Namibia: ICEIDA hands over Classrooms for a New Primary School for Deaf Children



This week, ICEIDA handed over to the local authorities of Ohangwena-county in Namibia three new classrooms for a new primary school for Deaf children. The classrooms are the first ones in the Usko Nghaamwa School in the town of Eenhana.

According to Vilhjálmur Wiium, Country Director of ICEIDA in Namibia, education for Deaf children started in the area in 2006 when a few parents of Deaf children established a kindergarten. The first teacher was Tresia Haiduwa whose life was the theme of a documentary film recently made, by Margrét Blöndal in cooperation with ICEIDA and the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

“In spite of various problems in the running of the kindergarten the Department for Education in the county noticed this activity,” says Vilhjálmur. “They found the enterprise worth supporting since it is known that many Deaf children live in the vicinity of Eenhana. The local authorities decided to take over the management and converted the kindergarten to a primary school. School started last January and children in preparatory school and first grade were given spot. A new grade will be then be added each year.”

"The local authority requested support from ICEIDA in doing the changes,” according to Vilhjálmur. The support included three things; three months´ training in Sign Language for teachers, tents used for temporary housing and building of the three classrooms. Construction work started as soon as the raining period ended and the classrooms were ready in no time. The school is named after the chief of Ohangwena-county and he was the one to receive the keys to the classrooms from Vilhjálmur.