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Pupils sleep on ground in huts covered with plastic

PUPILS at Mbururu Primary School in the Katjinakatji circuit of the Kavango West region sleep in traditional huts covered with plastic.

Conditions at the school were exposed when photos of the makeshift school hostel were widely circulated on social media.

The school’s pupils sleep in huts covered with plastic and on the ground without mattresses. They also cook their meals using firewood.

Kavango West education director Pontianus Musore confirmed the dire conditions of the school when The Namibian spoke to him yesterday.

He said he became aware of the school’s situation during a regional school visit.

Musore said there are 10 pupils who reside in the structures – four boys and six girls.

“These pupils were supposed to attend other schools but their parents refused that their children go far from their homes, so we accommodated them there,” he said.

According to Musore, the directorate is planning to construct a community hostel for the school’s pupils.

“We have a lot of uneconomical schools in the region and that is a challenge as well. There are also few hostels in the region, which cannot accommodate every learner,” he said.

School principal Siteketa Enersiana said they only managed to accommodate 10 pupils in the structures, although they were supposed to have 43 pupils.

She said the school has a total of 117 pupils, running from pre-primary level to Grade 5.

“These learners travel 13 kilometres to school every day and that is why we are trying to accommodate some at the school. We have two traditional huts and one corrugated iron sheet room,” Enersiana said.

She said those accommodated in these structures were admitted to other schools that are situated far away, and some of those schools can only accommodate pupils up to Grade 4.

“The decision to accommodate them came up when we held a meeting with the school board and the parents. We agreed to keep accommodating them here. Our situation was only known by the previous acting education director, but Musore was not aware of it,” she said.

The school has five teachers and is situated approximately 46 kilometers from Tondoro village, which is about 30km east of Nkurenkuru.

“At the school, we only have two permanent structures and three corrugated iron sheet rooms. Grades 2 and 3 are taught in the same building,” Enersiana said.

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