DIRE: Otunganga circuit inspector Chrispin Masule. 
PHOTO: Tuyeimo Haidula
DIRE: Otunganga circuit inspector Chrispin Masule. PHOTO: Tuyeimo Haidula

Otunganga learners forced to rent shacks

Tuyeimo Haidula
A shortage of hostels in the Otunganga circuit in the Ohangwena Region has forced some grade 10 and 11 learners to rent shacks near schools - where they live unsupervised.

This has led to a plea for help from education authorities in the area.

Circuit inspector Chrispin Masule said the lack of sufficient hostels negatively affects learners and exposes them to social evils and dangerous conditions.

Some of the learners are as young as 15 and 16, he added.

Critical time

Masule told Namibian Sun that the circuit currently has five combined schools, and three more are in the pipeline.

Only two combined schools – Onambutu and Otunganga – have community-built hostels. Onanona, Oshaango and Onamukulo are among the schools that need hostels.

"This means six schools will accommodate learners, but without a hostel. They will end up being accommodated in temporary structures around the school or in the homesteads of the local community," he said.

Masule added that these conditions are not ideal, and the learners are in critical grades where they need to perform well to be able to graduate.

"We had a case where there was a boy and girl squatting together. You can just imagine how such a situation will turn out. We need help," he said.

Poor infrastructure

According to Masule, the lack of proper accommodation for learners contributes to the high rate of teenage pregnancy, which the region continually works hard to prevent.

"The performance at Onanona and Onamukulo combined schools is very poor due to some of the challenges faced by the learners. We want all of them to pass and have a bright future.”

He indicated that many schools are also without flush toilets, and learners use pit latrines, some of which are worn out.

The majority of schools in the region are also poorly fenced off, he said, adding that the situation compromises the safety of the learners, teachers and school premises.


Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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