Growing up, one is always told that education is the key to every success, so one has to work very hard in order to achieve greatness.
In essence, the foundation to getting good grades at school starts when one is very little and develops as one grows older through the right navigation and guidance.
When Desire Jacobs decided to start a pre-primary school for the Mayana Village kids, she had a dream to realise; to produce very intelligent upright boys and girls who would grow up to become the leaders of tomorrow.
“The system, in this village set-up, helps the pre-primary kids here learn how to read,” Desire says.
Situated 30km from Rundu town, Mayana Pre-primary School has 43 kids, two classes and three teachers while the Namibian education system requires that 10 kids be assigned to one teacher. Evidently, that is not the case in this school.
The school’s teachers, currently training for an Early Childhood course at Namcol in Rundu town, are very pleased with the progress that these kids show when they go to primary school. Therefore, they feel that a lot of the Mayana people should send their kids to pre-primary schools before going to grade one.
The five-year old pre-primary school, which is sponsored by tourists who come to visit the area, has kids from ages four to six and offers the kids lessons in English, which is then translated to the local languages. They are also taught how to colour and draw. The school uses the Accelerated Christian Education, which is an America teaching system.
A day at the school starts at eight o’clock in the morning till mid-day. Shinguwe Getrude; one of the teachers from the school, walks three kilometres with the kids from home to school in the morning and takes them back home in the afternoon.
The kids (all from the surrounding villages) are offered fruits, porridge and milk while at school. Guests and tourists who visit one of the lodges in the Mayana vicinity donate resources for the school to operate fully since parents cannot afford to pay the N$20 required of them for the school’s daily operations. Main source of income for the parents is fishing (in Kavango River) but there is no fish all the time. The main challenges that the teachers face in this village school is that some of the kids have hearing problems and so their learning pace is different from the rest. The school, which is still developing, cannot take more kids due to lack of class space, however, there is one extra class that is under construction.
The kids have to cross the river enroute to school, so whenever there are floods, the school is closed.
Desire says their dream is to have grade one to three at the school in the near future as well as start an education programme for the parents.
“We also plan to start literacy classes for the parents,” she concludes.