11 schools in the region at a cost of N$4.3 million, the installation of water infrastructure at schools and maintenance of other infrastructure worth N$1.6 million and the construction of an ablution facility at the Amupapala Primary School in Oniipa at a cost of half a million Namibian Dollars.

The construction of more classrooms specifically at the primary school level will help in providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning.

Furthermore, the Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture has implemented measures aimed at curbing the challenges of high teenage pregnancies and school dropouts.The measures undertaken comprise training in life skills for grade 4 to 7 teachers; the provision of psychosocial support; conducting of the regional career fair and the provision of continuous professional development for teaching personnel.

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