Morris Mtisi Post Correspondent
THE A-Level ZimSec results are officially out and known. Newspapers as usual carry analyses of how well and badly schools performed. We also already know that Manicaland continues to rule the roost and Mr Edward Shumba, the Provincial Education Director for Manicaland, is on cloud nine as he was last year and the year before. Rightly so!
ALPHA INSTITUTE is second best in the independent colleges’ ratings in Manicaland. And that is no mean achievement. It’s Business Studies, History and Shona bask on a 100 percent pass rate, Accounting-70 percent, Mathematics-83,3 percent, Geography-86,7 percent, Economics-78, 6 percent and Divinity-96,3 percent. 101 candidates passed two or more subjects out of a candidature of 104. The overall percentage pass rate is 97,1 percent.
Sixty students comfortably sit between 8 and 12 points, two scooped 15 points each, three 14 pointers and five 13pointers. We know Weston Nyabeze is the best male student with a whooping 15 points and not to be outdone Mitchell Muzinda with the same 15 points. She is the best female student.
If the above results do not tell a good story about ALPHA, nothing will. These are fantastic results by any standards and the institute competes with the best schools in the country. There is absolutely nothing to show that this is an informal school anymore. Nangisai Marange’s college is now a formal institution of learning in every sense. Call it an informal formal college!
And so this story is not about how ALPHA has done well in the 2017 examinations. That is now a known…every year better than the previous. The story is about how a great school is greater than itself and others. How APLHA is not just another school!
Here is a unique school that is run in a unique way by a unique principal for unique exit profiles. ALPHA is no more blinded by educational impulse or custom. Its principal is more than an educationist and principal. He is guided by aim and driven by measure and method, but above all these by fear of God.
Marange did not start this school by matter of chance or circumstance. Because he is professional, guided by virtue and integrity he did not steal students from his previous teaching station. ALPHA was an idea hatched in his own mind and what John Dewey calls “transformed into a consequence of purposive endeavours, (becoming) rationally significant, enlightening and instructive.”
While many schools, formal and so-called informal, private or so-called independent are into serious business of cultivating knowledge and intelligence as testified by strings of distinction grades, some aggregating to as many as 30 or 35 points, ALPHA does more. While soon we will not be surprised when students harvest as many as 40 or 50 points, ALPHA will not surprise us when it prepares at the same time candidates for ZimSec as well as for Heaven.
The day for 40 and 50 points is not very far. Whether that is necessary effort or not, is another story. For now let us agree the days of 40 and 50 points at A-level are not far. But the day when ALPHA produces the best exit profiles in terms of discipline and morality and academic high achievers is also not very far.
ALPHA exhibits a theory of education which contemplates a syllabus of school and life as having one contact with each other. It has embraced the new curriculum carefully and rationally but added to it a dimension the new curriculum omitted deliberately or by default-the aspect of God being the centre of all useful and meaningful education. The notion that education without God is dead!
The mistake that a lot of African school curricula made, I am not certain about European or British school curricula, was that educational development must have nothing to do with the development of character as a supreme end.
That the chief part of a school curriculum has nothing to do with character. Thus most curriculums in African schools throughout Africa were reduced to some kind of catechetical instruction; an education that has no influence on character but regards as virtuous the information about Science and Technology, vocational training, numeracy, English language and Geographies of the world-etcetera etcetera.
Mr Marange understands the relationship of knowledge and conduct. He understands that books alone do not guarantee conduct; that books alone do not profoundly affect character. And that only God can change and build character. So while he runs a school that prepares candidates for ZimSec, he also prepares candidates for Heaven. That must be repeated. That is what makes ALPHA not just another school.
At this institute academic learning is backed by deliberate choice of a Godly aim. A student who has academic knowledge but does not have his or her mind made up for God, does not know what to do with that knowledge. Ask Nangisayi Marange. No one understands it better than Nangisayi, that it is a commonplace of educational theory that the establishing of character is a comprehensive aim of school instruction and discipline.
If you do not want your child to grow up into an imp or behaviour case stupefied and rubbished by celebration of moral decay, and to reduce, possibly avoid altogether, the social woes and rot of college and university life, ALPHA comes out ideal.
It emphasises an education that seriously values moral rearmament; a notion or concept of education many schools, colleges and universities in Zimbabwe and the world miss. All good education is bought by a currency of moral ideas; virtue, good character, self control, discipline and above all Godliness.
It is the wish of The Manica Post that ALPHA INSTITUTE continues not only to improve standards of