A new primary school is being envisioned at Etosha National Park’s Namutoni Camp. Deliberations are currently underway within the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in the region to have the idea formally presented for implementation.
The planned school will have classes for grades one to four and will also include a pre-school. This will come as a relief to hundreds of residents within and near the national park, the majority of whom work within the park or on neighbouring farms, and many of whom do not have nearby schools for their children.
As yet, there is no formal agreement between the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), which is the custodian of the park, as to where exactly the proposed school would be based.
There is currently only one school in the Etosha Park at Okakuejo Camp some 125 kilometres from Namutoni. Many children living within and near the park currently attend school at Oshivelo, roughly 25 kilometres away on the main B1 road, as well as in Tsumeb or Omuthiya.
It is understood that the MET has not yet been consulted by the Education Ministry about the planned school and where it should be constructed. However, education officials have already started working on the proposal, with a letter having been sent to the directorate of education for consideration.
This was brought to light by Constituency Councillor of Omuthiya Samuel Shivute at the Etosha East Stakeholder Forum meeting at Namutoni Camp on Tuesday, which was attended by employees of various lodges and MET officials, as well as police officers and local village headmen.
The school will reside under the Oshivelo educational circuit. Circuit inspector Gotlieb Shikongo said they are waiting for an application form from the people at Namutoni for the proposal to be taken further.
A version of this article was originally published by New Era