February 2012 Updates



BIG NEWS!......Ehomba is now a Secondary School!

This year is the first year where Ehomba is taking grade 8 students. The children who graduated from grade 7 last year remain at Ehomba. So the children we have supported on scholarship historically continue in their programmes at large, but in the future children will have the opportunity to complete their secondary schooling in their own region. This is a very important development for the children of this area. Up until now children within a circumference of over 200 kms have had no secondary school facility for these young learners to go to with the exception of the 2 scholarships for girls and 2 scholarships for boys that the trust offered each year.


The Namibian Government has committed to build the classrooms required and the Trust is looking at how it can support further development of the curriculum, the equipment, the library books, the textbooks and some of the other facilities to support this step up. This is a work in progress and we will report to you further as we get more detail of how we can help. This will be the focus of or major fundraiser later in the year


Already the school roll has jumped from 135 to 160 and estimates are that that will continue to sky rocket as it becomes obvious that Ehomba is to be a secondary school now and in the future. We are very proud of the leadership of Mr Zauana and the teachers involved. No one should under-estimate the hardship of implementing steps such as these in such a remote part of a country like Namibia. A commitment of these teachers to their learners, and to the future educational needs of Namibian children is frankly something to behold and it’s our privilege to work with them in some small way that makes their task more rewarding.


We deeply appreciate the support of our donors who assist us in allowing this to happen.


New School Buildings Underway


A very exciting new step has occurred this year with the Namibian Government finally agreeing to upgrade Ehomba School to a secondary school. As part of that commitment four new classrooms are currently being built. The builders are on site creating great excitement for the learns and teachers alike.


This is a very remote part of Namibia so building anything in this environment is challenging, but there was no Placemakers down the road if you have forgotten something. The nearest hardware facility with building equipment is 160 kms away.


The four classrooms will include two teaching classrooms, a laboratory/computer room, and a library. These are exciting developments for the school and we will keep you up to date as they are completed.


Garden


The garden continues to thrive. The learners take a great interest in it individually. Also each class has at least one if not more plots and there is fierce competition about who can grow the most, while keeping their garden area in order.


The children guard the perimeter of the garden with great diligence. It is very well fenced. But there is a chain and padlock on the gate to send the serious message that if you are not authorised to be in the garden, you shouldn’t be in there. Equally the goats and donkeys of the district have got the message! if they can get into the school yard they bolt toward the garden precinct knowing the delicious delights that await them if somebody had inadvertently forgotten to close the gate.


The motivation for the children to see that that doesn’t happen is high. The garden is now providing food for three nights a week for children who up until the establishment of the garden were having only one meal of pap a day. They are very proud of their achievement and have made great progress and commitment in working in the garden to their mutual benefit.


The banana grove that we planted three years ago is continuing to flourish, and this year has again produced very large crops of bananas that the children share diligently. No one would dare touch a banana unless it is with the agreement of the whole and then they cut them up and share them in a way that would make most New Zealand children perplexed and I suspect humbled.


Pre-School


Another exciting development is the establishment of a pre-school class to try and get children, many of whom haven’t held a pencil or drawn on paper at the time that they come to school more familiar with the learning environment. A very talented young teacher is now leading this group and the numbers of littlies starting to turn up at school is significantly increasing, which as they flow through the school pipeline will increase the numbers at the school overall.


Mrs Zauana is studying at University 2012


Mrs Zauana one of our lead teachers in the junior school at Ehomba is being supported by the Trust for a one year study programme in Windhoek the capital of Namibia. Mrs Zauana is a outstanding lead teacher. She has taken great interest and leadership responsibility in the teaching of phonics which we have introduced to the school to assist with their teaching and learning of English as a second language. She is a leader not only within Ehomba but within the cluster which benefits well over the 600 children in the immediate region and then others further afield who she has included in her phonics workshops. We believe that by the Trust supporting this year long advanced teacher qualification component to her current qualification that she will be more able to lead in the teaching of English, and not only in the junior school, but also in the senior school at Ehomba in the future.


Mr Zauana is looking after their children and leading the school with the support of other locals, while Mrs Zauana is in Windhoek. Windhoek is 1,000 kms away from Ehomba, so this is an enormous personal commitment from the family in order to make this achievement possible. The Trust has been pleased to fund both the tuition and boarding costs associated with Mrs Zauana’s study.

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