Four rural schools in the Opuwo and Epupa Constituencies of the Kunene Region, benefitted from hostels, water supply and ablution block facilities worth the combined value of N$16,272,625 through the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP), resorting under the Ministry of Economic Planning and National Planning Commission. The Federal Republic of Germany Government through the NGSIP funded the school projects to the tune of N$2,425,727 at Kephas Muzuma School, Otjitanda and Otjetjekua jointly benefitted from an amount of N$2,425,727 while an amount of N$6,542,239 went to Otjitanda Primary School.
Parents, teachers, senior government and regional education officials gathered at three separate events at Otjitanda, Otjotjekua and Kephas Muzuma Primary schools to witness the handover of hostels, classrooms, teachers houses, water installations, ablution blocks, which were identified through a community driven consultative process.
The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and National Planning Commission, Lucia Iipumbu, said "These facilities will be available for the schools and communities to take good care for the benefit of the children and generations to come."
Altogether 25 completed projects will be handed over to the beneficiaries in the Kunene, Erongo and Omaheke Region before the end of the year, which among others include hostels, water installation projects, ablution facilities, commercial centres, community multi-purpose cultural centres and a sports stadium. Iipumbu said the facilities were important as it will nurture the growth of future leaders that will take the country to 2030 and beyond. The youthful Deputy Minister emphasized that in rural communities like Otjitanda, Otjetjekua, Otjondeka and Kephas Muzuma Primary Schools where lifestyle and resources are constrained, providing quality and effective education required a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Iipumbu promised to continue her support to the school and communities through effective planning and implementation of such structures. “We are talking about an industrialized nation by 2030 and if we do not take care of our children today our vision will be meaningless with human capital development. Providing them with conducive learning environment encourages the nation to grow through skills development that will take us where we want to be by 2030," she said. She said that the handing over of the completed projects is a testimony that the Government of Republic of Namibia is committed to upgrading educational and developmental infrastructure.
Quoting from President Hage Geingob's inaugural speech, Ipumbu said "no one should feel left out". Therefore we need to strengthen our base of human resources and reduce the poverty that is still rampant among our communities." “Lastly, let me thank the German Government for supporting our Programme by availing much needed resources through bilateral agreements.’’
Member of Parliament Hon. Bernadette Jagger called on the school authorities to ensure that the hostel facilities are registered with the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture so that it become a Government subsidized infrastructure. According to her, once the hostels are registered learners will receive three meals per day, who currently only rely on the school feeding programme which is only one meal per day. "Currently every weekend these kids have to go home as the school cannot offer them a meal," she said. Jagger expressed her disappointment with the absence of the Councilors and planners at all these hand over ceremonies. "They could have taken charge of these facilities and ensure the possibility of extension of the facilities as they are the planners," she stressed. Heeding the call to register the hostel to the line Ministry, Acting Director of Education in the Kunene Regional Council, Mr. Benny Eiseb, on his part, promised that he would as matter of urgency attend to issues raised by the two officials. "I want to pledge today that I will give the instructions with the powers vested in me to the relevant departments within the ministry. It was so painful to hear that these hostels are not registered. Therefore I will call a meeting with my planner as well as the works inspector," Eiseb said. He also promised that he would conduct a research in order to provide cleaners and security to all the handed over school projects.
Accompanied by the Chief National Development Advisor: Department of Monitoring and Evaluation & Development Partner’s Coordination in the National Planning and Development, Mr. Ned Sibeya, the Deputy Minister also visited the Otavi-Kaoko Combined School, a benefitiary from NGSIP support. In the course of her visit to the schools she met with the schools’ senior management and teachers. The NGSIP, which was to end this year, will also continue until end of the 2016. The special initiative was conceptualized by the Namibian and German Governments and is implemented through the Namibian Planning Commission (NPC) to improve economic standards of communities that had previous interactions with the German colonial government.