ONGWEDIVA - The inspector of the Ohangwena Education Circuit, Frieda Kashikatu, said residents of 17 shacks on the premises at the Nafidi Primary School refuse to move without compensation.
She said this is the biggest challenge faced by the school, because learners are in the same schoolyard as the people who are staying in shacks.
Kashikatu stressed that the shacks were found in the area before the school was built.
The Nafidi Primary School is located in the Helao Nafidi town, and it opened last year.
The inspector said the shack owners do want to move because they did not get compensated by the municipality, while some are not happy with the land allocated to them.
Kashikatu revealed this challenge to education minister Anna Nghipondoka when the latter visited the school last week.
Nghipondoka toured various schools in the Ohangwena region to familiarise herself with the challenges there.
The shacks on the school premises are said to be a big disruption to the learners since the owners are always moving up and down on the school premises, disturbing teaching and learning.
“Some are stealing school properties, having conversations with learners,” Kashikatu claimed.
Furthermore, she emphasised that learners are not safe because the school has half a fence.
Therefore, this is very risky as learners could be kidnapped or raped.
In addition, the villagers are letting their animals graze on the school premises, especially when the learners are still at school.
Another shack was also built next to the toilets, thus disturbing the freedom of learners to visit the toilet.
“There is one security guard at the school, but this is not helpful because there are lots of people,” Kashikatu continued.
Approached for comment, the Helao Nafidi Town Council’s Darius Shaalukeni said he is not aware of the shack owners refusing to move from the school premises.
“We distributed land to people with shacks on the school premises. We told them they should move out immediately,” he stressed.
Shaalukeni stated that the shacks were illegally built. Therefore, the town council will not compensate them.
“We will talk to them so that they move out because it’s not safe for the learners. Learners deserve a conducive learning environment,” he added.
Yesterday, this publication spoke to some of the shack owners, who expressed their frustration over the town council notifying them at the last minute that they should move.
They said they were only given alternative land last week, and that this would require them to save money to relocate.
Also speaking to New Era, shack owner Johannes Mwafangeyo said the town council is not telling the truth, because they bought the land.
“I bought this land from someone. We did not take it illegally, as it was claimed by the mayor,” he added.
Mwafangeyo confirmed that he was allocated land, but he did not like it because it is close to someone’s mahangu field and a lake.
Therefore, he will not move until he gets better land on which to build his shack.
“We don’t have an issue moving from here, but we want a decent place,” he countered.
Fellow shack owner Wilbard Mathew said land was allocated to him, but he doesn’t have money to transport his properties.
“I have to save up money because it’s not easy just to move like that. I don’t have a problem moving because I am not happy when I am staying on school premises,” he stated.
He is thus appealing to the town council to assist them with at least a truck to transport their belongings.