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Memorial School down memory lane

by Kaula Nhongo

As a victim to the once-feared Unita rebels  who used to cross into the country from neighbouring Angola, the Memorial School has risen from the ashes of its troubled past.

The school is slowly making a big difference in the lives of the community members of Omega 3 in the Caprivi Region as school children now have a place to pursue education.

There was a time when the villagers of Omega 3, situated some 172km from Katima Mulilo were terrorised by Unita; then a rebel group that fought against the Angolan government but is currently an opposition party in Angola.

The school that has a total of about 370 learners, with 38 of them in every class, has seen more misfortunes than any other in the country’s history but has managed to pull through and keep afloat. The kids face a lot of challenges, which have hindered them from excellence.

Mishack Masane; one of the English teachers at the school expressed his concerns about the learners.

“I have been teaching here for three years now. My main concern is that there is a shortage of text books, which has made it difficult for the kids to grasp the different concepts that we try to teach them” he said.

There is no electricity at the school and the school personnel have to travel to Katima Mulilo just to make copies.

Some of the kids drop out of school due to frustration as they feel as though they are not learning anything.

“At the beginning of the year, there will be about 38 students in a class but by the end of the same year, there will only be about 24, because some end up not coming to school,” said Masane.

According to Masane Omega 3 Village is poverty-stricken and thus most of the school kids end up not going to school, because they will be busy looking for food for their respective families.

One of the other problems these kids face is the shortage of water at the school as there is only one water point for the whole village.

Distraught villagers bemoan the fact that the approximate 3000 people living in Omega 3 Village have to use a single water point.

When the scholars get sick, their teachers struggle to get them to health facilities as the nearest clinic is 40km away from the village.

While the 12 teachers at Memorial School are trying their best to give these kids an education, they can only reach certain extents with the barely available resources.

Their plight is there for the Government to see what to do to help them out. Even though they get Government relief once a year, it seems not enough as there has been no change for a very long time.