Elite school for Filabusi

04 Feb, 2023 - 00:02 0 Views
Elite school for Filabusi Talen Vision Academy in Filabusi- Principal and students pose.

The Chronicle

Raymond Jaravaza. Saturday Chronicle Correspondent
TUCKED inside Filabusi, away from the rumbling and bustling gold mining sites that are the bloodline of the district’s economy, is an educational institution that was born out of a vision and dream to empower rural youths with skills.

Khumbulani Nkomo says his vision is to develop youths with skills to develop not only their communities but also the nation at large.

Nkomo has been in the mining industry for years and it is therefore not surprising that those close to him are sometimes a bit skeptical of his new found love and vision for education.

He however remains resolute that Filabusi, a vibrant area endowed with vast gold deposits and has hundreds of mines – both registered and informal, will one day churn out internationally recognised personnel that are competent in the fields of mining, agriculture and sports science.

Nkomo says Filabusi will one day be known for producing employers and not employees, if his vision is is supported by the community.

This is the place where he cut his teeth as a fledgling gold miner.

Nkomo established Ivinar Park Academy in 2020.

The vision is already in motion and Nkomo says nothing  can stop it.

Ivinar Park Academy – Khumbulani Nkomo

Nkomo is better known in the Filabusi area and gold mining circles as the gold miner who owns the company Trukumb Mining Private Limited, which sponsors a football team that plays in the Zifa Southern Region league – Talen Vision FC.

Many who have dealt with Nkomo socially, interacted with him during football meetings or have done business with him, are eager to know why he has developed such a passion for education.

FC Talen Vision  Bus

Nkomo says his heart bleeds when he sees footballers – particularly from his own Talen Vision FC put all their eggs in one basket and forget that there is life after football. He says there is a need to empower footballers with others skills that they will use when they hang their boots.

“I have always wondered why retired footballers who had illustrious careers are wallowing in poverty and in some cases the situation is so bad that when they die people are asked to contribute towards their burial,” he said.

Nkomo said such a situation will not be allowed to happen at Talen Vision FC as long as he is around.

Ivinar Park Academy pupils strolling the school premises

“It is  against this background that I decided to come up with an academy which does not only offer academic courses but also skills training that will benefit youths such as footballers,” he said.

Nkomo said he decided to involve the same Filabusi community that has supported his gold mining business over years when he started his academy.

The country’s education system has been crafted for years to create employees and not employers as part of a grand plan by the former colonisers to keep the country’s wealth in the hands of a few whites while marginalising millions of black people.

Ivinar Park  Academy in Filabusi – Classroom block

Nkomo wants to change that through Ivinar Park Academy, an institution that will identify hidden talents in its learners and embrace a ‘hands on approach’ to education so that the learners will one day start their own companies instead of chasing after employment.

“The Filabusi community, the same land where my mining company operates from, has been very supportive so I decided to embark on a vision that will also benefit local children. Ivinar Park Academy focuses on technical subjects such as food technology, textile technology, agriculture, design technology, mining and tourism among others.

“The grand idea is to create employers and not learners who will flock to the cities looking for jobs,” explained Nkomo.

The  academy has Forms One to Three.

School coordinator Elton Sinyosi, a retired veteran educationist who was the headmaster of Filabusi Primary School for 21 years, joined Ivinar Park Academy in its infancy and quickly embraced its vision.

 Academy Chairman Mr Sinyosi.

“My main task when I joined Ivinar Park Academy was to make sure that the school is fully registered with the relevant ministries and that we operate legally. Parents must enrol their children here with the full knowledge that our operations are legal. We want to churn out future employers who will drive the economy. Academic excellence is very important but at the same time every student is expected to do a technical, business or professional subject,” said Sinyosi.

Each class has an average of 12 students. Their policy is that not more than 18 students can be accommodated into one class.

School principal Reuel Dube has worked for the education system for decades and was at one time the deputy headmaster at a private school in the leafy suburbs of Bulawayo.  “We are bridging that gap between us and the so-called elite schools that were created by the former colonisers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is premised on technology and the latest gadgets and machines is upon us and we want to be part of that revolution here at Ivinar Park Academy,” said Dube.

 Academy Principal Mr R Dube

He said they are looking forward to one of their graduates being employed as an angineer by Mr Nkomo, the founder of their schools.

“We aim to be the pride of the local community by providing world class education that will keep our children in the country because they have the right knowledge and skills to start their own companies as opposed to seeking employment,” said Dube .

The academy has started the process of partnering institutions of higher learning such as the Bulawayo Polytechnic and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).–@RaymondJaravaza

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