NGSIP MEDIA RELEASE
Learners of two rural schools in the Omaheke Region will be welcomed by brand new hostels and other educational amenities when they start the new academic year, thanks to the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP).
The Deputy Minister of Economic and National Planning Commission, Lucia Iipumbu presented these much awaited Christmas gifts to learners, teachers and residents of the two rural communities on 30 November and 1 December 2016 at Otjombinde and Otjinene Constituencies in the Omaheke Regions respectively.
The Helena Primary and Otjiuaneho Primary school received the support. The millions of dollars pumped into building school infrastructure, by the NGSIP is continuing to benefit the communities and schools in the country.
Iipumbu and delegation last week kick-started a whirlwind four-day tour of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions to hand over four completed communities initiated projects.
The NGSIP supported the construction of four fully-furnished hostels, ablution facilities, fully-equipped kitchens, dining halls, housing units for teachers, informal kitchens, as well as rehabilitation of the existing toilet block and dry latrines at a cost of around N$6 million.
The Helena Primary school in the Otjombinde Constituency was the first to receive their gift with Iipumbu emphazing that school infrastructure remains a critical issue on the Namibian social agenda to provide equal access to quality education facilities as provided for in the Namibian Constitution which demands equity and equality in the provision of services and amenities to the nation.
“With the rate of youth unemployment I believe that the only solution is the investment in education of our children, especially at primary level is key to all opportunities,” she said.
The Deputy Minister added that the learners should be encouraged to grab the opportunity to be in school. "I say to each one of you that it is now your responsibility to make sure that you study hard, because if you don't, you will be left behind," Iipumbu cautioned.
Iipumbu speaking at the handing over of completed school hostels and other educational infrastructure at the Otjinaueho Primary School in the Omaheke region. “With the high rate of youth unemployment I believe that the only solution is investment in the education of our children, especially at the primary level,” she said. “They need to be motivated to take education seriously because it is not good enough to just be in school, but more importantly it is to be in school and study hard and pass with good marks so that they can assist and form part of the process of developing this beautiful country Namibia,” she said.
At the Otjihuaneho Primary school handing over ceremony Iipumbu said that the handing over of the infrastructure is in line with the directive of President Hage Geingob, who continues to prioritise education especially in the Harambe Prosperity Plan (HPP) plan. She went on to say that: "the President has ensured that during the Harambee period the Government will ensure that school infrastructure delivery across the country will be accelerated." She said this has been demonstrated through the allocation of the biggest chunk of the national budget to this very important sector.
Iipumbu further reiterated her call she made at the Helena Primary School that the learners must make good use of the facilities being provided for their education and to jealously guard them against vandalism. "We want you to work hard to become the next Governor of the Omaheke Region, as we don't want you to stand on the street corners after your experience here. So start now, as the tools are available to you," the youthful Deputy Minister urged.
For his part, Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Uetele expressed appreciation for the new hostels and educational infrastructure on behalf of the Regional Directorate of Education, the school board, students and staff as well as the entire region. He thanked the NGSIP and NPC for the assets, and promised to wisely utilize the infrastructure for the betterment of the learners and that of the inhabitants of the region. "The Namibian Government on its own may not be able to achieve all our national development goals. All of us need to harness the energies and resources of the entire nation,” he said. “The creation of an environment conducive for development through gestures of such a nature is the foundation to improving our people’s lives and it leads to sustainable development,” he further stressed.
“I would like to express my gratitude for this infrastructure. We are firmly committed to use these infrastructures for the prosperity of our learners,” he promised. This much-awaited Christmas gift at this school has been long overdue because of the fact that the construction of the hostel facilities was supposed to have been completed long time ago but the first contractor absconded and was consequently fired as a result. However, the second contractor completed the construction in a record time of four months.
The infrastructure were handed over as part of the continuing NGSIP programme aimed at accelerating the educational infrastructure development at schools.
Also making remarks at the event was the head of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Development Cooperation Desk, Gaby Lafin who promised that her country will continue to support Namibia especially in the education sector. She emphasized that education is the “only legitimate means” to upward mobility in society. According to Lafin her Government sees development policy as a policy for the global future, adding that Namibians would only have a better future if they collectively participated in shaping it. “A development policy is only effective when it motivates people to get involved and also when it unleashes potential, when it opens up opportunities and enables people to take ownership of their lives,” she said. We want a development policy which gets the people going, which creates new opportunities, which sets free new individual power, which gives hope to all who are just starting out, which helps develop talents. What we want is ‘Minds for Change.’ “I believe our common development policy is not a relationship of giving and receiving development aid. It is the capacitating of key actors in their own development. It is only with people receiving a sound education that they are able to take control of their destiny and independently shape their own economic, social and political development.”