ONGWEDIVA – Despite concerns that classes will not resume this term at Ondjabayonghalu Combined School, after parents demanded the principal’s forceful removal, the school has re-opened for classes.
This happened after the Director of Education in Ohangwena Region Isak Hamatwi intervened and ordered the school to re-open.
“The school has started, but there are internal processes that we are following to arrest the situation at the school permanently,” said Hamatwi.
There were fears there will be chaos that will hinder the commencement of the school, after the community drafted a malicious letter that disparaged the school principal Julius Kulula.
In a letter dated August 17, the community demanded for the principal not to return to the school anymore.
Without divulging much on the information on the ground, Hamatwi said the region is doing its best to avert the temporary closure and to ensure classes are not disrupted for the last and crucial third term.
As part of the regional intervention, a team comprising of officials from the education directorate and the Ohangwena Regional Council visited the school on Friday before schools re-opened on Monday.
Another team was also placed at the school Monday to ensure a smooth opening, the director said.
Those familiar with the situation at the school said investigations done in 2013 at the start of the ongoing fights proved that the staff had split into camps with one camp aligned to the principal and another faction allied to the HoD Immanuel Shikongo.
Two years later, the conflict shifted from the school into the community, after the principal extended the school fence towards the south instead of the northern side as approved by the headman Jacob Hafeni who has been the school’s board chairperson since 2015.
According to sources, the southern side of the school where the school was extended, house a water point for the community.
The principal and the board chair have allegedly been at loggerheads over decisions at the school and as such, this derailed positive growth at the school.