Erongo schools ready

Most schools are ready to welcome students despite obstacles.

16 January 2021 | Education

Benneth Khaibeb, Erongo Education Forum; “Almost all schools have given us the green light in terms of their readiness to resume face-to-face education.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The majority of schools in the Erongo region are ready to resume face-to-face teaching later this month or early in February, says the director of education for the region, Ernfriede Stephanus.

The chairperson of the Erongo Education Forum Benneth Khaibeb agrees.

“Almost all schools have given us the green light in terms of their readiness to resume face-to-face education. My mind is at ease.”

He adds though that there are still a number of what he termed “manageable challenges” that must be addressed before schools in the region can actually reopen for learners.

One such a challenge is water supply to schools in the rural areas.

According to Erongo governor, Neville Andre, the water crisis is a general issue in places such as Daures and that the issue is being looked into.

The vice-chairperson of the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) Swakopmund branch Alina Alicky Imbili, said that this is a serious concern NANTU.

“We know that there is a new Covid-19 variant that is said to be more deadly than the first. We do not think it is in the best interest of our learners and teachers to reopen schools, which were closed last year as a result of the water shortages. This issue has not been resolved.”

However, according to Khaibeb, the Daures area does have a water supply although there is no long-term solution for the water shortage at this stage.

Modes of education

According to Stephanus, schools will operate in a bubble system. This will allow different grades to operate in isolation to mitigate the risk of infecting students with Covid-19.

Parents will also have the option for their children to learn at home provided that a set of guidelines are adhered to.

“For example, if a student is due for testing, the student must show up,” she said.

The director notes that the details of plans to reopen schools are ever-evolving. “We work on our plan on a daily basis and receive weekly updates from the inspectors and stakeholders.”