by Hileni Nembwaya
THE Oshana education directorate has been allocated more than N$59,5 million by the ministry of basic education to upgrade and renovate school infrastructure as part of efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The directorate intends to set aside about N$15,7 million for the renovation and construction of ablution facilities, while N$43,7 million has been set aside for the renovation and construction of hostels in the region.
Hilma Nuunyango-George, the acting deputy director of the Oshana education directorate, said this at Oshakati on Thursday during a briefing of the regional leadership on capital projects in Oshana.
“The directorate has been allocated an amount of N$59,5 million to renovate and construct infrastructure at schools and hostels in response to Covid-19. This money is entirely to help combat Covid-19 effects especially at schools that are in a dire situation,” said Nuunyango-George.
More than 53 schools in the region have been identified for renovation of pit latrines, while seven schools have been identified for renovation of ablution blocks and six school hostels are to be renovated as well.
The six school hostels are at Mweshipandeka Secondary School, Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School, Oshakati Secondary School, Iipumbu Secondary School, Eluwa Resource School and Okaukuejo Community School.
“The development budget for the 2020/21 financial year has been absorbed by the outstanding commitments, thus the directorate will not construct or renovate any school in 2020/21. We are currently in a minus and we do not have any money for new projects,” she added.
During the current financial year, the directorate was allocated N$4,2 million for capital projects. However, the directorate is faced with an outstanding commitment of about N$4,3 million from the 2019/20 financial year, with the result that the funds intended for capital projects during the current financial year will be absorbed by past projects.
Some of the construction projects that the directorate has managed to complete are the building of a hostel at Onamutai Combined School in the Ongwediva constituency at a cost of N$2,1 million, a culture office at Oshakati, which cost N$489 038, a community learning development centre at the settlement Uukwangula for N$519 644 and one block of classrooms at Ondjadjo Secondary School at a cost of N$1,2 million.