Education kneecapped by shortage of 5 000 classrooms
14 August 2020 | Education
Education minister Anna Nghipondoka says Namibia has a backlog of over 5 000 classrooms, which has made it a challenge to comply with the World Health Organisation's (WHO) social distancing protocols.
Speaking at the inauguration of a classroom block in Rundu this week, Nghipondoka said the backlog has also seen the ministry being challenged to fulfil its mandate of quality education.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caught all of us off guard and the education sector has not been spared by its devastating wrath,” she said. However, Nghipondoka was quick to point out that efforts are being made by government to ensure that more classrooms and education facilities are constructed.
“While that remains the reality, the ministry is not resting but is hard at work to address this issue in ensuring that more classrooms and other basic education facilities are built in the urgent manner yearned for,” she said.
The minister also thanked the Japanese government for its continuous assistance in constructing classroom blocks at needy schools, saying its recent donations have materialised at the right time.
The Japanese government constructed a four-classroom and storeroom block at Kaisosi Combined School and a three-classroom and storeroom block at Kehemu Primary School to the tune of over N$1 million.
According the Japan's ambassador to Namibia, Hideaki Harada, the funding for the project came from the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
Harada said Kaisosi Combined School is the 42nd school in Namibia to benefit from the scheme since its inception in 1997.
He added that five more schools will receive new classroom blocks.
“I wish to inform you that the government of Japan has decided to support Namibia's endeavours to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of medical equipment and technical support,” he said.
Harada also announced that the two governments are in the final stages of launching a grant cooperation project for vocational training.