Progressive possibilities at ‘pride of Gwanda’
GWANDA High School, the pride of Gwanda is playing host to its Speech and Prize Giving Day today under its 2016 theme — Progressive Possibilities. It is part of the new curriculum set in November 2014 where a call was made for the overhaul of the Zimbabwe education system.
Mr Arthur Maphosa, the school headmaster, said the move was inspired by the 1999 Nziramasanga Commission of Inquiry into the state of education. This prompted the Government through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to embark on a vigorous review of the curriculum.
“This had to be in sync with the direction of the country’s social, economic and cultural development. The Zim-Asset economic blueprint clearly indicated that the education curriculum needs a complete review,” said Mr Maphosa.
Mr Maphosa said the school is prepared for change in the curriculum which entails a change in the syllabus and change in the delivery of knowledge to the pupils.
“The progressive possibilities of the new curriculum mean that the school should adopt the concept of inclusivity boasting of special education where students specialise in skills training to lift their confidence, competencies and competitiveness in society — which is critical to achieving quality and relevant education for all. As a school we then should be able to learn, unlearn and re-learn.
“We should learn computers to help us adjust and adapt into the technological world, we should unlearn the belief in white collar jobs only and relearn that getting our hands dirty with work is now the order of the day if we are to survive as a nation,” he said.
The school, established in 1973 with a special emphasis to practical subjects, had since revocationalised to an extent that every child does a practical subject among a host of other subjects such as Cabinet Making, Fashion and Fabrics, Garment Construction, Woodwork, PE, Building Studies, Brick and Block Laying, Agriculture and Horticulture as well as Computer Packages.
The students write Higher National Examinations Council [HEXCO] at Form Three.
“These are the positive possibilities of our new curriculum.”
Mr Maphosa said the school was eager to widen its subject range to include technical graphics, music, food science, metal work, art and mass displays.
The school which embraces the teaching of Science and Mathematics has gone a step further to add arts.
“We have added arts to STEM to make it Steam as apart from industrialising and advancing technologically, we want to churn out well Ubuntu/hunhu,” disciplined citizens who embrace Maphosa.
Mr Maphosa said his school had introduced a Guidance and Counselling Department which incorporates clubs, girls and boys empowerment movements, orphans and vulnerable children’s welfare and child-headed families. These welfare programmes are supported by the social safety networks such as Beam, Higherlife Foundation, Shalom Ministries, War Veterans’ Association and various other organisations.
Our curriculum extends to non-formal education, that is, Part-Time Continuing Education Classes [PTCEC] which comprise continuing education, second chance education and life-long education. This PTCEC has produced many teachers and office professionals.
“For the record, the school came first in the best run PTCEC classes in the urban areas of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Maphosa.
The headmaster told The Chronicle that the pass rate at the school had improved from 21 percent in 2014 for Ordinary Level candidates to 34.8 last year.
At A-Level Gwanda High School improved from 80.2 percent in 2014 to 94.1 in 2015 with 20 getting 10 points and above.
“We are improving not only in the pass rate but also the quality of the grades as well. For example, our best student at A-Level had 16 points while at Ordinary level the best student had 7As. In the PTCEC the best student had 6 subjects — 3As and 3Bs.”
Mr Maphosa said 11 pupils who wrote June examinations already boast of five subjects and is delighted by the fact that Mathematics recorded a pass rate of 56 percent.
STEM – 2016 Theme: Research, Innovation and Design through STEM: the way to go all aboard.
Gwanda High School competed up to provincial level where they won seven gold medals in the following categories;
General categories: said Mr ZJC non material collection position 1 — Kudzai Danda 2A1 A-Level non-material collection position 1 — Tafara T Ndlovu U6 Commercials A- Level survey position 1 — Mzwandile Tshabangu U6 Science Tech-Voc categories ZJC Textiles and Garment Construction position 1Princess Nkala 2A1 O’ Level Textiles and Garment Construction position 1 — Ruvarashe Chindara 4A3
ZJC Wood and Metal Technology position 1— Vision Moyo 2A1
O-Level Wood and Metal Technology position 1 – Mandisa Nkala 3A2
Of the 13 gold medals won by the District team, 7 came from Gwanda High School.
In sport, Gwanda High School continued to shine with a number of pupils making it into national teams with Nkosiyavuma Ndlovu guiding the Zimbabwe team to gold in the Southern Africa Schools Volleyball Championships in Botswana in August.
Athletes, netballers, handballers, chess players and darts stars made an impact in the province with some of the more talented ones progressing to nationals as Gwanda High School continued to offer children a platform to explore their sporting prowess.
What was encouraging in the past year was that pupils from the school shone in previously unheralded disciplines like cricket where Elvin Nxumalo was awarded Best Bowler in the Matabeleland South Men’s League awards and the Best Under-18 Player.
Tawanda Kamela was awarded the Best Player in the men’s cricket.
Gwanda High School played host to the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament. Washington Nkomo was part of the Zimbabwe contingent which went to South Africa for a high level performance training programme.
The school is in partnership with ZRP Gwanda through the Junior Call Programme — this has helped our disciplinary challenges go down.
“We also boast of the Anti-Corruption partnership, EMA partnership, World Vision partnership, in collaboration with the Responsible Authority — Municipality of Gwanda, which sees the existence of the Health Masters Club landscaping to promote hygiene.”
Mr Maphosa said while some infrastructure had been refurbished in 2015, the school continued to operate without an administration block.
He appealed for assistance in raising funds for the block, school hall and a utility vehicle for day-to-day errands.
He also feels that there is need for a second bus to accommodate children travelling on school educational trips and sports.
“The library has become too small to accommodate the growing number of students and the community,” said Mr Maphosa of the facility which has fallen short of the 1 000 plus pupil population.
He praised the responsible authority for the school, Gwanda Municipality, parents’ association, teachers and pupils for team work which were the cornerstone of the school’s success.
“Together We Can Make Big Things Happen,” was Mr Maphosa’s parting shot as he called on former students, community and the nation to come forward and take Gwanda High School to the next 43 years.
Lawrence Chisango of Konica Minolta will be the guest of honour at the school’s Speech and Prize Giving Day today.
Gwanda High School pupils prepare for today’s Speech and Prize Giving Day in theschool’s Garment Construction Department on Tuesday. Inset, Mr Arthur Maphosa