Prince Sunduzani, Chronicle Reporter
OPENED only three years ago, Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School has already become a force to be reckoned with.
The Roman Catholic Church run girls school boasts churning out girls who are well disciplined and hands on.
Given the few years since it was opened with only two finished buildings, one would expect a derelict and poorly developed learning institution.
The school has witnessed rapid development since its opening and has become the school of choice not only in Matabeleland region but the entire countrry.
The school now has a science laboratory, computer room and two classroom blocks.
In an interview with The Chronicle ahead of today’s Prize Giving day, the headmistress, Sister Ludo Ncube modestly said the school is progressing slowly but surely towards perfection.
“This is a great achievement given the time frame and economic state of this country,” beamed Sister Ncube.
“When the school opened its doors in 2014 it only had a dormitory and one block, no lab and only two classrooms.”
“It has improved. It has been developing every year and we have managed to put up a few structures like the classroom and the lab. For me this is an achievement, a great achievement actually given the prevailing economic situation. We have tried our best and the vision of our school is becoming clear and we are seeing where we are going.”
“Within these three years we have managed to build three blocks, a dining room, kitchen and a storeroom. The parents and lotteries and gaming board through Hon Minister (Ignatius) Chombo contributed to the development of this school.”
Sister Ncube said besides academics, they teach the girls to do household chores, respect and etiquette of being a lady.
“We churn out a disciplined, well-mannered and educated someone who can be independent. We want to see these girls being different from pupils from other schools because we make sure that culturally they are people who are disciplined and respectful. Academically they should excel,” said Sister Ncube
“We make sure that we produce children who are accepted by the society out there. It’s very important that one makes one’s hands dirty, for one to live as a queen,” she said.
Sister Ncube said the school also instills Christian values in the pupils and encourages them to involve the Creator in their daily endeavours.
This is done through counselling and dialogue which is done collectively with the parents.
“We encourage our pupils not to forget our Creator and we always teach them that in everything they do, they should put their whole heart in it,” she said.
The school which has an enrolment of 194 pupils, recognises the importance of technical and vocational subjects.
It also has fully embraced the new curriculum and has set the ball rolling by procuring all the necessary supporting resources.
Sister Ncube said the institution encourages its learners to be hands on and offers practical subjects such as agriculture in order for pupils to be able to put theory into practice.
“We understand that there are pupils who are not gifted academically. Some are gifted in technical and vocational subjects. We are taking these seriously because that’s what the new curriculum entails,” she said.
“In the past we have been measuring intelligence through academic work neglecting the practical subjects. We have started procuring the new textbooks and slowly we will get there. I’m very optimistic and I believe that when change comes and you take it positively as teachers, pupils and supporting staff, it will yield good results.”
The school, which has its first crop of pupils sitting for public exams this year, is committed to promoting STEM subjects in line with the Government’s thrust.
Sister Ncube said she is confident that the first girls to sit for the exams will excel in science subjects.
“We have STEM subjects which are Physics, Biology and Chemistry and the girls are really in it. We made sure that we generated interest in the subjects right from the beginning.
We also made sure that we provided enough equipment to create a conducive environment for them to learn sciences and pass,” she said.
Sister Ncube revealed that next year they will open their doors for the first A-Level class.
The headmistress believes that the dedicated and hardworking staff that she has at the school will steer the school towards excellence.
“When we started we were given the best teachers by the Provincial Education Director. The staff is dedicated and hardworking. We are aiming at excellence and I am very confident we will deliver,” said Sister Ncube.
Not only do the Sacred Heart Secondary School girls excel in academics and discipline, she said, they surpassed older schools in extra-curricular activities.
The school has conquered the district at a number of competitions, which reflects on the balanced nature of education offered by the Catholic institution.
Sister Ncube said: “In arts we came third at provincial level in drama, we came second in the EMA debate. The Form One team qualified to go to the quiz competition on tourism national finals. We also have a team that went to the national basketball competition.”
The school is embarking on a massive infrastructure development next year, which will see the building of key infrastructure that will raise the school’s standards.
Sister Ncube said like any other school, they also have challenges.
“We have low enrolment and as such our revenues are not enough to put up the structures that we wish to build. We don’t have enough infrastructure but we are working on it.
“Next year we we want to increase our enrolment and construct more infrastructure. We want to construct teachers’ houses, new classrooms and a new hostel,” said Sister Ncube.
“In the past it was very difficult as we didn’t have enough resources and we didn’t know where to get people who can assist with resources but gradually things are starting to shape up. The girls are performing very well and when they go to different places they are commended for their discipline.”
Sister Ncube said there were strong indications that the school could be another Monte Cassino Girls High School.
Monte Cassino is a Catholic Church-run school in Mashonaland East and is one of the top five schools in the country. — @PrinceNkosy102