Chris J Tutorial making a difference

By By Michael Tambo
July 2011
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Down in the remote northern part of Namibia, stands a school that has the capacity to become a leading example of an institution that can provide high quality education.

Situated at Onethindi Settlement Area in Oshikoto, Chris J Tutorial College opened its doors in 2006, as the brainchild of a determined Namibian couple, Israel Makumbe and his wife Christine, who have unreservedly devoted all their efforts, talents and ideas towards the development of the school.

While living in the North, the couple realised that young children in the area could not communicate in simple English, and driven by the passion to impart their knowledge and skills, in 2003, conceived the idea of building a school.

In 2006, the school opened its doors with an initial enrolment of 25 pupils after the Ministry of Education approved the school to enrol up to Grade 3.

The school offered three main subjects, English, Science and Mathematics.

The following year, the school was granted permission to enrol from pre-school up to Grade 7. Currently, the school’s enrolment stands at 352 and provides tuition up to Grade 8.

An elated Makumbe told Prime Focus that the college is unique, and has standards above most schools in the country.

“Our vision is to be successful in our endeavours as champions in primary, secondary and tertiary education business, unshaken by economic storms or any other man made challenges.”

Chris J Tutorial School’s ultimate goal is to emerge as one of the leading players amongst educational providers. It is against this background that Chris J Tutorial College recognises the critical need to balance the institution’s desire to meet its goals and objectives and meeting the learner’s needs and satisfaction.

“The institution, at all times strives to provide highest quality education at competitive prices, while upholding professional standards and ethics. Our values are excellence, efficiency, convenience, customer care, diligence, integrity, knowledge, value addition, love and unity,” says Makumbe.

Prospective students are interviewed to determine their level and competence. This process assists tutors to pay particular attention to the individual learner’s needs.
Chris J Tutorial College is a subsidiary of Chris Technical College, a consultancy wing which will be functional in due course.

However, like most remote schools, the school is battling to alleviate student accommodation crisis. Another hurdle that the school is grappling, with is the replacement of teachers who will have found greener pastures.

Commenting on the state of the Namibian education sector, Makumbe underscores the need to pay particular attention to developing the young minds in pre-primary and primary education, and failure to do so is like building a house without a solid foundation.

“The other draw back in the Namibian education sector is the unequal distribution of skilled human resources. Most competent teachers are found in urban schools.

“At Chris J Tutorial College we engage qualified teachers in order to maintain our high standards of education,” adds Makumbe.

The recruitment of tutors from the SADC region and abroad would further enhance the education standards according to Makumbe.

Makumbe says the private sector needs a conducive environment to remain competitive but it is disheartening that in some cases there are officials who, instead of guiding the private sector, look for opportunities to discredit them.

Propelled by the pressure exerted by parents to provide secondary education, the company recently completed a structure that will accommodate secondary school learners alleviating the need for parents to send children to schools away from their homes.

The College’s success is also attributed by the maximum support given by parents who are part and parcel of the school making that was crowned the best in Oshiwambo circuit in 2008.

The school’s debate club is also ranked among the best in the region. Though located in the remote northern part of the country, the school has on its books children of teachers, doctors and other influential members of the society.

“We do have dreams, and it is a question of time for them to be realised. Our intention is to establish a boarding secondary school within the same region, that will absorb learners from our primary school,” says Makumbe.

His aspiration remains to promote quality education that will produce future leaders, doctors, lawyers, economists and bankers for Namibia.PF