Free education’ a burden

Children receive free education, but the financial strains continue when parents have to purchase stationery and other items.

22 January 2019 | Education

Justicia Shipena





In December 2012 free primary education was introduced in Namibia, in accordance with article 20 of the Namibian Constitution on free and compulsory primary education.

The constitution of Namibia under article 20 states and mandates that all persons shall have the right to education, primary education shall be compulsory and that the state shall provide reasonable facilities to render effective this right for every resident within Namibia, by establishing and maintaining state schools at which primary education will be provided free.

Children should not be allowed to leave school until they have completed their primary education or have attained the age of 16 years, whichever occurs sooner, unless this happens on the grounds of health or other considerations pertaining to the public interest.

Four years later, from 2016, all state secondary schools in the country started to offer free education.

Despite this so-called free education some parents and teachers have spoken of a financial strain, when interviewed by The Zone.

Kambala Thomas, who is a parent to a grade 7 learner at Onanghonda Combined School, said his child receives education without the need to pay school fees.

“My child has been receiving free education ever since 2015 with no registration fees asked for,” he said.

Thomas, however, added there are a number of items that his child uses for school activities.

Thomas said he has to pay a school contribution fee, but this is not expensive and is put to good use.

He said the amount he spends on stationery depends on the number of items on the school list.

“Since we don't pay school fees it’s not an issue buying stationery, plus buying stationery should be something all parents should budget and plan for, before leaving for the holidays; especially knowing that you have children to send to school,” he said.

A Khomas parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she pays fees to the school, including a transport fee for her child.

She said the stationery list is fair, since she only buys a certain amount of items and some others, like books, the child receives at the school. She, however, does not need to pay a contribution fee because the amount the parents pay for fees covers the school maintenance costs.

Another parent argued that the items his child takes to school are unnecessary, as they hardly get to use them.

He said his child is asked to take things like air freshener, Handy Andy and soap, but when you visit the school the toilets are not tidy.

“There is hardly toilet paper in their bathrooms, but children are expected to bring them,” he said.

Ndamononghenda Hangula, a teacher at Onaanda Combined School in the Omusati Region, said some of the items the learners have to bring to school are way too expensive, compared to the ones government used to provide.

Some schools ask for a certain amount to cater for the learner's stationary and this amount also differs from school to school.

She added that not all the items learners bring are used to their advantage.

Hangula said the school cannot afford to cater for all the learning materials, such as textbooks, which are a concern.

“I have a class of 40 learners and only three textbooks are available and in that situation the teaching and learning process cannot go smoothly. This is especially so in rural areas where there is only one computer at the school and learners cannot do their homework, due to lack of textbooks and no access to internet,” she said.

Hangula added that the education system today is not fulfilling its aims, but is rather putting children into the streets.

She said often grade 9 and 10 failures are left with no option but to drift into the streets.

“Although the grade 9 learners who did not make it are transferred to grade 10, there are not enough classrooms at schools with grade 10. The new curriculum thus leads to learners travelling long distances of close to 20km to and from school and they have to be in class by 06:30. By the time a learner reaches school he or she is tired and not in the mood for learning, thus making them vulnerable to failure,’’ she said.

This is a typical grade 1 stationery list for a government school:

· Beginners pencil (jumbo) x2

· Colour pencils x2

· Scissors x1

· Thick wax crayons x2

· Rolls of thick plastic x3

· Mondi rota trim 500 copy paper x3

· Large Pritt x1

· Sharpener x1

· 2 litre ice cream container with child’s name x1

· Retractable wax crayons x3

· Flip file x1

· HB pencils x10

· Thin wax crayons x2

· Thin cellotape x1

· Ponal wood glue x1

· Skipping rope x1

Similar News

 

Truekrav hosts GBV talk

16 hours ago | Education

Truekrav Namibia, in cooperation with the Namibian Women’s Society and Kosmos, hosted a gender-based violence (GBV) talk on Thursday at the NG Church in Pioneers...

Radio: The theatre of the mind

16 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth JosephOn 13 February UNESCO celebrated the eight edition of World Radio Day under the theme ‘Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace’.On this day people around the...

Medical graduates settle until appeal

16 hours ago | Education

Foreign trained medical graduates protesting a pre-internship test they failed in November 2018, which they criticised as unfair and discriminatory and want annulled, have reached...

Hostel a threat to lives

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Education

The Kavango West education directorate continues to subsidise a dilapidated church hostel at Nkurenkuru, despite a 2010 directive by the health ministry that it must...

Oneeya classes resume

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Education

Oneeya Combined School learners in the Omusati Region's Okalongo constituency resumed classes yesterday, after a boycott initiated by parents on Tuesday.Omusati education director Laban Shapange...

Oneeya parents withdraw children from school

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Education

Parents of Oneeya Combined School learners on Tuesday withdrew their children from classes until further notice, following the removal of grade 10 classes from the...

Think before you post

1 week ago - 12 February 2019 | Education

Elizabeth JosephOn the 5 February, Safe Internet Day (SID) was celebrated. The event was held under the leadership of the Ministry of Gender Equality and...

Unam top brass vie for Nust post

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Education

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) will today conduct interviews that will pave the way for the appointment of a successor to long-serving...

School celebrates N$750k bus

1 week ago - 06 February 2019 | Education

Parents and learners at Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Senior Secondary School, who attended the school since 2012, have raised over N$750 000 to buy a...

Containerised classroom inaugurated

2 weeks ago - 05 February 2019 | Education

Michelline Nawatises“The Good Samaritan in the Bible teaches us a few important lessons. This man was moved by compassion. He stopped, while others focused on...

Latest News

Ondangwa creates 'home' for illegal...

16 hours ago | Government

ONDANGWA – The Ondangwa Town Council plans to relocate over 100 illegal settlers from Uutala to the Onantsi area, where it recently serviced 120 plots.Uutala...

Gold at two-week high on...

16 hours ago | Business

Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than two weeks yesterday as the US dollar weakened on hopes the United States and China...

Noordoewer seeking status as a...

16 hours ago | Government

NOORDOEWER – The councillor of the Karasburg West Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, has urged government to consider proclaiming the settlement of Noordoewer a town as the...

No retrenchments at ODC, NDC

16 hours ago | Government

The head of the newly established Namibia Industrialisation Development Agency (NIDA), Uparura Kuvare, says no staff members of the former Offshore Development Company (ODC) and...

Drought fear looms large

16 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia faces a 150 000-tonne grain shortfall by the end of April this year, as...

Two in court after record...

16 hours ago | Justice

ILENI NANDJATO Northern businessmen Paavo Hatutale (47) and co-accused Nicodemus Shekunyenge (21) appeared before the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with...

No limits for Doeseb

16 hours ago | People

Michelline Nawatises Axali Doeseb has been playing ice hockey since 2003.Every day after school he would jump the Tagesheim aftercare centre’s fence to watch...

The weight of expectation

16 hours ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

The lack of sexual ideology...

16 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena Not only does thinking about sex matter, it matters more to humanity than sex in itself. There are many instances of the...

Load More