Kids wait in vain

Four years after a school project was given the green light, the over 3 000-strong Mix settlement still waits in vain.

09 November 2018 | Education

Parents and children living in the poverty-stricken Mix settlement north of Windhoek were handed another blow in October when deep cuts to the education budget dashed their hopes that a school will be built there this year.

The Mix settlement primary and secondary school has been on the cards for over four years but to date the only activity on the plot set aside for the school was the erection of a perimeter fence.

In 2014, after it was revealed that hundreds of Mix children had dropped out of school because of unaffordable transport costs to Windhoek, the education ministry announced the school project.

In this year's main development budget for the education ministry tabled in March, N$10 million was allocated to the school project in 2018/19.

Last month, however, the budget was slashed by about N$7.9 million, leaving just over N$2 million to be spent on the project in the current financial year.

In contrast, not a cent was slashed from the defence ministry's development budget of nearly N$435.5 million for 2018/19.

The cost of the school project is estimated at N$131.5 million.

The school is to cater for 600 learners and the plan makes provision for 32 classrooms.

The project has been on the books of the education ministry since April 2014 and was scheduled to be finished by March 2022.



A serious struggle

For parents at the settlement, unrealised promise is worrying.

“The schools are so far, and the councillors and government talk too much, but do little,” the mother of an eight-year-old boy says.

Miriam Shikongo pays N$500 for her son's school transport each month.

She says a school nearby could significantly change their quality of life, considering the savings on transport.

Samuel Paulus says it took difficult negotiations with taxi drivers to agree on the N$500 discounted monthly fee to drive children to school and back.





He says some parents pay more than N$1 000 a month, especially after the taxi fare increases.

“You find many here who cannot afford to send their children to school. Transport costs are always talked about here,” he said.

He said it's difficult to point a finger at anyone, but it does come down to the government's priorities.



Food off the table

Others say the cost of school transport takes food from their children's mouths.

“You pay N$500 per child to send them to school, just for the transport. But we only earn N$1 000 a month or less, so then there is no money left for food for the children. It's heart-breaking,” Norman Ashikale told Namibian Sun this week.

He said Mix residents struggle to travel to supermarkets, clinics and hospitals in town, besides the hardship of living in an area without toilets, electricity and other necessities.

“There is money, but people eat it up, and you wonder where the money went. Until when must we live like this?” he said.

Ashikale also criticised local councillors, who don't live in the area and seldom pay a visit to see their circumstances.

Elina Iyambo pays N$1 000 a month to send her two children to school, but says there are days she simply can't afford the cost and keeps them at home.

She sells homebrew and other items at a small shop and says emergencies often crop up, which means the children must stay home as there is no money for transport.

Municipal buses service the area only on national holidays.

“I have no money to move closer to town or to the schools. I live here because I have no choice,” Iyambo says.

In 2014, an estimated 3 000 people lived at Mix Settlement. Residents say the number has likely more than doubled since then, though no recent numbers could be confirmed.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Reading the signs

5 days ago - 20 August 2019 | Education

Ester KamatiSince May 2011, Hazel Josob has been the principal teacher at the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (CLaSH)...

Taking calculated risks

5 days ago - 20 August 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati Mercy Namases, who was born in Okombahe village, describes herself as a dynamic young lady with an outstanding personality. She exudes confidence in...

Students vent over unpaid fees

1 week ago - 16 August 2019 | Education

Justicia Shipena Student leaders say there is a delay in the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) paying out tuition and non-tuition fees...

Two giants come together

1 week ago - 16 August 2019 | Education

On 14 August, MTC and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) gathered at the Nust chambers to formally announce the signing of memorandum...

Good Samaritan ploughs back

1 week ago - 13 August 2019 | Education

Michelline NawatisesKaleb Haipinge, a self-employed visual artist, parent and community member, donated building material of N$10 000 on 6 August to the A. Shipena Secondary...

Getting lost in the pages

1 week ago - 13 August 2019 | Education

Michelline NawatisesThe First Lady of Namibia Monica Geingos provided the last of the three mentorship sessions with the learners at the KAYEC Trust after-school centre....

Probe into kindergarten beating

1 week ago - 13 August 2019 | Education

Parents whose children were allegedly assaulted by a teacher at Rehoboth Primary School have opened a case of assault with the police. A...

Union condemns suspension of health training centres

1 week ago - 13 August 2019 | Education

NAMPA The Namibia Nurses Union (NANU) has condemned the suspension of the national health training centres under the health ministry where enrolled nurses, pharmacist assistants...

A holistic approach to education

2 weeks ago - 09 August 2019 | Education

Evany van Wyk With a humble start in a one-bedroom apartment, one laptop and offering only a few courses, Lingua has grown into a fully-fledged...

Providing learning opportunities for the job market

2 weeks ago - 09 August 2019 | Education

JUSTICIA SHIPENA On 2 August, Sanlam Namibia took in eight students from the University of Namibia (Unam), University of Science and Technology (Nust) and International...

Latest News

Soldier charged with shebeen burglaries

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Crime

A member of the Namibia Defence Force has been arrested in connection with burglaries at six shebeens at Okakango location in Ondangwa.Operation Kalahari members have...

Letting the big fish swim

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Columns

Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa has opened a Pandora's Box, following her revelations this week that any hopes of Namibia recovering the over N$600 million lost in...

Swapo threatened with court action

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Politics

Five Swapo members have threatened to take the party to court if their demand for the re-run of the Otjiwarongo district renewal of mandate process...

Dumpsite scramble

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Environment

Several municipalities are moving fast to comply with the ministry of environment's new regulations, which require towns to obtain environmental clearance certificates for their dumpsites.So...

Khomas elects Swapo 'pot' contenders

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Politics

The Swapo leadership in the Khomas Region have elected businesswoman Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun and 30-year-old City of Windhoek councillor Ian Subasubani to stand as National Assembly...

Land acquisition fund deemed unnecessary

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Agriculture

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee questioned the existence of the Land Acquisition and Development Fund because government already has a finance system...

Certified royalty

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

King Tee Dee, formerly known as The Dogg, is an artist who has come full circle. After many years spent dominating the music scene by...

Battling creative exhaustion

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Columns

We have all heard this advice before - we can't continue to be productive and creative if we exhaust ourselves, or if we fail to...

The Fashion Soireè returns

2 days ago - 23 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Hosted by three of Namibia's fashion darlings; Reinhard Mahalie, Jay Aeron and Rumano Fabrishh, The Fashion Soireè is the first of its kind in Namibia.More...

Load More