STILL THERE: The Oshikoto education regional office in Ondangwa in the Oshana Region.
STILL THERE: The Oshikoto education regional office in Ondangwa in the Oshana Region.

Oshikoto education head office still in Oshana

Kenya Kambowe
Due to the halt of capital projects by treasury in 2017, the Oshikoto education regional head office has remained in Ondangwa in the Oshana Region despite land being identified in Oshikoto and the completion of a feasibility study.

It has been six years since Namibian Sun reported on this issue, after leaders and stakeholders in Oshikoto wanted the education ministry to relocate the office from government park in Ondangwa to Omuthiya, the regional capital of Oshikoto.

Among those who made the call at the time was former Oshikoto governor, Henok Kankoshi, who in his 2018 state of the region address stressed the importance of the education office within the region.

Some of the challenges at the time, which still exist, are the long distances officials have to travel to Ondangwa, while the education ministry also forks out large amounts to pay for subsistence and travel (S&T) costs.

Classrooms a bigger priority

In response to a recent enquiry by Namibian Sun, the ministry stated that, due to a lack of funding, it is faced with several challenges, particularly regarding the construction of classrooms, which is deemed more pressing.

“The ministry faces a great challenge of funding, particularly as regards its development budget,” the ministry responded.

“Allocation of financial resources is done at the back of competing and urgent needs of curriculum attainment, where administration needs often come second,” it explained.

“We are currently still battling a huge backlog in the delivery of classrooms and we have capital projects that have been in the books for a long time but cannot take off the ground due to limited funds.

“We acknowledge that the greater distance between the regional office and its service area negatively affects service delivery and are continuously restructuring our competing priorities to respond fairly to all needs.”

Progress

The education ministry explained that it is the ministry's wish that staff members of all its 14 regional directorates operate out of the respective political regional capitals, which includes the relocation of the Oshikoto directorate of education from its current site in Ondangwa to Omuthiya.

“The ministry has made tremendous progress towards achieving the objectives of the decentralisation policy and, to this effect, has fully functional regional offices in all 14 regions headed by regional directors,” the ministry said.

“The project for the construction of the Oshikoto regional directorate office was registered as a capital project until the 2017/18 financial year and includes a completed feasibility study. However, it was halted in compliance with a ministry of finance directive issued in October 2017.

“The directive requested that all offices and administration building projects that were registered but where construction hadn't commenced be frozen until further notice.

“However, land has already been identified and allocated in Omuthiya for the eventual relocation of the regional offices, where it will be added as a wing to the current building of the Oshikoto regional council.”

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Namibian Sun 2024-04-25

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 326.08/OZ UP +0.42% | Copper US$ 4.51/lb UP +1.59% | Zinc US$ 2 860.10/T UP 1.92% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.03/BBP UP +0.04% | Platinum US$ 903.48/OZ UP +0.15%