Local school needs assistance

Flamingo Primary School is hard at work to make itself the primary school of choice in Walvis Bay, despite numerous challenges.

10 September 2019 | Youth

Walvis Bay Leandrea Louw

One of the challenges is a lack of classrooms for the grade 2 pupils, who have to attend afternoon classes.

The school caters for pupils from pre-primary to grade 7, with English as the first medium of instruction.

Currently there are about 1 200 learners across all grades who come from Kuisebmond, Narraville and Walvis Bay proper.

According to Ursula Damens, the principal of the school, in 2016 four additional class intakes were added to grade 1 by the government.

“This resulted in the grade 2s having afternoon classes, so that all the grade 1 pupils could be accommodated. Currently, the grade 2 classes have all been moved to the afternoon, as the grade 1s have seven classes again this year,” she said.

With the grade 2s attending classes in the afternoon this is has resulted in a number of challenges that have put a strain on learners, teachers and parents.

“These learners start school at 12:00 until 16:30, resulting in a shortened school day. Teachers have to share classrooms with the grade 1 teachers. With this, they are not able to set up classrooms to their full capability with sensory teaching aids.

“Parents have to arrange for supervision for their children in the mornings, as they are working. These learners do not partake in mainstream school activities, such as assemblies and events, as they only attend school after these items are concluded.

“Parents cannot arrange for extra tuition for pupils that need assistance, as they are in school when these take place daily. Lastly, with the government budget, there is no possibility of classrooms for the grade 2 pupils being built in the current school year,” Damens said.

She explained that with this in mind, the school management and Grade 2 parents have come up with a strategy to raise funds to build seven classrooms.

“Each classroom will cost approximately N$200 000 for a complete build. Our parents are willing to assist physically with the building of the classrooms, to lower costs and complete the classrooms as soon as possible. These are only eight-year-old learners and we want to bring their routine back to normality as soon as possible.”

Damens said they need monetary sponsorship and/or cement, 6” blocks, windows, doors, electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, building sand, building pebbles, a cement mixer to hire for the foundation and plastering, paint and/or miscellaneous items such as painting trays, paint rollers and trowels.

“Thus far, with the assistance of our parents, community and donors, we have we have reached our halfway mark in constructing the classrooms.”

Santam Walvis Bay recently donated N$150 000 to the school, as part of its corporate social responsibility activities.

“We’re almost there and we are calling on the Walvis Bay community and the country at large to hear our cry to provide classrooms for our little ones,” Damens added.

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