The Namibian 2017-09-11, by Ndanki Kahiurika
The Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) made its final project handover of a N$7 million school at Ovitoto on 8 September 2017.
NGISP is an initiative between Namibia and Germany set up in 2004 with the aim to support those who have suffered atrocities at the hands of the then German colonial government.
Since inception, over N$540 million was spent on the initiative's 263 projects, which include schools and livestock provision, among others.
The Oruua Pre-primary and Primary School is situated at Ovitoto's Oruua settlement, and has six hostel blocks for boys and girls, six classrooms, an administration office, a kitchen as well as a dining hall and a borehole for water supply.
The school, which also has houses for teachers, currently has two teachers caring for 60 pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 3.
German ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga gave a history of his country's involvement in supporting Namibia, and also spoke about the scars left by the then colonial government, which were later deepened by the South African apartheid regime.
He said all atrocities committed have made it difficult for an independent Namibia to undo the political, economic and social results of the previous decades, hence the German resolution of 1989 which saw to it that Namibia became a priority for Germany in terms of support from the Federal Republic.
“This history of Germany's development support reminds us that of course it did and still does take place in the wider context of our historical relations.
Acknowledging this fact does not mean that anybody wants to set this off against anything else. But the larger context within which this happens needs to be kept in mind,” he noted.
Schlaga said it is thus justified to “acknowledge the great and important steps” that Germany has taken during the last 27 years towards a normalisation of the relationship between Germany and Namibia.
Deputy minister of economic planning Lucia Iipumbu said she is happy as the project is in line with government's national plans to prioritise education, while urging the community to look after the school's property so that it does not fall apart.
The Ovaherero Traditional Authority's chief Vipuira Kapuuo also expressed happiness that the school has finally been fully constructed, and that children whose parents are forced to go and live in shacks in Windhoek, just to send their children to school, can now come back home.