Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Lifestyle Writer
A good lifestyle is often associated with flashy cars, expensive apparel and a daily dosage of grandeur right across. Rarely do people often associate academic excellence with fine living. Yet academic excellence now competes for attention in the good lifestyle basket as society seeks to achieve much more than mere education.
It is against this background that a Harare school, Wonder Christian Junior College is setting high standards to ensure that academic excellence becomes a lifestyle.
This is attested by its 100 percent pass rate for Grade Seven results three years in a row, matched by unparalleled sporting and learning facilities.
“We are only a few years old in the academic sector, but we have already made a name for ourselves,” proudly declared the headmistress Mrs Sibongile Mafikeni in an interview recently.
Nestled in the mountainous terrain of Chishawasha Hills, Wonders Christian Junior College is slowly becoming a force to reckon with in the academia field after it attained a 100 percent pass rate in 2019, the third time in a row.
In the 2018 Grade Seven public examinations, the junior school attained a 100 percent pass rate, up from 95 percent in 2017 with 90 percent of its pupils attaining 10 units and below.
Like what the Greek philosopher Aristotle once said when he opined that excellence is an art won by training and habituation, Wonders Christian Junior School’s latest feat is largely due to consistence and commitment.
“We thrive on quality, consistence and offering the best on what we set out to do,” revealed Mrs Mafikeni.
“We believe academic excellence is a lifestyle that should be maintained at all costs. When parents invest in their children, they expect results that commensurate with the investment, hence our decision to offer the best in academics and co-curricular activities.”
Established in 2015 with only 36 students, the private school continues to produce stellar results, earning itself a position among the country’s high performing schools, barely three years after its establishment.
The academic excellence of the school is also hinged on a well-modelled curriculum and robust e-learning model which encourages and promotes engagement between pupils, parents and the teaching staff.
“The e-learning platform that we have, entails the extensive use of the internet during learning. Students go into the computer lab to research and sometimes make use of platforms like YouTube to further enhance their understanding while in class.
“The learning process does not end in the classrooms, but it also extends to the parents. When we send them videos of the whole learning process, so that they also conceptualise the teaching methodologies, they can use when assisting pupils with homework,” she said.
“What makes our teaching model unique is that we also combine the Zimsec curriculum with a learning methodology called Christ-centred learning method where we apply biblical principles so that pupils can fully understand the subject.”
With a class of 20 pupils at most, Mrs Mafikeni said the teaching staff have enough time for each pupil, ensuring that learning becomes an enjoyable exercise than a mundane task.
The school also offers French lessons, in addition to a coterie of sporting activities that include cricket, hockey, basketball and tennis, and is a member of the Educational Primary Schools in Sports Association.
Beginning this year Wonders Christian Junior School will be offering scholarship to students who would have excelled in French, to study in France once they have finished school
“We try to balance our pupils by offering them a good learning environment and sporting facilities in equal measure,” explained Mrs Mafikeni.
She added that the school is currently upgrading Wonder’s Christian College sporting facilities through the construction of the state-of-the-art swimming pool and a tennis court.
“We are not only seized with the need to maintain academic excellence, but to also constantly improve our sporting facilities.
Apart from its feat in academic excellence, Wonders Christian Junior College also has a robust corporate social responsibility programme of assisting talented but disadvantaged pupils from the surrounding schools and communities.