08 September 2015 | Youth
The doors of the first high school in the township of Katutura opened in 1977. The school, named the Katutura Junior Secondary School only had Grades 8 to 10. Windhoek had other schools such as the Augustineum Secondary School, which was the first school in Windhoek, but the opening of the Katutura Junior Secondary School meant that students no longer had to walk long distances to Khomasdal. The school was first under the leadership of Mr. Patrick Tibinyane.
The school’s teaching staff featured prominent figures who today serve in government offices, including Elia Kaiyamo and Marco Hausiku, who was the brain behind Nantu, and many others.
Because of the demand from the community for Grades 11 and 12, the school introduced these grades in 1988 when it was renamed to Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School. Immanuel Shifidi was a freedom fighter whose name features prominently in the history of Namibia’s struggle against apartheid. Born September 16, 1929, Shifidi was a young and active Swapo member. After clashes with the South African forces, he was arrested in 1967 and spent 18 years behind bars at Robben Island until his release in 1985. While attending a Swapo rally a year after his release, Shifidi was killed on the premises of the school by the South African security forces. When the school was renamed after Shifidi subjects that were previously only taught in Afrikaans could now be taught in English. At the time, the school was under the leadership of Immanuel Nambahu.
Herman Katjiuongua leads the school today and continues to strive for its correct stance in the community. With 929 students and 27 classrooms, the school is committed to attain and maintain a high level of performance. Immanuel Shifidi archives 2013 as one of years featuring its academic highlights. In that year, the school produced five learners who featured in the top ten Grade 12 learners of the Khomas Region. One of the learners, Immanuel Mwaetako, featured in the 2013 national top ten Grade 12 performers, an achievement many schools in the country would love to achieve.
Besides the academic achievements of the school, the mighty Shifidi also boasts a soccer team, netball team and a very successful basketball team. In 2013, the school secured first place (girls) and second place (boys) in the Khomas Regional Championships. The same was achieved the following year with both teams taking first place.
In addition to the sports clubs, the school also has a debating society, cultural groups, a school choir and a variety of extra curricular activities open for learners to take part in. With its historic and academic reputation in Katutura, the school continues to be guided by the values of integrity, respect, commitment, teamwork, positive attitude and friendliness - a combination of ingredients, all needed to succeed. A drive through Katutura’s Wilibald Kapuenene Street takes you to the clean blue walls of the historic school. A walk through the school presents a neat and well-maintained school structure. The naked walls, devoid of any unnecessary graffiti, are a clear testimony to the disciplined learners at the school.
From the gate to the corridors of the school, one comes to remove the typical stereotypes attached to school in Katutura, that of dirty grounds and broken doors and windows. The school’s neatness speaks to its academic performance. On September 16, the school will celebrate its 38th birthday.
Principal - Herman Katjiuongua
“We continue to build the school in the sense that we are trying to teach our learners to be responsible citizens of this country. Our priority is to teach them self respect and self discipline. When these learners go out in the community, they will be the agents of change; the change of young people who respect each other and continue to be responsible. This is the basis and if we as Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School teach the basis, our learners could equally perform better as individuals and be better citizens.”
Lorraine Piccanin, a pupil at the school
“The teachers are the reason why we continue to perform outstandingly. They find all means to assist us. The school gave me the platform to be who I am today. As our logo reads: ‘Strive for knowledge and success,’ this is one of the things that every learner at the school has adopted in life. With the vast number of doors of opportunities that the school has opened for the learners, we want to succeed by all means.”