NamPol intervenes at Paheye Primary School in Omaruru

This week members of the Namibian Police had to cut down locks from the gates of Paheye Primary School in Omaruru after parents changed the locks on the gates on Monday and refused to remove them to keep learners from entering the school premises. The incident is directly linked to parents’ dissatisfaction with the exodus of good teachers who are not happy with the school anymore.
Parents allegedly locked down the school after they learned that teachers at the school were resigning due to various issues with the school’s Principal, Martha Garises.
According to sources, a total of 430 learners of Paheye Primary School did not attend school on Monday due to the lockdown. The showdown between parents and the principal started at the beginning of the year when Garises was appointed as the school principal.
Parents were not happy with the Ministry of Education’s decision and felt that Garises did not have sufficient qualifications compared to Wilhelmine Mate, who was the acting headmaster.
The Namibian Police’s Regional Commander in Erongo, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu confirmed to namib times he ordered police officers at Omaruru to intervene in the matter.
He instructed police officers to tell the parents to remove the changed locks.
“I told them if the parents refuse to remove the locks, the officials should cut them. That was done and so some pupils are going to school now, but not everybody is going to school because the influence is so big.
Some pupils, who want to attend school, are left to do so. Others stay away in solidarity with dissatisfied parents, said Commissioner Nelumbu.
Nelumbu says the “situation is very bad” because some people do not think of the future of the children.
He added that he has letters on his table from parents of pupils at Paheye Primary School. “They are notifying us that they want to have a peaceful demonstration from 10-30 November. I informed the station commander at Omaruru to inform them that we have no problem with a demonstration, as long as they are doing it at least 500 metres away from the school premises. Learners who want to attend school should not be affected in any way”.
If these guidelines are not ho-noured, we cannot allow the demonstration to continue, said Commissioner Nelumbu.
Nelumbu also explained the parents do not even have a petition attached to their letter.
“The parents fail to understand that their solution is not at the school but at the Ministry of Education. The principal is already their target in this whole thing and they have no answer for the children, unless they go to the ministry of education. We are observing that school.
We have deployed police officers at the school.” Garises could not be reached for comment.

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