Namibia: desert school transformed – allAfrica.com
STUDENTS at JP Brand Elementary School will soon be living more comfortably and with less fear of Covid-19.
This comes after the construction of ablution facilities and the conversion of old classrooms into dormitories by the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust and its partner, a Germany-based non-governmental organization, Support Ulm eV, for an amount of $ 320,000. Namibians.
In February, The Namibian reported that half of the school’s students had not attended classes since March 2020 due to limited space in the hostel to meet Covid-19 regulations. The students were divided into two groups, with each group attending school for six weeks while the other group stayed at home. After each group left, the school was fumigated, explains school principal Anna-Maldrid Josti. Josti says this arrangement has had an impact on the children’s academic performance.
“Everyone has suffered in this process – the school, the teachers, the learners and the parents. But the learners have suffered the most because they have lost the learning content since last year already,” says -she.
To ensure that all students can return to school, German teacher Heinz Maier from Support Ulm eV, raised 60% of the funds needed to renovate three old classrooms and turn them into dormitories for the 7th grade boys. . Part of the funds raised went towards the construction of ablution facilities, which were supplemented by funds from Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust (OOCT), Coastal Precast and Paving / Suremix, Neo Paints and Conmainren Building Development Projects.
The sanitary facilities consist of two blocks of three showers, three toilets and sinks, one for grade 7 boys and another for grade 3 girls.
OOCT administrator Rudolf Coetzee said education was a priority for the cement manufacturing company.
“The children of JP Brand will be our future cement manufacturers and customers. It’s right to make sure they get an education in a learning environment, ”he says.
The councilor of the urban district of Walvis Bay, Deriou Benson, officiated during the handover of the installations. He called on the captains of industry to join forces with the government for the development of infrastructure.
“Our hearts are overflowing with joy and gratitude. The development of infrastructure is a crucial aspect to consider when we think about the well-being of our community, especially when it is oriented towards future development. Thanks to Professor Maier and the team for all of their efforts to ensure that our children have an environment conducive to their development, ”he says.
JP Brand Primary School is located in the village of Utuseb, 45 km from Walvis Bay, on the banks of the Kuiseb River. The school currently accommodates 280 students from the community of Topnaar, as well as the children of employees of the Walvis Bay fishing factories.
The school has not recorded any cases of Covid-19 due to its location in Namib-Naukluft National Park, as residents of Utuseb only travel to Walvis Bay for necessities.
The school named the toilet block after freelance journalist Ester Mbathera. It comes after a report was written by Mbathera and published by The Namibian earlier this year, from which the project was conceived.