What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Windhoek International School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-K thru 12 (11th & 12th grades just recently added)
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Private transportation (personal car)
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Windhoek International School (WIS) describes its facilities as "purpose-built." The facilties are outdated, small, uncomfortable, poorly planned, and lacking aesthetically. There is no cafeteria or inside common area for students. The library is inadequate in both size and selection. The gymnasium has a very low ceiling, resulting in every basketball distance-shot (or volley-ball) bouncing off the ceiling.
Extra-curricular activities are very limited. Often, activities are canceled due to lack of venue, interest or support.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
Unfortunately, this HIGCSE curriculum is vastly different from the American curriculum. This difference, coupled with low-caliber teachers who are poorly motivated, results in a difficult transition from my home country to Namibia. WIS is years behind the U.S. curriculum, particularly in math. It was necessary to have my two children tutored in order to keep them current with their American peers.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
Social activities are limited to mainly fund-raising, to make up for the critical budget deficit. Communication between teachers, staff and parents is almost non-existent. There is a PTA, but is not supported very well.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
There are not many educational choices in Windhoek. WIS is clearly the most expensive school in Namibia. In fact, I understand it is less expensive to board children in South Africa than to attend WIS, and tuition is increasing substantially at WIS each year.
Another negative indicator is that many school board members have recently resigned, and withdrawn their own children from WIS. The WIS student/teacher expat population is rapidly declining.
As a result of our dismal experience with WIS, we made the difficult decision to allow our children to attend boarding school. I would seriously recommend that people avoid the schools (particularly WIS) in Windhoek. If you must move to Windhoek, I recomend that you consider either homeschooling or boarding school outside of Namibia.