New science lab expands options for students
Dreams of becoming doctors and scientists are within reach for students at United Methodist Hanwa High School thanks to a new, state-of-the-art science lab.
Zimbabwe Volunteers in Mission helped fund the construction of a spacious science lab and a new library at Hanwa Mission School. Additionally, many solar components have been added to several buildings. The work was valued at $114,878 (US).
Resident Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa said Hanwa Secondary School is well positioned as part of the Ministry of Education’s emphasis on science.
“Science is the thing, and Hanwa is following the path the government has laid out,” he said.
Fadzai Leania Katemauswa, a 4th year student, said that not having a lab deprived students of practical knowledge.
“It had a negative impact on our performance in science paper 3 (exams), which required us to do some experiments. Many students ended up focusing on arts subjects rather than science because ‘they considered it a waste of time and resources.
“Careers like that of doctor, pharmacist or scientist were just dreams; therefore, many talents remained untapped,” Katemauswa said.
Excited about the new lab, she envisioned her possible future.
“It will transform us. Imagine how I would feel,” she asked, “if I got a doctorate after getting the primary qualification from Hanwa? I’ll feel good when people start calling me ‘Dr. Fadzai Katemauswa.’”
Nhiwatiwa called education the future, history and character of United Methodism.
“Development is about looking around the environment and trying to empower and uplift the areas that still need it. Hanwa (has) a secure future,” he said.
According to Charles Eric Moore Jr., team leader of Zimbabwe Volunteers in Mission, the construction of the science lab was part of the group’s 2020 initiative, which also included a library for the secondary school and a new rectory at the mission.
Planning for the initiative began during the team’s last trip in February 2019. A July 2020 visit was canceled due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
“That hasn’t stopped us from raising the necessary funds for construction,” Moore said, adding that the group continues to support the long-term vision for a boarding school at the Hanwa Mission.
“Part of the thinking around building the science lab is tied to the current strategy to create a major agricultural initiative in partnership with the Africa University School of Agriculture. The science lab will provide educational resources for agricultural research in addition to traditional science orientation for students,” he said.
Reverend Henry Luckson Chareka, superintendent of Murehwa Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district, said he had floated the idea of turning Hanwa into a science school. “ZIMVIM has succeeded by having a science lab. It is the assurance of a bright future.
Expressing gratitude to the team, Chareka said, “You have made us proud as you have been diligently transforming Hanwa since 2016. You have come as angels of hope, transforming an agricultural area into a great institution and a learning center of excellence.
“At this rate, I foresee Hanwa becoming a boarding school in no time, growing and adding value to the Macheke region. Who knows? It can be a pending university.
Reverend Future Sibanda, pastor-in-charge and chaplain of the Hanwa Mission, said the children were using a makeshift science lab that was under-resourced and had poor equipment.
“This made it difficult to do practical work efficiently and adequately prepare (students) for their exams and improve their pass rate.
“The lab is high quality,” he added. “I think it’s the best in the neighborhood. The future of science subjects at Hanwa School is now certainly bright and promising. Having this type of infrastructure and a well-stocked library is certainly a good investment for the future of the school and the children.
Lindiwe Paridzai Mupanduki, headmistress of the school, agreed.
“Effective science teaching and learning involves seeing, handling, and manipulating real objects and materials. … The constructed lab will help students retain knowledge and acquire lifelong learning skills if they see and participate in ongoing experiments,” she said.
Hanwa science teacher Nyashirai Cletus Maruni said an old adage comes to mind regarding new opportunities in the lab.
“We say: ‘I see or I hear, I forget, but if I do, I remember,'” he said. “We didn’t have adequate apparatus, chemicals, safety clothing and equipment to conduct experiments. Most of the practical work has been done theoretically to the detriment of the learners, especially in light of the new curriculum.
“The new lab has met all these challenges. Learners complete hands-on work and complete Science Paper 3 requirements, as well as consolidate concepts learned during theory lessons.
Regimond Katemauswa, chairman of the school development committee, shared his joy.
“I’m a trained lab technician,” he says, “and I know the importance of a science lab. As parents, we played a pivotal role in ensuring that the lab was built without any hindrance from us. »
Katemauswa mobilized parents to mold and harden bricks from locally available materials.
“God has given us a double portion,” he added, “by giving us one of the best laboratories in this district and a library for research learners,” he said.
“Today, we are proud of this achievement. The availability of the laboratory is to our advantage because it is our children who benefit from it. When they become doctors, they will take care of us and provide the services we need.
“On behalf of everyone, I say ‘thank you’. May God continue to bless you, give you wisdom and do more for Hanwa.