Namdeb donates school to government

28 February 2020 | Education

Looking at the issue of school placement in the country, specifically at Oranjemund, Namdeb joined in to find a sustainable long-term solution through donating a fully equipped secondary school to the government to the tune of N$17 million. The school was received by the ministry of education arts and culture at an official ceremony hosted at Oranjemund on 21 February.

The school previously formed part of Oranjemund Private School (OPS), and after due consultation and engagement, it was decided that the future needs of the community will be better served by donating the infrastructure to government. Previously a mine-owned town, Oranjemund was exclusively founded for the accommodation of personnel in support of diamond mining operations. In addition to providing accommodation, the mine also had to provide all other services including education and medical services. OPS was subsequently established to address the education requirements of employees' children.

OPS provided education from grade zero to grade 12, but also addresses early child development for children aged four and five. In 2009, OPS systematically incorporated a secondary school. The school was significantly subsidised and financially reliant on Namdeb.

The recent proclamation of Oranjemund as a town necessitated a change in approach and Namdeb decided to re-look at the mine's role in the town and community. Parallel to this, government also identified the increased need for public schooling and in 2014, a new public school, Ambrosius Amutenya Combined School (AACS), opened its doors at Oranjemund. AACS was also extensively supported by Namdeb and the school used buildings Namdeb converted to class rooms for this purpose.

It however became apparent that the secondary schooling in the town was sub-optimal, and as a result, Namdeb and the government collaborated in combining the two secondary schools into one new combined public secondary school. This donation by Namdeb enables the new school to kick off on a high note with top-class education facilities.

Speaking at the event today, Namdeb CEO, Mr. Riaan Burger, said the two parties, Namdeb and MoEAC, have demonstrated that a win-win solutions can be found if working together. Burger also said “The decision for Namdeb to donate part of the Oranjemund Private School infrastructure is guided by our support for the provision of quality education for all in Namibia and the option of a combined secondary school was the most suitable alternative for the company and the community.” He further added that it is only when stakeholders such as these come together that a win-win solution can be achieved.

The Deputy Minister of Education Hon Anna Nghipondoka, who also attended the event, said “The successful provision of education is a joint venture by government, business community, parents and all our partners in education. I would thus like to call upon other companies to follow the example of NAMDEB here today”. Hon. Nghipondoka closed off by reiterating her gratitude towards NAMDEB and declaring the new school !Garibams Secondary School officially inaugurated.

The new secondary school is already in full operation with a total of 262 children enrolled.