The Ambassador of Japan to Namibia Mr Harada Hideaki officially handed over the keys of four classrooms to the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Ms Faustina Caley at the Eluwa Special School for the visually and hearing impaired children in northern Namibia.

The Eluwa Special School, also known as Eluwa Resource School, a state-owned school, is the only school of its kind in northern Namibia, and it is only one of three such schools in the whole of Namibia after Dagbreek Special School and Moreson Special School which are in Windhoek.

At an event this morning attended by the Governor of Oshana Region Mr Elia Irimari, Regional Councillor of Ongwediva Mr Andreas Uutoni, Ongwediva Mayor Tarah Shalyefu, former Ongwediva Mayor Ms Angelina Angula, and the Director of Education for Oshana Ms Hileni Amukana, a block of four classrooms and a storeroom which were built at a cost of N$925,000 was handed over to the deputy minister by the Japanese Embassy.

Acting Principal of Eluwa Special School for Hearing Impairment Section Ms Koluumba Nangombe said that the school was established in 1973 in Ongwediva as the first school for hearing impaired learners in the then South West Africa.

“Today our school has a learner population of 199 from pre-primary to grade 9 with 31 teachers and one administrative officer. Due to the dilapidation of classrooms which were built nearly 50 years ago, learners with hearing impairment were being trained with life skills in classrooms without windows and sound absorption,” Nangombe said.

“It was against this background that the Government of Japan extended a grant for building a new school block consisting of four permanent classrooms and one storeroom. Special carpets to absorb noise from the classroom floor were also provided under the Japanese Embassy’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

“We are pleased that special needs of our learners were met by the Government and people of Japan. They will learn skills such as dressmaking, woodcarving and hairdressing to make themselves financially self-reliant in the future. We are thankful to the people and the Government of Japan,” Nangombe said.

On his part Ambassador Harada said that Namibia has to be proud of the achievements of sporting heroes and heroines who made their mark at the Tokyo Olympics. “Not only for Ms Christine Mboma and Ms Beatrice Masilingi, but also for Mr Ananias Shikongo and Mr Johannes Nambala who are alumni of Eluwa Resource School.”

Education deputy minister Ms Faustina Caley said she was excited to be the one receiving the donation of classrooms to Eluwa Special School because she has a long relationship with the school. “When I was a social worker working at Rundu, children with special needs were brought to me for arrangement to enroll them at Eluwa Special School,” she said. “This is why I have a soft spot for Eluwa. I’m delighted to be here at this magnificent even. I am happy to receive the block of classrooms on behalf of the ministry.”

In the photo: Japanese Ambassador to Namibia Harada Hideaki officially handing over the keys of the new classrooms at Eluwa Special School to deputy minister of Education Ms Faustina Caley at Ongwediva.