By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Oshikoto education directorate is battling with providing access to quality education as it is faced with many schools operating under dilapidated, poor and unhygienic conditions, Confidente has learned.
Lameck Kafidi, the education director told Confidente that the directorate is struggling to address the shortage of classrooms as the region is currently faced with dire budget constraints.
There are about 432 makeshift classrooms in the region.
“The region has been faced with a shortage of classrooms for many years now and the issue will not be solved anytime soon because we do not have sufficient funds to address the matter. The directorate is faced with many challenges that remain unattended to due to a lack of resources,” said Kafidi.
Even though many of the pupils are taught in makeshift classrooms, some are forced to attend lessons under trees while being exposed to the dangers of snakes and scorpions, including harsh climate conditions.
Kafidi further said that the high number of makeshift classrooms is mostly attributed to the high number of pupil registration causing the number of makeshift classrooms to increase per annum.
“Many of the schools in the region are currently overcrowded, except for those that are in remote areas. All pupils want to register at urban schools. The situation is really worrisome because every year the directorate is forced to set up makeshift classrooms in order to meet the high demand of pupils,” said Kafidi.
The education, arts and culture permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp said that the issue of makeshift classrooms is nationwide and the ministry is working around the clock to address the matter.
“The ministry has recently implemented a five-year strategic plan aimed at reducing some of the many factors that are facing the ministry. This year the ministry plans to construct and renovate classrooms all over the country,” said Steenkamp.
Steenkamp said that her ministry has set aside a budget of about N$500 million aimed at renovating classrooms, hostels and building sanitation facilities at schools in all the regions, this year.
“The ministry is doing its level best to eliminate makeshift classrooms, despite the budget constraints. We all know that the budget allocation is insufficient to cater for all schools at once but we are really trying our best to do away with improper infrastructure at schools,” she said.
Oshikoto region has a total of 220 primary and secondary schools.
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