Shilimela renovates school block

By Eliaser Ndeyanale at Okatope

CLEAN cream-coloured interiors with yellow tiles and well-fitted blackboards are prominent features of a block named after Esser Shilimela at Mandume Ndemufayo Primary School at Okatope village in Ohangwena region.

This came about as a heartfelt gesture of support to the school by businesswoman Esser Shilimela, who spent around N$100 000 to renovate three classrooms at the state-run rural school. The block housing the classrooms is now named after the philanthropist, who started her career as a teacher.

Esser said she and others were invited to the school, which is situated a stone’s throw from the C45 road to Eenhana for a “special event” where important matters, such as lack of teaching space, damaged and worn-out floors, shortage of teaching materials and a faulty copy machine among other things were discussed.

“I am a humanitarian, teacher and parent. What caught my attention the most is when I heard that learners were being injured due to unstable, potholes and worn-out floors and took it upon myself to commit to make sure the facilities are renovated and built the right way for a conducive environment for both our learners and teachers.

“I identified a block with three classes, which consists of of Grade 6 and two classes for the Grade 7s and had them renovated. When they were finished that is the time they decided to name it after me,” she said.

She described the renovation of the classes as a new beginning and hoped the learners would be safe, feel at peace and ready to take on the journey towards academic success.

“To all the learners, my advice is this, be kind, humble, have respect for teachers, parents and each other. But most importantly, study hard and work hard towards your dreams because no matter where you come from your dreams are valid. I wish you all well in your studies,” she told the children seated under trees on the school ground.

At the unveiling of the building on Friday, Shilimela brought additional items worth N$10 000, bringing the amount spent at the school to N$110 000

Ohangwena regional deputy director for lifelong learning Armas Kashiimbi said he was pleased with the renovation of the classrooms. “This is an inspiring action and I would really like to express our gratitude on behalf of Ohangwena directorate of education, art and culture for this donation. I would like to request the school to take care of the building and put it to good use.”

He also appealed to teachers who are not doing enough to raise standards to reconsider their attitude towards the learners, subjects and their work. “I always say that as much as parents have a right to demand good results from teachers or schools, they have also a constant responsibility towards the education of their children.”