822,000 students enrolled in schools

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION executive director Sanet Steenkamp said 822,000 students have been enrolled in schools across the country this year, while 65,000 reside in hostels.

Steenkamp said the 65,000 students make up just 8% of public school students.

Speaking to The Namibian on Friday, Steenkamp said the ministry spends N$500 million every financial year on hostel catering services.

She added that the government was spending N$22 per child per day on community homes.

“The areas with the most community hostels are Omaheke, Kunene and Otjozondjupa. Community hostels must be built to government hostel standards to qualify for a grant,” Steenkamp said.

She added that the government is making arrangements for community hostels.

“I strongly encourage those considering building community hostels to visit their education departments to build them to government hostel standards,” she said.

Responding to a question about abandoned schools in some areas, Steenkamp said it was due to underpopulation of students.

“These are non-economic schools. These schools sometimes have less than 100 students because some may have moved from villages to cities and we have to close that specific school,” she said.

Remaining pupils are being moved to nearest schools for placement and abandoned schools have been handed over to regional councils to determine what can be done with them, she added.

Speaking at the decentralization and delegation of arts and culture functions from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to regional councils last Friday in Otjiwarongo, Education Minister Anna Nghipondoka said that 1,947 schools are operational nationwide.

She added that 237 hostels are functional with 17 specialized libraries operating across the country.

Nghipondoka added that there are 66 public libraries in service and 503 functional school libraries.

“Regional education offices and teacher resource centers have been delegated to regional councils,” Nghipondoka said.

She added that in 2015, the ministry was joined by the arts and culture directorates to continue the same process of preparing for the delegation of these functions.

“To our delight, the arts and culture functions were officially listed in the Official Gazette on December 16, 2019. Consultations and inductions on the functions to be delegated were made with staff members and regional councils of the November 15-19, 2021,” she said.

Approval was granted by the prime minister’s office on January 20 for 187 staff to be seconded to regional councils, Nghipondoka said.

Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, said that the functions of arts and culture which are decentralized are very important for the development of the country and the people.

He said that the arts and culture sector offers many opportunities for society, as well as benefits for education, economy, society, health and well-being.

Given declining opportunities in sectors that were previously key drivers of jobs and growth, sectors such as arts and culture offer great potential and new opportunities for growth and economic recovery. economy, he said.

“I call on governors and regional councils, with the continued support of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, to take on these essential functions and execute them in a way that develops their full potential and contribution to the improving the betterment of our people and our society,” Uutoni said.

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