New private school opens its doors
Registrations for a fully-fledged private school are now open.
13 October 2020 | Education
PULL QUOTE: Kim Koch, owner and principal: “I am positive that the community of Walvis Bay will assist to see Desert View to its full potential”.
The brand-new Desert View Private School has been established in Walvis Bay.
According to Kim Koch, the owner and principal, the school will accommodate learners from pre-primary to grade 12.
Koch, who is no stranger to the education fraternity, is also the founder of JJ’s Private School, which had to close down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“About 100 learners withdrew from the school since the start of the lockdown, and with that huge financial loss, we had to cut salaries and later retrench teachers as well. “Currently, we are completing the remainder of the school year with the remaining learners.
“We got behind on our rent and we had to forfeit the building as well,” she said.
The building for the new school is currently being repainted and renovated.
“I recently drove past this building and saw that it was for sale. When I arrived in Walvis Bay a few years back and saw the building, I thought it would be perfect for a school. Seeing that it was for sale, I decided to get in contact with the agent who put me in contact with the owner. I gave my offer and here we are!”
She explained that the owner has been gracious enough to waive rent for the rest of the year.
“The owner said that for the first six months of 2021, we will pay a reduced amount, and then pay the full amount from July onwards. This has truly been a huge help because there’s no capital for the new school, since we made such a huge financial loss with JJ’s,” she said.
Koch said Desert View is a new opportunity and a new beginning for her.
“I started JJ’s for my son, Justin, who has cerebral palsy. The objective of the school was to create a safe place for learners with learning disabilities. However, over the years, there have been more downs than ups with JJ’s.”
Meeting parents halfway
Desert View offers 35 classrooms with a variety of after-school activities.
“We will also accommodate the little ones at day care as well. The idea is to be the school that meets parents in the middle. You get the free public schools and the expensive private schools, so we would meet the local community halfway. Despite being a cheaper private school, we will be offering top-notch education. We will be teaching the primary phase learners based on the Namibian curriculum, and the grade 8 to 12s based on the Cambridge international curriculum,” she said.
“Additionally, we will be offering a variety of sports and other activities such as dance, music and art classes.”
Registration for the school is currently open. “We are aiming for at least 150 learners to enrol with us. Sponsors such as BUCO Walvis Bay have come on board to assist us with materials to repaint and renovate the building. Our plan is to have an open day in the next month, so parents can come check out the new school.”
She explained that Desert View will welcome learners from all walks of life. “Even though it is a mainstream school, it will not exclude learners who struggle academically. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to accommodate learners with physical disabilities, but that’s the only limitation.
“Furthermore, it’s truly an emotional affair for me closing down JJ’s since I had the best intentions, but some community members saw it fit to drag its name through the mud. It is heartbreaking since I started JJ’s for Justin, but it is equally exciting to start a new journey with Desert View,” Koch said.
The principal explained that Desert View Private School has no connection to JJ’s Private School.
“This school is brand new and is only opening its doors in 2021. We have a brand-new logo designed by Sharmine Livingston, a brand-new board and a brand-new school uniform. I am very excited!”
Community members are welcome to lend a helping hand with materials for the school, she added.
“If you have anything that is related to school, think of Desert View. It can be anything from curtains to toys. Our plan is also to build desks specifically designed for Desert View. It’s a lot of work, but I am positive that the community of Walvis Bay will assist to see Desert View to its full potential.”