By DEOGRATIAS MUSHI, 1st May 2011 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 3, Hits: 4681
SISTER Evetha Kilamba, the current headmistress of Saint Mary’s Mazinde Juu secondary school was among the happiest people on Thursday, when the form six examination results were announced.
This is because her school had mysteriously jumped from the 70th position it held in the same examinations nationally the previous year, to the 5th place this year, thanks to various efforts that were put forward by teachers, parents and students themselves.
The headmistress was not even thinking about her school to be among the best twenty schools. She summarises this success in the following sentence – “Wheneverthere is trust in God and fervent determination, certainly there is no failure”.
Sister Evetha says that had her school performed poorly again this year, she would have packed her bags and go straight to her Mother Superior’s house located at Kwa Mndolwa area in Korogwe district, Tanga region. By this move she would have admitted that she had failed to lead that prestigious school that in the recent past has recorded some success academically. “I am a nun.
My superiors could get me something to do in my congregation. I really felt bad when we performed badly last year. I sincerely thank different people who encouraged me and showed me the right path,” says joyous Sr Evetha, who shed tears of joy after the school was nationally declared the fifth best in the form six examination results.
This calm and serious looking nun quickly attributes her school’s success to the joint efforts made by school’s administration, teachers, parents and the form six students themselves. She remembers that on May 8, 2010 she convened a meeting of all parents studying at her school and discussed ways of improving the school’s performance academically.
Various resolution were made, and the staff made sure that students abide by what was resolved in that meeting. The same meeting decided that undisciplined students should be fired.
Parents seized the opportunity that day to identify factors that could help students improve their learning struggle, and some of them were to get learned and responsible teachers, to have sufficient text books, and create ample time to engage students in discussions, all aimed at making them assimilate what they learn in class.
Sister Evetha says that teachers were encouraged to assist learners during discussions, and the struggle started bearing fruit, just looking at their level of answering questions during tests and examinations at different levels.
She admits that students need peace of mind for serene studying. “I always struggle to create peace of mind among my students and this normally pays off,” she says. Sister Evetha admits that she has not brought about this success alone. There is a chain of people who have supported her.
The engineer behind the Mazinde Juu success this year is Mr Elesha Kaaya, the School’s Board chairman, who has assisted the school improve academically, by providing technical advices to the school’s administration.
Mr Kaaya who is the Director of the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) last year vowed that he would make sure that under his chairmanship, all students finishing studies at that school must join universities. His dream has bore fruit this year.
Parents, mainly from Arusha and Dar es Salaam regions supported Mr Kaaya, and rendered him all kinds of assistance he needed in making sure that the students had all they needed to perform well in their examinations.
Under Mr Kaaya’s leadership, the parents contributed some cash to reward teachers for their commitment in teaching. In turn, the teachers developed special interest in their work something that was vividly demonstrated on the graduation day.
Students themselves were so disciplined, that Sister Evetha dared to say that since she started teaching, that was the best class she had ever come across. “These girls were intellectually and spiritually upright. I had no problems with them, because at times they made my work easier by becoming exemplary in implementing school regulations,” says Sister Evetha.
She remembers how all of them (irrespective of their religious affiliations) could occasionally meet and pray together over a certain issue, especially success in their examinations. These students used to accept their mistakes and failures.
They were quick at asking for pardon whenever they had gone wrong and that is how human beings should behave, says Sister Evetha. There is another factor which made these students pass their examinations. Their form six graduation did not bother them much, that is why they decided to hold it after the form six exams. This move shocked the entire staff, including the headmistress.
One of the form six leavers Coletha Michael says that they used to warn each other against unbecoming behaviours demonstrated by some of the very few students who at times did not like to abide by the school rules and regulations. She remembers an occasion when the entire class had to throw away cellular phones that were kept by two of them.
“We called them as a class and told them to surrender the sets, to avoid collective punishment. They accepted our suggestion and we continued living in great friendship, while keeping our interest together – To struggle and pass our examinations,” she says. To pass their examinations to that level, the girls had to sacrifice some things, including last year’s Christmas holiday.
They resolved to remain at school and study, something that was fully supported by the school’s headmistress Sr Evetha. She has learned something that she says should always be emulated at Mazinde Juu – and that is participatory kind of administration, that involves different kinds of people in decision making.
This is the only way towards success, she admits. This year’s form six examination results at Mazinde Juu have brought new enthusiasm at that school. The current form six students
have vowed to double efforts to make sure that they maintain the same pace next year and God willing they want to move from the 5th position to the first three positions.
If our sisters have made it, why should we fail? That is the question they have posed. The School’s manager Father Damian is among the people who were stunned by this year’s results. Such a good academic success has a reason to celebrate, that is why the form six students who finished this year will be traveling back to Lushoto this weekend for a special celebration.
‘’I will be more than happy to see and celebrate with them before they join different universities. They are always welcome because they are part of us,” says Sr Evetha. The pending question is – Can other schools emulate this wonderful example for better success?
Total Comments on the above stories (3)
What a fibulous success. Congratulations Sr Evetha and your entire staff members, without forgetting students
hongera sana sister mungu akupe afya njema uzidi kuinua mazinde juu na kuzidi kupata mawazo mapya kila siku uzidi kuinua mazinde juu ambayo ni sifa ya wilaya yetu ya lushoto mungu akubariki sana na walimu na wanafunzi na wafanyazi wote
I'm so happy for my former school...i studied there for four good years learning a lot from it..CONGRATS to sister Evetha and to all the staff members for the good work..Mazinde juu...juu..juu zaidi!!!!!!
TSN Daily News building, Samora Avenue, Plot No. 7, P.O.Box 9033, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.