(Xinhua) -- To Elizabeth Murangi, school principal of
Monte Christo Primary Project School in the Namibian capital,
the arrival of two container classrooms on Wednesday means her
students will be able to study indoors.
“This is a great transformation,” said
Murangi, whose school has been housed in temporary tents in the
informal settlement of Havana in the capital.
“We have been conducting our lessons
for grades one to three from temporary tents to meet the
education needs as population escalates in the area in the
face of infrastructure shortages,” she said.
Gerard Vries, Director of Education,
Arts and Culture in the Khomas Region, said that the influx of
people to the Havana informal settlement led the education
ministry to accommodate learners in tents classrooms, while it
builds three permanent schools to absorb the ever growing
population of learners.
More than 110,000 people are living in
informal settlements in Windhoek, with an estimated close to
100,000 living in Havana alone, according to Namibia Statistics
But teaching in tents, according to
Murangi, comes with many challenges.
“For instance, we are now in winter,
the children, when in tents get exposed to adversity of
weather variability. Not only is that, but it is also
costly, and we face technical difficulties in setting up a
conducive classroom environment in a tent. But nevertheless,
we have to groom and educate the children,” she added.
Handing over the container classrooms,
Sven Thieme, executive chairman of the Ohlthaver and List (O&L)
Group of Companies, said that the donation of container
classrooms forms part of the efforts to address teaching
infrastructure shortage in the central region.
The container classrooms are equipped
with standard classroom facilities.
Receiving the donation on behalf of
the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Veno Kauaria,
Deputy Permanent Secretary of Lifelong Learning in the Ministry
said that the establishment of tents and prefabricated
structures are a result of the high demand for school spaces in
the highly populated area.
“Over the years, the ministry has been
battling with insufficient funds to meet the implementation
of its capital projects. The donation of containerized
classrooms will therefore make a huge difference in creating
a conducive teaching and learning environment for the less
privileged groups of society,” said Kauaria.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to
construct permanent schools for children now taught in tents.
Back at the school, by noon, the
students moved to their new classrooms.
“The learners are beaming with hope
and smiles. They got to experience firsthand about how it
feels being in an indoor classroom, a first for all of
them,” said Murangi.