The new centres, constructed and equipped through the MCA Namibia Programme, will provide an alternative to the existing one-room community libraries, which have insufficient space to meet student and learner demand, as well as insufficient collections to support secondary-level and distance students.
The proposed design of the centres is based on consultations with the library staff members and library users in the disadvantaged regions, adult education and Community Learning and Development Centre (CLDC) officials, and MoE administrators. Each RSRC will provide a study area comprised of 2 rooms, which will accommodate 100-200 study places, in addition to a library hall, computer training room, TV and media room, research rooms, 2 community meeting rooms, and a librarian office, with full equipment and furnishings. In addition, the new centres will have electricity and internet access. Further, MoE will provide a full-time adult education officer from the region to the RSRC, in order to provide relevant programmes based upon community needs and employment potential. This effort will complement the new information collections to be provided in areas such as legal resources, self-help skills development, and micro-enterprise development. The sites have been selected in consideration of household accessibility and proximity to community centres; for example, the Oshakati site is adjacent to a shopping centre and very close to the hospital.
The proposed site in Gobabis is off the main road connecting two suburbs, and is closer to the concentration of households. Helao Nafidi, situated near the Namibia-Angolan border, is a new and rapidly growing town of rural settlements. To ensure these centres are accessible to all who require the services offered, the MoE is to complement the MCA Namibia Programme support by ensuring extended opening hours those who need information most will have access even after hours and during weekends. As the RSRCs will all be constructed on ‘virgin’ land, full environmental impact assessments will be carried out to identify potential negative environmental impacts that may result from constructions and put in place the necessary mitigation measures.
The EIA will lead to the development of the site specific EMPs which will be used to monitor the identified impacts and implementation of related mitigations measures. In addition to EIA and EMPs contractors will develop public health and safety plans for each RSRC construction sites to ensure the safety of workers, learners and local stakeholders. The MCA Namibia Programme will see to the effective implementation of these activities at the RSRCs, while ensuring that as part of the Compact provision, the HIV and AIDS prevention plans related to the Education Project construction activities are implemented by the contractor in accordance with each works contract for construction activities.