NKANDI WEST: The Kavango regional education office has gone on the attack against parents at Nkandi West who claim their children have been denied an education, saying they should be arrested for keeping their children at home.
Disgruntled parents at the village of Nkandi West, situated some 140 kilometres south-west of Rundu, last week claimed that their children are being denied access to education by Government as no school has been established there since independence in 1990.
Nkandi West is situated in a remote area of the Kahenge Constituency, and has been in existence since before the country’s independence.
Most children born at the village, some as old as 13 years, have never attended school.
Parents also claimed that the government, specifically the Ministry of Education, had turned a blind eye to their demands to have a primary school established in their area.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Kavango Regional Education Deputy Director Fanuel Kapapero said he did not even know of the village’s existence before receiving a letter from the villagers some two weeks ago.
“My first time coming across Nkandi West village was when the villagers’ letter asking for a school to be established was referred to me by the director two weeks ago,” said Kapapero.
He went on to say that he is also aware of a high number of children in the Kavango Region’s Mbunza Traditional Authority area who do not attend school, saying the parents of such learners are guilty and ‘must be arrested’ as they are responsible for looking for services in cases where these do not exist.
He further accused the Nkandi West parents of ‘not trying hard enough to push for the establishment of a school’, saying approaching a political councillor with such a matter is not enough.
The villagers approached Kahenge Constituency Councillor Joseph Sikongo with their problem, who said he forwarded their concerns to the relevant authorities.
Kapapero also challenged the parents, saying that should a school be established at the village, it ‘should be able to exist for the next 15 to 20 years’ as continuity and consistency are important keywords in education.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director disclosed that the office’s Planning and Development department plans to visit Nkandi West this week to assess the situation, and establish whether it qualifies for a school.
Should the village qualify for a school, the office intends to make it a satellite school of Mbambamsi Junior Primary school, which is situated 11km away from that village.
Nkandi West Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson Titus Siviro last week told this agency that not one of the children born at the village has ever been to school, adding that the nearest school is one day’s walk away.
The villagers were also puzzled by the fact that a thatched hut structure which they built themselves to serve as a pre-primary classroom was converted into a literacy classroom for elderly people by the regional education office.
Nkandi West village consists of over 35 homesteads, and about 100 children live there.