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

 

Unfit and disgusting

13 hours ago | Education

Linus Shashipapo Secondary School principal Faustinus Shikukutu says they are still waiting for a promised government intervention to renovate the school at a cost of...

Ina uvika nawa

2 days ago - 19 November 2018 | Education

Nhlanhla Lupahla okwa popi kutya ye okwa totha mo kutya mokati kaakwashigwana yaNamibia mboka kaye na iilonga yeli po 67 000 moshilongo, momwaalu ngoka omwa...

Ooskola otashi hepeke omeya

5 days ago - 16 November 2018 | Education

Eteteko lyomeya nolusheno mooskola dhomOvenduka, olya kalekwa sho oshikondo shelongo mOshitopolwa shaKhomas sha futuko oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 17 dhoshimaliwa shoomiliyona 32 shElelo lyoshilando shaVenduka, dhoka...

Schools are wasting water

6 days ago - 15 November 2018 | Education

Water and power suspensions at Windhoek schools were put on hold after the Khomas education directorate made a down payment of N$17 million on the...

'Positive parenting' needed

1 week ago - 13 November 2018 | Education

The spirit of the new Education Bill focuses on inclusivity and access, while also strengthening accountability for the sake of quality, says basic education minister...

Schools owe City N$32m

1 week ago - 12 November 2018 | Education

The education ministry, which owes more than N$32.5 million in unpaid water and power bills to the City of Windhoek, has agreed to pay N$15...

Kids wait in vain

1 week ago - 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...

Lights out at three Windhoek schools

1 week ago - 08 November 2018 | Education

At least three Windhoek schools are facing water and power cuts as a result of hefty unpaid municipal debts.The education ministry has criticised the move...

'Toor' met wetenskap

2 weeks ago - 06 November 2018 | Education

Angelina Norval Namibiërs is onlangs deur ’n wetenskap-professor na ’n wonderwêreld weggevoer. Dr. Richard-Emmanuel Eastes, 'n Switserse professor in chemie, het ses Suider-Afrikaanse stede...

Recognising social issues in society

2 weeks ago - 06 November 2018 | Education

Samuel Shimuningeni is an intern social worker from the ­University of Namibia (Unam) and he is currently doing his in­ternship placement at the Gender-Based Violence...

Latest News

Councillors defy Shaningwa

13 hours ago | Politics

A group of Swapo councillors at Rundu are planning to boycott today's town council office-bearer elections due to uncertainty over whether mayor Verna Sinimbo will...

Civil society crucial for democracy...

13 hours ago | Columns

For a nation that is trapped in victimhood when it comes to fighting corruption, holding leaders accountable or simply advocating for the rights of ordinary...

Namibians feel unsafe

13 hours ago | Crime

Namibia is ranked as one of the worst countries when it comes to law and order.The global polling group Gallup has published the results of...

Africa news in brief

13 hours ago | Economics

IMF says optimism in South Africa's economic recovery fadingSouth Africa’s economic recovery plans face serious constraints with growing debt of state firms domestically and capital...

We're not anti-Aawambo - LPM

13 hours ago | Politics

The Landless People's Movement (LPM) is based on solid principles and cannot be compared with the Congress of Democrats (CoD) and Rally for Democracy and...

Kahimise fails to prove urgency

13 hours ago | Justice

Suspended City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise's bid to have his suspension overturned by the Windhoek High Court on an urgent basis has failed.Kahimise now...

Rainfall welcome, but devastating

13 hours ago | Weather

The north-western parts of Namibia, extending along the western escarpment into eastern areas of the Hardap Region, received welcome, but devastating and exceptionally high rainfall...

The Benefits of sustainable investments

13 hours ago | Banking

Claire HobbsIn many first world economies, the effects of global warming continue to manifest as a business reality. In response to this crisis, the Namibian...

Surviving Black Friday

13 hours ago | Banking

Before you head out the door this weekend with a strong cup of coffee, some patience for crowds and comfortable shoes, plan ahead with these...

Load More