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Teaching Jobs Bickering Resolved At Karanawa Village

By: Annakleta Haikera

Three voluntary teachers who helped start a school in Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West region are crying foul after none of them were employed when the school was formalised.

Thomas Simbundu, who doubled a security guard and a volunteer teacher at the Karanawa Primary School, is unhappy about the results of interviews conducted for teaching posts  at the school in June this year.

According to Simbundu, the residents at Nkurenkuru established a project primary school called Karanawa with 114 learners, which since has  gone down to 88.

He and three other colleagues have worked there as volunteer teachers since January but when teaching posts interviews for the school were conducted, he did not make it to the interview, while his two colleagues did not make it to the oral interview.

He explained that he used to work as a security guard to enable him to buy copy paper to make copies for the children. He also claims he used to buy stationery for the learners as well as some other items needed at the school. But all these went to waste as he was not included in the interviews held at the school, he protested.

“I am a Unam [University of Namibia] graduate in the educational field but have been unemployed ever since I graduated. When the community started with the project school, I saw a chance to offer my skills and knowledge to the learners, even though I was doing two jobs at the same time. I am so disappointed in the outcome of the interview. I just want to make it clear to the [Regional] Directorate of Education that it was not fair for the three of us who worked at the school tirelessly from the beginning of this year,” Simbundu added.

Pontianus Musore, the Director of Education in Kavango West, in a letter dated 20 December 2021, said acknowledged receiving a document titled, “A proposal to establish a Primary School at Karanawa village” with a list of 114 proposed learners attached, who qualified for pre-primary and Grade 1.

However, in June 2022 an official application for the proposed school was made with the necessary documents attached.

“The application was looked at by the Central Management Committee, where it was recommended that the period June 2022/23 be preparatory years pending the budget to establish a school. The community was encouraged to mobilise financial resources,” Musore told The Villager.

He also noted that his office visited the site this year in January after being alerted by the team that they have started with their voluntary teaching of pre-graders.

According to him, it was discovered that learners that were eligible for Grade 1 were being taught alongside the pre-graders and were then removed to go to Kulisuka Primary School, and they were left with only 88 learners.

“My office was also visited by the volunteers and an indirect inquiry was made on the possibility of employment, should the envisaged school be formalised. It was explained to the team that there was no automatic employment. Their volunteering exercise was entirely their own initiative and positions, once secured, will be advertised for all interested qualifying individuals to apply. When the positions were advertised, the advert was shared with the concerned members,”  the Director explained further.

Musore also indicated that recruitment of teachers at the proposed school at Karanawa village was initially negatively received by the community, who allegedly did not support the idea of interviews as they wanted the volunteers to be automatically employed because of the role they played in the preparation of the school.

He said that the community eventually understood that the volunteers needed to compete with others for the teaching jobs.

The written interviews were held on 27 June together with the oral interview and only one of the volunteers made it to the oral interviews.

Community members stormed the interview venue, fighting for the inclusion of the volunteers but later apologised for their behaviour, with  some representatives submitting a letter of apology for their action on 28 June 2023.

Elizabeth Ndondi, a member of the concerned group and who serves on the local development committee at the Karanawa village, said that they have apologised for inconveniences caused by the incident which disrupted the interview process.

A meeting was held last week Wednesday between the Karanawa community members and the Inspector of the Kandjimi Circuit, Nerombu Karondo, in which the community members were informed to be at liberty to withdraw the area earmarked for the school, but they later apologised and said they agreed to all the government processes and policies.

Annakleta Haikera

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