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    Monday, 8 August 2016

    Half-a-century of service - Nemazuva head calls it a day

    • Resources are a headache for rural schools' heads


    – With just five years to go before notching half-a-century of service, Nemazuva Primary School head in Charumbira has called it a day.
    He retires after 45 full years as a teacher and he looks back with pride and a great sense of achievement.
    Soft spoken Timothy Mbindi Baloyi served as a teacher, deputy headmaster and headmaster from 1971 until he called it a day on July 27, 2016 at a colourful ceremony hosted for him by the school, community and local leadership.
    "Teaching is a passion for me and all my children have taken up the profession except for the boy who is a lawyer," said Baloyi.
    The father of four girls and one boy was born in Chihlamalo Village in Chief Nhema's area in Zaka some 69 years ago to a peasant couple.
    He did his primary education at Matava and Mashoko High School in Bikita. He enrolled for his T4 teachers training from 1969 to 1970 at Gutu Mission.
    He started his teaching career at Marozva Primary in Bikita in 1971 and from there he taught at several schools in the province.
    In 1973 Baloyi tied the knot to Philda Rungani who was a boarding mistress at Pamushana Mission in Bikita.
    In 1996 the veteran educationist was promoted to the post of deputy headmaster and was transferred from Chikato Government School to Makasi Primary in Mapanzure in Masvingo Rural and in 1998 he was posted to St Stanislaus Primary.
    He moved again to Musingarabwi Primary School in the same capacity.
    From 2001 to 2006 he was transferred to Chikuku Primary in Bikita after being promoted to a full headmaster.
    From 2007 Baloyi was appointed the head at Nemazuva Primary under Chief Charumbira. Masvingo Rural until the time of his retirement and it is at this school that he made a lot of notable achievements.
    "The rural community is very poor and it is quite a mammoth task to mobilise resources to improve infrastructures at schools and one has to do with what is available.
    "At Chikuku Primary I spearheaded the construction of teachers' houses with the help of donors while the parents provided labour," he said with nostalgia.
    "When I took over at Nemazuva the classrooms were in deplorable state as they were affected by earth tremors that hit the country in 2005 and Cyclone Eline induced floods of 2000 which destroyed bridges and buildings.
    "The houses and classrooms were condemned by the health ministry as they were no longer habitable," said Baloyi.
    Dedication and passion for the job pushed Baloyi to approach donors and well-wishers to help in the rehabilitation of the classrooms and teachers' cottages.
    Reverend Visser of the Reformed Church of Zimbabwe who worked for Love for Africa based in The Netherlands donated material for the construction of a block which was completed in 2011.
    "After our parent ministry realised our dedication they chipped in with a grant to build another block which we completed in record time and the third block was done through the efforts of the parents after persuading them to appreciate the importance of good infrastructure at the learning centre," said Baloyi.
    Baloyi also advocated for the installation of electricity and improvement of water supply at the rural school and this year a play centre for early childhood education was also completed.
    The school which has an enrolment of 700 pupils managed to increase the Grade 7 pass rate under his stewardship from below 20% in 2007 to as high as 47% in 2015.
    "I am quite satisfied with my achievements over the years I have been at this school considering that the school is in the rural areas," Baloyi said.
    The farewell party was organised by the teachers, traditional leaders, Ezra Chadzamira the MP for Masvingo West, Masvingo District Senator Clemnce Makwarimba and Chief Fortune Charumbira who also graced the occasion as the guest of honour.
    Speaker after speaker at the farewell party spoke of the sterling work done by the former headteacher to the education sector in the country and the local community.
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