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Ndama community threatens to protest over location of new school

The community of Ndama East informal settlement at Rundu has threatened to demonstrate on Friday if the construction of a new government school continues at Ndama West instead of Ndama East.The community started an illegal primary school which operated…

The community of Ndama East informal settlement at Rundu has threatened to demonstrate on Friday if the construction of a new government school continues at Ndama West instead of Ndama East.

The community started an illegal primary school which operated under trees at Ndama East with a total number of 335 learners.

A decision was then taken to formalise the school with the Ministry of Education officially granting approval for it to be constructed in Ndama West, after several visits from officials from the education directorate, Rundu Town Council and the Rundu Urban councillor.

Spokesperson of the community members Paulus Ndumba told Nampa on Wednesday that the community is unhappy as they did raise their concerns of building the new school far from the existing ‘illegal’ school and where the majority of the people reside, with the regional leadership.

He said the leadership made promises that the new school would be built in Ndama East, stating that they even have the minutes where these decisions were made.

“If it wasn’t due to the establishment of an illegal school, the directorate would not have secured funds for a new school. Thus, for this reason and others we are going to demonstrate on Friday,” Ndumba said.

Approached for comment, Acting Director of Education in the Kavango East Region Christine Shilima said the Ministry of Education indeed granted approval to construct a new school with 14 classrooms at Ndama West with proposed employment of 17 teachers and a principal.

“The contractor is August 26 which has commenced with the work. Stopping the construction work and relocating it to Ndama East is going to cost the ministry close to N.dollars 400 000,” she explained.

She also said constructing a school in Ndama East would’ve been impossible as her office was confronted by residents who have mahangu fields there and who were demanding compensation if they were to relocate.

Shilima further said that she took up the community’s concerns with the ministry who replied that they did not see the need to halt the construction currently underway as there are additional costs involved.

The new school being constructed is close to 900 metres away from the existing school.

Source: NAMPA