The Sunday News
Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Catholic Church has officially commissioned three new learning institutions at Lupane Centre, complementing Government efforts to develop the country through education.
Construction of AMR Primary and AMR Secondary started in 2017. AMR Secondary is an annex of a sister school, St Paul’s Secondary in the same district and is having its pioneer Ordinary Level candidates writing this year.
AMR Primary opened doors with all classes a few years ago and has been posting 100 percent passes in the Grade Seven examinations.
Ithemba Lengane Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre, a sister to the two AMR schools was commissioned recently.
It will be a feeder school to AMR Primary while plans are underway to expand AMR Secondary into a high school with facilities already in place.
AMR Primary’s enrolment is more than 400 pupils while AMR secondary has more than 300 pupils and both are run by AMR Sisters.
The ECD, being run by the church’s Lupane parish, has a capacity of 80 learners and is the first such state-of-art facility in Lupane district, according to District Schools Inspector Mr Lovemore Ncube who officiated at the commissioning event.
He commended the Roman Catholic for supporting Government in increasing the number of schools in Lupane District.
“Lupane will never be the same with the introduction of AMR Secondary, AMR Primary and Ithemba Lengane infant school.
I want to reiterate that Ithemba Lengane is the first infant school in Lupane district.
I want to thank on behalf of the Provincial Education Director (Mr Jabulani Mpofu) the type of schools that the Roman Catholic has brought in, these are state-of-the-art schools and their buildings are nothing but excellence,” said Mr Ncube.
He said AMR Secondary is going to be a strong force to reckon with academically because of its holistic approach.
Mr Ncube implored parents to invest in information communication technologies gadgets for learners saying the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s thrust is to develop a primary and secondary education industry in schools.
“AMR is a fertile ground for primary and secondary industry and I am looking forward to you to pick on one industry that you can do and be able to even export.
I am excited by the pass rate at AMR Primary School and come 2022 I will personally write a proposal that this school applies for the Permanent Secretary’s Merit Award because this has never posted anything less than 80 percent since it we opened and I am proud of it,” he said.
Lupane is under the Archdiocese of Bulawayo and Fr Marko Mnkandla is the priest-in-charge of the three learning institutions which are located at different stands but within Lupane Centre.
He said AMR secondary has all requirements for it to be an examination centre in place, with facilities for A-level also already built.
The institutions had been earmarked for commissioning last year but Covid-19 and other challenges delayed the projects.
“The mother of the two schools is the ECD centre and we extended to the secondary school in terms of planning for a complete formation.
We would have wanted our pioneer Form Fours to write from the school but we are not yet an exam centre although we have done all paperwork and waiting for the ministry’s approval,” he said.
Archbishop Alex Thomas who heads the Catholic Church in Bulawayo said the church has a holistic approach to education, with focus on enabling learners to be wise, as he implored young people to be wary of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and early pregnancies which cause school drop-outs.
He said education should help in making life decisions as he reiterated the church’s commitment to complementing Government education vision.
“Our education is always to make things better. We speak of education 5.0 and this should not be a talk show. It can be made possible only by us.
We thank AMR sisters for these schools. We say well done, be educators of life.
These schools have to become a light for all the pupils who come here and the whole of Lupane.”
Chief Mabhikwa attended the occasion and commended the church for using education to develop the community. – @ncubeleon