Classrooms a persistent problem for schools in 2019 school year

Sharlien Tjambari

Two schools at Swakopmund are facing overcrowded classrooms for the 2019 school year. Hanganeni Primary School and the newly established John /Awaseb Primary School confirmed this week they are full to capacity and a lack of classrooms means they will again have to operate on the platoon system (one school session in the morning and one in the afternoon).

Hanganeni PS has 1299 learners. It has only 22 class rooms and needs an additional 11 class rooms if they want to move away from the platoon system which makes provision for two school days per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Learners in Grades 2 and 3 have no alternative other than to attend classes in the afternoon. It is a challenge, as many don’t have adult supervision at home during the morning.
“With the Grade 1 enrollment this year things went much better than last year”, confirmed Mrs. Bertha Kadhila, the Principal of Hanganeni Primary School. Kadhila is also the Acting Principal of John /Awaseb PS. The presence now of the John /Awaseb PS is the main reason why things went smoother this year, according to Khadila.
The school was established last year in a record time to cater for Grade 1 placements. A total of 11 class rooms were constructed to accommodate. However, the 2018 Grade 1’s are now the Grade 2’s facing a space problem, as the eleven class rooms cannot accommodate two grades.
The only alternative is the platoon system. Six Grade 1 classes and five groups of Grade 2 classes will attend school in the morning, whilst the remaining four groups of Grade 2 classes will attend classes in the afternoon.
The school is not relenting and in the meantime has received a much welcomed sponsorship to construct four additional classrooms, Namib Times were told. Once completed, these new classes will accommodate the four Grade 2 groups who attend school in the afternoon. Hopes are high that this will bring an end to the platoon system.
Another challenge the school faces is school uniforms. Very few learners have uniforms. An average 90% of the learners are coming to school dressed in ordinary cloths and it hampers uniformity.
Kadhila called upon Government to speed up the construction of class rooms, as the problem with space will not end here. The demand for class rooms grow by the year and if more classrooms are not added to cater for the demand, the platoon system is most certainly to return. Each classroom accommodates about 39 learners.

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