Hostel to stop cohabiting

A hostel is to be built at Omungwelume Senior Secondary School to stop the cohabiting of boys and girls in shacks.

11 June 2019 | Education

Ohangwena governor Usko Nghaamwa has delivered over 58 000 bricks for the construction of school hostel at Omungwelume Senior Secondary School.

This follows a Namibian Sun exposé in March in which it was alleged that some Omungwelume pupils were cohabiting like husband and wife in shacks where they are staying, because of the lack of a school hostel.

On 22 June, the school, in collaboration with Nghaamwa's office, will host a fundraising event and gala dinner to raise money for the construction of a hostel.

School patron Kleopas Kapweya told Namibian Sun over the weekend that following the media report, they started receiving support from individuals.

A company, through Nghaamwa's office, donated over 58 000 bricks, while Queen Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu of OuKwanyama has also expressed an interest in supporting the school.

“After that report we got calls from people declaring their interest to assist in the establishment of the school hostel at the school. The governor has already delivered the bricks donated to his office and a cow he donated himself, while the queen is yet to pronounce herself. We are, therefore, calling on everyone interested assisting the hostel construction at Omungwelume Secondary School to either come to the gala dinner and fundraising event on 22 June or just contact us,” Kapweya said.

He said he had made a section of his mahangu field available a few years ago for the construction of a hostel.

“Omungwelume location does not give a good environment for learners to live or stay in on their own. Learners come from far places to a school that does not have hostel. They are now squatting in a location, and that is where they are staying to attend school, and we are not happy with the way we are seeing them behave here,” Kapweya said. Principal George Nanghanda confirmed that Nghaamwa had delivered over 58 000 bricks to the school.

Nanghanda said the bricks will make a significant impact towards the construction of the hostel.

“We are thankful for what the governor is doing. We are just calling on interested people to come forward and assist the governor's effort to construct a hostel at our school,” said Nanghanda.

Nghaamwa said the sponsor's name will be made public during the fundraising event.

Omungwelume Senior Secondary School is a non-boarding school that hosts learners from all over the region. Learners are accommodated in shacks at the settlement.

About 118 grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils are also currently being accommodated at a rundown property bought by the Ohangwena regional council, following an instruction from Nghaamwa.

Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo has, however, tasked regional education director Isak Hamatwi to find suitable alternative accommodation for the learners, before they are evicted from the council property.

Shilongo said the property at Omungwelume, for which the government paid N$6 million, was not bought so it could be used as a school hostel.

Kapweya said during a previous interview with Namibian Sun: “Parents have sent their learners to school, but here they are 'married' in shacks where they are staying. There is no one to control them since they are not living within the school.”

Concerned parents say Ohangwena is vast and the non-boarding school is taking in learners from all corners of the region - a situation that forces learners to take any available accommodation.

Grade 10 learners from as far as Okongo, Oshikunde, Epembe, Omundaungilo, Omauni, Ekoka and many other far-flung places are renting at Omungwelume to attend school there.

ILENI NANDJATO

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