NGSIP MEDIA RELEASE
There’s peer pressure at Blouwes Primary school children to go to class, so much so that the school has been recognized by the community for its gains in average daily attendance following the groundbreaking handover of infrastructure support through the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) last year.
Here’s the carrot. The school maintains a high level of attendance, complimented last year by the NGSIP supported incentive through newly built a 48-bed dormitory for boys, a dining hall and kitchen. School authorities thanked the Federal Republic of Germany for the assistance, saying the hostel has now provided a conducive environment for the children.
A year down the line, the kids have so much fun that learners urge one another to regularly attend school, said Wilmina Swartbooi, a parent with a child in the hostel.
Swartbooi urged the learners not to relent, but to work hard and ensure they continue improving on the skills they were displaying from their various respective zones.
Another parent, Johannes Jars, also hailed the NGSIP for the support. He said the communities have become aware of the NGSIP programme and now have a more informed and better understanding.
“The NGSIP is doing a good job and I hope that other business and organisations will emulate their example,” Jars said. “We also hope that the programme will continue to render support to our hostel.” He added that, following the infrastructure support to the hostel, vandalism of school property have decreased significantly.
An NGSIP team that visited the school recently observed that because of the new infrastructure students value their time at school that the authorities encountered an unusual dilemma. Students didn’t want to go home for the summer.
Commenting on the schools’ rapport with the Directorate of Education, a school head and member of the School Committee, Martin Isaacks described the support as a multi-shapping approach to the learners.
“This support has made our school and hostel to become the center of attraction,” he said. “We applaud the NGSIP and Government for availing this golden opportunity to rural schools such as ours. They do not only make use of the new infrastructure but also learn also how to be responsible citizens who can take care of the new buildings,” Isaacks said. “Kids want to be here. They know they need to be here,” said a female teacher who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “The kids do not worry about the challenges post by inappropriate hostel facilities,” Isaacks added.
The teacher, a member of the Project Management Committee (PMC) said students also want to come to school because teachers go to great lengths to make sure they feel welcomed and valued. The new structures replace corrugated iron structures that served as the boys’ hostel, dining hall and open-fire kitchen. The community member urged parents and guardians to relook at what the Government and partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany had done so far and analyse for themselves the positive changes this has brought for the benefit of all. According to Isaacks even the community can now have a place to meet to discuss the future of the school.
When asked about the new hostel, Sam Pieters, one of the learners, said: “I feel great because of what NGSIP has done for me and my school and I love the buildings.” Pieters said the hostel is now “so much better than before” and, on behalf of the school, he was “very grateful to NGSIP for giving us a new home”. The hostel can now rent out the hall to the community members and that way generate income for the hostel, she said.
The NGSIP is operational in the Karas, Hardap, Omaheke, Khomas, Kunene, Erongo and Otjozondjupa regions. It is involved with developments in water infrastructure, livestock farming, schools and hostels, traditional authority offices and commercial centres.
The programme is worth a total of N$480 million and comes to a close at the end of September, unless a new agreement is reached between the German and Namibian governments during a scheduled bilateral meeting later this month. The NGSIP is meant for developmental projects in communities that have historic ties with the German government, such as the Nama, Damara, Herero and San communities. It funds small-scale social and economic infrastructure projects, which benefit the poor and have an impact on reducing poverty.
A young school boy at a table playing video games and studying doing homework for school at Blouwes Primary school in the //Karas Region.