Full steam ahead for Vision Schools

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture this week said it was hopeful that the second vision school, the Otjomuise Secondary School, will open in the next academic year.
This is after the first school, the Rukonga Vision School, opened its doors in 2013 in Divundu in the Kavango East Region.
The second Vision School, which is situated in the Otjomuise township in the Khomas Region, will be followed by a third school, the Epembe Vision School, to be opened in the Ohangwena Region.
The move comes after the Ministry noted favourable outcomes from its first Vision School at which 430 learners are enrolled for the 2015 academic year.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry, public relations’ officer Johanna Absalom said the school in Otjomuise will cater for roughly 800 children from grades 8 to 12. The school is being built with a grant of N$120m, which is considered the biggest Chinese investment in informal????
 education so far.
“The Ministry received a grant from the People’s Republic of China for the construction and development of the Otjomuise School in the Khomasdal-North Constituency.
The development of the school culminates from a bilateral agreement signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Namibia.
The school is designed and modelled as per the latest state-of-the-art design and technology,” Absalom noted.
The Epembe Vision School is also underway.
However, it is still in the planning phase. Absalom said the consultants on the school are busy with the documentation process, which will be followed by construction.
This school’s budget for the current financial year is N$6,5m.
Previously, the Rukonga Vision school recorded an impressive 80% pass rate (for learners who scored between A-D, with the former being the lowest grade a learner needs to pass), leaving only 20% of the learners scoring between E-U grades.
This meant that the school came second regionally and eighth nationally when ranked in terms of the overall best-performing schools.
These statistics are impressive in that the children who are enrolled at the Vision School are from marginalised backgrounds, who found it difficult to excel in the normal school system as it was not always at their disposal????
“The Rukonga Vision School was established with the aim to provide and sustain intensive educational support to potential learners from a disadvantaged background between grades 8 to 12 respectively,” Absalom said.
To date, the school caters for not only the learners from within that region, but also all the remaining 13 regions. Enrolment for the school has remained somewhat consistent, with the enrolment rate for grade 8 learners hovering around 120 new learners annually, give or take two learners. A total number of 430 learners are enrolled at the school currently.
Absalom explained that the notion of the Vision Schools is in line with Vision 2030, which provides for the construction of Vision Schools as a strategy to expand access to high-quality and excellent secondary education to children with high academic potential.
Although the school faced serious challenges when it first opened, including the change of its teaching staff and acclimatizing the learners to their new working environment, the school has managed to excel, paving the way for more schools of its kind.
Absalom said the school attributes its success to evening classes, remedial teaching, one-on-one support, holiday classes and extensive revision all contributing to their performance.
“The school has been well-received by the local community and nation at large. This is evident through the support the school has received since its inception in 2013.
The school got help from neighbouring schools, line ministries and departments like the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry; Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources; as well as Correctional Services’ outlets at Divundu and Kamutjonga, respectively.
“The Divundu Settlement Committee, together with the traditional authorities, has also supported the school with water and land needs.
Parents in the surrounding area are the most receptive as their own children were given an opportunity to learn at one of the best schools in the country,” she beamed. –faith@thevillager.com.na