Namibia: Okakarara Primary Classrooms Declared Uninhabitable

Following a detailed building inspection by the regional education directorate of Otjozondjupa, over seven classrooms of the Okakarara Primary School were declared unsafe and uninhabitable for learners and teachers.

A few weeks ago, about seven classrooms at the school were severely damaged and their roofs blown off by strong winds and heavy rainstorms, which left over 650 learners stranded with no access to classes.

Government and various stakeholders have since come to the school’s rescue through the donation of over 15 large tents, to cater for learners and teachers across all grades.

A detailed building inspection was recently conducted in collaboration with the line ministry, and the findings were that the classroom buildings were badly shaken and roofings extensively damaged for the classrooms to be used partly and fully by learners and teachers in their current state.

School principal Erastus Martin yesterday shared with New Era that the situation has not been easy at the school, as teachers and learners are forced to battle with heavy downpours while in the tent classes.

Four tents have been allocated to grade four learners and will accommodate about 45 learners, while grade five and six learners have also been allocated four tents to accommodate a combined 87 learners. About 140 learners from grade seven are currently sharing four tents.

“It is not an ideal situation right now, as we are currently getting rain showers and that is making it difficult for the learners and teachers to go about their business in class.

The tent ropes and pins are also a big hazard to our little ones and on some days, we find the tents collapsed and we need to erect them from scratch for classes to start.

It is not easy, but we are hopeful the government will start with renovations as soon as possible,” said Martin. As a result, the school has suspended pre-primary classes until further notice or at least until the situation is fully under control, as the tents are not safe for pre-primary learners.

“The directorate will soon communicate to us as to how many classes will be renovated and how many will have to be demolished and rebuilt from the start. We will continue to work closely with our ministry until the situation is back to normal,” said Martin.

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