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Chris J Private School making a difference

by Shasimana Uugulu


Down in the remote northern part of Namibia stands a school that has the capacity to become the leading example of an institution that is capable of providing high quality education.
Situated at Onethindi Settlement Area in Oshikoto, Chris J School opened its doors in 2006 as the brainchild by a determined Namibian couple; Israel Mukumba and his wife, Christine, who have unreservedly devoted all their efforts, talents and ideas towards the development of the school. They decided to do this after realising that young children in the area could not communicate in simple English and driven by passion to impart their knowledge and skills in 2003, they conceived the idea of building the school’s infrastructure.
In 2006, the school opened its doors with an initial enrolment of 25 pupils after the Ministry of Education approved the school to enrol up to grade 3.
The school offered three main subjects; English, Science and Mathematics. The following year, the school was granted permission to enrol from pre-school up to grade 7. Currently, the school’s enrolment stands at 352 and provides tuition up to grade 8.
An elated Mukumba told The Villager that the college is unique and has standards above most schools in the country.
“Our vision is to be successful in our endevours as champions in primary, secondary and tertiary education business, unshaken by economic storms or any other man made challenges.”
Chris J Private School’s ultimate goal is to emerge as one of the leading players amongst educational providers. It is against this background that Chris J Private School recognises the critical need to balance the institution’s desire to meet its goals and objectives as well as meeting the learner’s needs and satisfaction.
“The institution, strives to provide highest quality education at competitive prices at all times while upholding professional standards and ethics. Our values are excellence, efficiency, convenience, customer care, diligence, integrity, knowledge, value addition, love and unity,” says Mukumba.
Prospective students are interviewed to determine their level of competence.
This process assists tutors to pay particular attention to the individual learner’s needs.
Chris J Private School is a subsidiary of Chris Tutorial College, together with a consultancy wing, which is already functional.
However, like most remote schools, the school is battling to alleviate the student accommodation crisis. Another hurdle that the school is grappling with is the replacement of teachers who find greener pastures.
Commenting on the state of the Namibian education sector, Mukumba underscores the need to pay particular attention to developing the young minds in pre-primary and primary education and failure to do so is like building a house without a solid foundation.
According to Mukumba, the other draw back in the Namibian education sector is the unequal distribution of skilled human resources. Most competent teachers are mostly found in urban schools.
“At Chris J Private School, we engage only qualified teachers in order to maintain our high standards of education,” adds Mukumba.
The recruitment of tutors from the Sadc region and abroad would further enhance the education standards according to Mukumba.
He says the private schools need a conducive environment to remain competitive but it is disheartening that in some cases, there are officials who instead of guiding private schools , look for opportunities to discredit them.
Propelled by the pressure exerted by parents to provide secondary education, the school recently completed a structure that will accommodate secondary school learners, alleviating the need for parents to send children to schools away from their homes.  The school’s success is also attributed by the maximum support given by parents who are part and parcel of the school. In light of that,   Chris J was crowned the best school in the Oshigambo circuit in 2008.
The school’s debate club is also ranked among the best in the region. Though located in the remote northern part of the country, the school has on its books children of teachers, doctors and other influential members of the society.
“We do have dreams and it is a question of time for them to be realised. Our intention is to establish a secondary boarding school within the same region that will absorb learners from our primary school,” says Mukumba.
His aspiration remains to promote quality education that will produce future leaders, doctors, lawyers, economists, bankers and other professions for Namibia.