Learners protest against teachers’ strike
A group of learners from Oluno Primary School in Oshana Region held a peaceful demonstration on Thursday when they marched to Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court to demand the right to education.
Chanting slogans, such as “We want education”, they dispersed shortly after making their voices heard just outside the court perimeter.
Learners at Eenhana and Outapi are also reported to have attempted to join in the protest, but were apparently stopped by the police as their action was deemed illegal. The learners from Eenhana and Outapi were allegedly marching towards the offices of the directorate of education at the time.
Although government-employed teachers went on strike yesterday, it appears to be business as usual for private schools in the Oshana Region.
While many opted not to dwell on the issue of the strike when approached for comment, Magdalena Mouwa Shaanika, the principal of Golden Maggy’s, said the children’s interests override all other considerations.
Shaanika said learners are not to be blamed for a mistake that is not theirs, arguing there are ways to resolve the matter other than taking to the streets.
“Schoolchildren should come before money. There should be ways that this matter can be resolved,” she opined.
Shaanika noted that unless her school receives a directive from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to close for the duration of the strike learning at the school would continue uninterrupted.
Other principals, who declined to be named in this report, told New Era they were hard at work preparing for the examinations and denied any knowledge of the modalities of the strike. “I am in class and know nothing about the strike,” said one.
Meanwhile, a source at Erundu Secondary School said Grade 12 learners who showed up at the school on Thursday were counselled shortly before they dispersed.
Learners from Iipumbu Secondary School reportedly joined the demonstration to demand education, blocking the road between their school and Oshakati Secondary School with stones and bricks.
Calm was restored after the police arrived at the school to monitor the situation.