Community, Food & Transport
The Nyae Nyae Village Schools project will work within existing education structures and systems. The plan includes the rebuilding of five existing Village Schools, serving 37 villages, in most cases replacing current structures. The five sites have been endorsed by the community themselves on the basis of accessability, as well as proximity to water sources.
The Village Schools will provide a safe nurturing environment for young Ju/’hoan learners to develop an awareness and pride in their own culture, as well as supporting ongoing training to teachers, matrons, janitors, school boards, parents, and the community.
Teachers and staff
Each school will consist of two permanent Ju/’hoan teachers, and three Ju/’hoan staff, two matrons, and one janitor. The staff will work on a rotation system from school catchment villages, ensuring the community takes responsibility for the running of the schools. Village School teachers and their principal will also be supported in their work.
The Namibian government, like many African governments, is still overburdened with capacity building, and the educational and language needs of the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen are among a myriad of demands placed on their resources. The intention is not to replace or undermine Ministry of Education activities to date, but to provide needed assistance and augmentation, working in close association with the Ministry.
Transport and Food
An effective transport system for learners, teachers and service delivery to the schools will facilitate the running of the schools and will include a school bus, a service vehicle for the school principal and specially designed donkey carts.
Food is critical with respect to school attendance and ability to learn. Schools will qualify for the Namibian school feeding program and be supplemented by vegetable gardens producing nutritious food for learners and the community. Water tank trailers will be purchased to support hygiene, sanitation and gardens.
Since adopting the Nyae Nyae Lower Primary Village Schools in 2003, the Namibian Ministry of Education has shown great commitment to Ju/‘hoan mother tongue education.
There are currently 9 unqualified Bushmen teachers employed by the Ministry of Education at the Nyae Nyae schools. Save the San supports the Village School teachers to get their qualifications - working together with other organisations.
The transition of learners from lower primary (Village Schools) to upper primary can be traumatic for young Ju/‘hoan learners in leaving their community to progress their education. A smooth transition from lower primary Village Schools to upper primary increases the possibility of students remaining in education. Dropouts are exacerbated by long distances from school, lack of transport, adequate food, school uniforms and hostel necessities, bullying in school and the inability to communicate with school staff.
In supporting the transition of Village School learners to upper primary school, Save the San will provide school uniforms and toiletries to all learners who make the transition.
Adult vocational skills
The newly built Village Schools will provide outdoor space and storage for adult vocational skills for all community members in the catchment areas. Emphasis is on applying inherited indigenous skills for their own needs. Currently adult training is out of scope of this project, but Save the San is open to supporting this together with other adult training organisations. These could include sewing, leather-work, jewellery making and animal husbandry.
Health organisations and NGOs could use school facilities for community meetings during weekends or school holidays.