We had many reasons to celebrate during our visit to Ehomba in July 2014 with great progress being made in making education not only accessibly but also higher quality.
Two major highlights:
The Director of Education (Kunene) has offered Mrs Alexia Zauana the position of official trainer for Jolly Phonics for the region.
The two new accommodation blocks for students that the NZ Government Aid programme funded were officially opened by Dame Jenny Shipley, with representatives from the Minister of Education, the Directors of Education in Kunene, and NZ High Commission. The enthusiastic engagement from the community made their support for education and our partnership very clear.
This is exciting for the school as more children who wish to avail themselves of the senior school and who live a long distance from Ehomba are able to come and participate. It was a joyous occasion with Ministry officials coming from Windhoek a thousand kilometres away and local people, including the Himba people who danced with joy in response to the opening ceremony (see attached).
School now at Grade 9
Since we began working with the school there have been 5 new classrooms added by the Government and the children of this region have access to Grade 8 and 9 for the first time within a 200 kilometre radius. It appears that our original goal to provide education in our area up to Grade 10 is set to become a reality next year. Our goal is to have our pupils eligible to go on to vocational training or to Grade 11 and 12. In 2015 there are already 50 new learners attending school.
Teacher Training 2014
The 3 day training had a new and expansive dimension. We invited the senior teachers and decision-makers from all over the region to attend this advanced training programme, which focussed on upskilling them to train and instruct their own teams of teachers at their own schools. Schools from every province were represented and the dedication and calibre of these teachers is outstanding.
We continue to keep working in partnership with Chris Jolly who has been so generous and supportive in his philanthropic aims to support and spread literacy. Our goal is for the Namibian Ministry of Education to enter a partnership with Jolly Learning, where they will provide training free-of charge and also very generous provision of materials.
At the official opening, the representatives of the Education Ministry were able to see first hand the impressive effect Jolly Phonics has made on the quality of teaching, and on the achievement levels of the learners.