Feature: China-aided schools boost education access in rural Namibia-Xinhua

Feature: China-aided schools boost education access in rural Namibia

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-04-20 18:31:59

WINDHOEK, April 20 (Xinhua) -- In the far-flung village of Mbambi in the Kavango West region in Namibia, local children used to walk long distances to school, but this trauma would soon become a thing of the past with new school facilities to be built with support from China.

One such beneficiary school is the Simanya Combined School in the Mpungu Constituency in the region.

"The completion of a hostel and other facilities at Simanya School will make education more easily accessible for learners, giving us so much hope for the future," said Kativa, an elderly from the village.

The Chinese aid to the school is part of its aid program that seeks to rebuild four rural schools in Namibia's Kavango West and Zambezi regions. The aid program includes the construction of additional facilities such as school hostels, teachers' accommodation, computer laboratories, and sports facilities.

The construction work, marked with groundbreaking ceremonies in March and April this year, is expected to be completed in 12 months.

Egidius Siteketa, school principal of Simanya Combined School, said that the learners are currently battling with various challenges such as walking long distances as far as eight km to access school.

Siteketa said students used to set up temporary shelters near the school to access education with additional chores such as fetching wood to cook after studies, which made it difficult for learning. But with the new hostel facilities, students will get a better environment for learning as well as dining and dwelling.

The headmaster said that besides the construction of a hostel at the school, upgrades to other facilities are anticipated to positively impact the learners' overall performance.

Titus Shuudifonya, the councilor of Mpungu Constituency, said that the construction of facilities has shown the Chinese people's good intention for the children of Namibia.

Ester Nghipondoka, Namibia's education minister said that the Chinese aid would help tackle many challenges the Namibian formal education fraternity faces, particularly the shortage of school infrastructure.

"Chinese-aided facilities will not only address the shortage of space but would create a conducive environment for learning and teaching, subsequently addressing other factors such as school dropouts and early pregnancies amongst learners," Nghipondoka said.

Liu Mingzhe, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, said that the project aimed to contribute to the improvement of local education facilities and the welfare of the local people.

Liu said that China has continued to expand development assistance to Namibia. The Asian country has over the years implemented more than 20 development aid projects in areas of agriculture, transport, education, health, housing, border control, poverty alleviation, and disaster relief in Namibia, according to Liu.