By: Justicia Shipena
Erongo education director Ernfriede Stephanus said that Rukwangali speaking parents in Walvis Bay sent out the wrong information regarding the ministry removing the language at a school in the town.
This comes after the angry parents crowded at Seaside Primary School, demanding for Rukwangali to be introduced into the school.
According to Stephanus, they are not refusing to take in learners for that subject.
However, it has been said that it is an issue of population in Erongo and the number of learners that they are region is having.
Stephanus told The Villager that during their meetings with my language, my identity group it exposed posed that they are experiencing challenges in offering the subject for grade 1 learners.
“If already now in grade 1 we only had 11 learners, we started to look at whether we have enough learners in the community. So they see can continue the language in the school,” she said.
Hence she said, they will be left with an option to combine grades to form one class for a single teacher.
She expressed that the group came up with a list of 24 learners in those meetings.
“With the 24 learners, when the school started this year and schools started to plan, principals realised that Rukwangali parents are not forthcoming.”
Stephanus said that in any other language, fewer learners are moved to schools that offer them those languages.
“Then we will only go time with grade 2 until we have enough learners to reintroduce the school’s language.
Furthermore, on Monday, 10 January, Stephanus said the parents turned up at the school, and only four of those parents were on the list indicating only four learners to be enrolled.
After that, she said they had asked parents who wished for their child to be taught Rukwangali to come forth.
“Only 16 parents listed their names ever since Monday until now. No parents also showed up with documentation for the learners to be enrolled,” she said.
Stephanus further added that they cannot allow a situation like this and said they are more than willing to accommodate any language.
“The language policy is clear, but we need to have enough learners for a grade.”
Speaking on Wednesday, she explained that the first 36 learners for Rukwangali were enrolled in 2018.
“The norm for one teacher versus learners for primary is one to 30, but due to space circumstances, sometimes we push them up to 40 learners.”
In 2019 the school enrolled 32 learners for grade 1 and 37 for grade 2 for the language.
“In 2020, there were 33 learners for grade 1 and 34 for grade 2 and 36 for grade 3. In 2021, this is where the problem came, there were only 11 grade 1 learners. She stressed that there could not provide a teacher for that specific grade,” she stressed.
In this vein, the region has then decided to introduce multi-grade teaching.
“This is where we combined the eleven learners from 2021 with the grade 2 of 2021, which came up to 29 learners altogether.”
Stephanus also called on parents to work together with the ministry in good faith for the sake of the Namibian child.
“We are still waiting for them until Friday to see whether we have enough learners to introduce them to the language.”
Established in 2017, the school is home to about 1 000 learners.