The Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) spent a combined value of approximately N$600m by renovating, upgrading and equipping 48 schools in 10 out of the 14 regions.
The Oshana, Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West, Khomas, Oshikoto, Omusati and Ohangwena regions were the regions that were covered by this exercise in which the aim of the MCA-N is to address inadequate schools infrastructures as well as to reduce overcrowding in classrooms
However, the key purposes of the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) Compact programme is to advance the quality of education by providing a favourable learning and teaching environment in Namibian schools.
The MCA-N also envisioned the ‘One learner-one textbook’ concept by providing nearly 1.7 million textbooks for Grade 5 to 12 learners in English, Mathematics and Science with laptops, electronic boards and projectors being the other donated learning and support materials.
The school’s that were development had comprehensive restorations done on the existing structures while some had additional classrooms built for them with added administration blocks, science laboratories, libraries and new ablution facilities.
Most of these revamped schools have been handed back to the Ministry of Education (MOE) since the five year stay of the MCA in Namibia will be coming to an end this year.
Most of the schools that were revamped are schools found in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) which are regarded as combined schools (school’s providing both primary and secondary education).
These schools were refurbished because they are schools which often result in overcrowding in classrooms and shortage of space; in the long run this affects the performances of the learners.
The MCA-N plays a huge role in supporting the government by increasing the capacity to accommodate more learners in better learning environments through improving the school infrastructure.
This MCA-N is in conjunction with the targets of Namibia’s Vision 2030 and National Development Plan’s strategic objective which strives to have “productive and competitive human resources and institutions,”.
The MOE was consulted by the MCA-N in choosing schools that needed infrastructural support and they used the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) “needs pyramid”, which assesses, among other things, the number of temporary classrooms in use and number of children of school-going age in the area who are not enrolled in school.
The Director of Education in the Kunene Region, Simon Tsuseb said the standard of Jack Francis Primary School will now be measure based on the alteration the 66-year-old school has undergone.
“This school belongs to the //Haikom community of Outjo and we will forever be grateful,” said Tsuseb.
Luvaline Ais, a 12-year-old grade 6 learner, is delighted that since the school is now equipped with a computer room with new laptops she has now learned how to send emails.
“We also have access to internet and get computer lessons at school. This is new technology that we have never experienced before,” said the young learner.
Martin Shilumbu, a 11-year-old Grade 5 learner at Esheshete Combined School in the Oshikoto Region describes all the schools now renovated by MCA-N as “centres of excellence”.
“It is now up to us school children to commit ourselves to school activities because there is no more an excuse that our learning environment is not conducive,” said Shilumbu.
Jack Nangolo, a Grade 8 learner at Uukumwe Combined School, at Oshivelo, is delighted by the new facilities availed at his school by MCA-N.
“Five years ago, we used to feel ashamed and could not tell people that we are learners of Uukumwe Combined School. But today, because of the work done by MCA Namibia together with our government, we are very proud of our school,” said Jack with a smile.