Cross Kopje Golden girls

The Manica Post - - Education / Entertainment - Mor­ris Mtisi Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

THE girls in the pic­ture are the founders of the fa­mous Cross Kopje Ju­nior School. The fifth golden girl is the late Peggy Pa­paya. Rest in Peace Peggy.

What started as ex­tra lessons for needy pupils five years ago, while the golden girls were still in main­stream teach­ing at Mutare Ju­nior School, driven by passion and com­pe­tence brought about by ex­pe­ri­ence, ended up a reg­is­tered in­de­pen­dent school known to­day as Cross Kopje Ju­nior School af­ter the girls re­tired from teach­ing.

“All of us were in­un­dated by par­ents’ re­quests to give their chil­dren ex­tra tu­ition dur­ing week-ends and school hol­i­days,” said Mrs Mashayamombe. “We all each soon be­came pop­u­lar with the par­ents and the pupils. This is what mo­ti­vated us to es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent school af­ter re­tire­ment.”

Said Ruth Gezana, “Our passion for teach­ing and love for chil­dren yes was there, but do not for­get our pa­tience and in-born clin­i­cal de­ter­mi­na­tion to pro­duce re­sults. Some of the chil­dren who came to us were non-read­ers. We had the pa­tience to take them one day at a time un­til they caught up with the faster and abler learn­ers.”

Mrs San­dra Mu­towo at­trib­uted all the suc­cess to hard work and the motherly-touch in all of them. “Moth­ers have it in their na­ture to nur­ture chil­dren and un­fold them into for­mal dis­ci­pline. Moth­ers find it easy to give a sense of growth and direc­tion. We agreed to ex­hibit th­ese qual­i­ties and proved that yes we had re­tired but were not tired. The re­sult was Cross Kopje in 2012. We are proud that we reg­is­tered our school with the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion in Jan­uary 2017 af­ter a long spell of illegal ‘trad­ing’” she added.

Cit­ing the high­lights of the school, Mrs Mashayamombe said since 2012 the Grade 7 pass rate has been 100 per­cent. “We at­tribute this to hard work, and prayer. Hard work and Prayer Breed Suc­cess, is our motto.”

Mrs Chir­ima told The Man­ica Post that high aca­demic re­sults were not the ul­ti­mate goal or aim. “At Cross Kopje we teach for Life. We aim at pro­duc­ing a whole­some child, morally, spir­i­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally.”

Ruth Gezana sum­ma­rized the Cross Kopje legacy as “ded­i­ca­tion to work, high aca­demic per­for­mance and re­sults, neat­ness and a live cul­ture of read­ing. Th­ese are the at­tributes that make our brand and legacy. Th­ese are our strength and we are de­ter­mined to keep that brand,” she said.

The golden girls at­trib­uted their suc­cess to in­di­vid­ual at­ten­tion in teach­ing and learn­ing. The teacher-pupil ra­tion of 1:10 or 15 makes it ideal for one-onone at­ten­tion. “Our classes are small and easy to han­dle.”

That Cross Kopje is a school…and a good school, is not the story. There are many in­de­pen­dent schools in and around Mutare that have a good story to tell.

It is the story of the founders of the school that is the story. Bril­liant and ex­pe­ri­enced class­room prac­ti­tion­ers com­ing to­gether for chil­dren and estab­lish­ing an ex­cel­lent tu­to­rial model-de­vel­op­ing in­tel­lect as well as be­hav­ior! Teach­ing for Life! Bring­ing up chil­dren who are not only aca­dem­i­cally fit but morally up­right! Chil­dren who not only ac­quire knowl­edge that is ab­stract and book­ish…per­haps even eas­ily re­mote and dead! The golden girls’ pre­cept and ex­am­ple es­tab­lished a model school that would of­fer learn­ing that could be morally put to prac­tice; knowl­edge that is eas­ily trans­muted into char­ac­ter!

This is not the only in­de­pen­dent school in Mutare. There are many. But if you do not see the unique­ness of Cross Kopje, ask us and we will help you to see and un­der­stand. It is run by car­ing moth­ers whose abil­ity and passion to teach has been nat­u­rally tested by God, time and ex­pe­ri­ence. They have a vis­i­ble motherly touch that is there for chil­dren to see and tap from. They are role mod­els and the con­cept of com­ing to­gether to max­i­mize on ex­pe­ri­ence and spe­cial NA­TURE can­not es­cape un­no­ticed. While many of such schools strug­gle with sole-tal­ent and sin­gle-hand­ed­ness, Cross Kopje basks in the abun­dance of shared in­ter­nal re­sources.

In­tel­lec­tual and moral in­tegrity, hon­esty and ed­u­ca­tional sin­cer­ity are at the bot­tom of this school and it is built on avowed, pub­lic and so­cially re­spon­si­ble in­struc­tion. The golden girls are all in it fa­cil­i­tat­ing de­sir­able men­tal and moral growth in chil­dren.

The golden girls unan­i­mously re­fused to re­veal their ages to The Man­ica Post but as the pic­ture in­sert shows, their ages could be rang­ing be­tween late twen­ties or early thir­ties…one of them could re­ally be around six­teen or seven­teen. Well done golden girls! Mako­rokoto young old ladies!

This re­porter is sin­cerely and hon­estly im­pressed by your con­cept of pri­va­ti­za­tion of teach­ing and learn­ing. We wish you ev­ery bit of luck and suc­cess even as you plan to move to a new site that will be­long to you for­ever and ever for you and your pos­ter­ity. Your legacy is seen, ap­pre­ci­ated and ac­knowl­edged.

What more could good moth­ers do than teach more chil­dren even those out­side their own bi­o­log­i­cal fam­i­lies? God bless you and may He in His good­ness see you through your hopes, wishes and as­pi­ra­tions!

Golden Girls (seated from left) San­dra Mu­towo and Verna Chir­ima. (Stand­ing from left) Mar­garet Mashayamombe and Ruth Gezana

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