. . . clinches Cambridge accolade for second time
Cool Lifestyle Correspondent
Direct Contact School, a private college in Harare, recently carved its own piece of history when one of its students was voted the overall best pupil in Cambridge Environmental Management subject at Advanced Level. It is the second time in a row that the private college has received the best student award in Environmental Management at Advanced Level for Cambridge in the whole world.Tsungai Dangarembizi walked away with the coveted prize at a Cambridge prize giving ceremony held at a local hotel in Harare recently. Several other students from different schools across Zimbabwe also walked away with prizes in different subjects.
In an interview, Direct Contact School director, Mr Wellington Koke said he was humbled by the award, saying it was an affirmation of the work the college was doing in pushing for academic excellence at the learning institution.
“I believe this award is a manifestation of Direct Contact School’s philosophy and commitment to become a centre of academic excellence,” enthused Mr Koke.
He added that the college introduced Environmental Management as a subject in 2011 in response to the country’s efforts in reducing the effects of environmental degradation, while creating awareness around the issue.
The college started with an initial class of only six students at Advanced Level, and the numbers gradually increased.
Moments of glory were achieved when the college won its inaugural international award after one of its students clinched the best overall in the world for Environmental Management subject in 2014.
The international accolade became a harbinger of a series of similar accolades that have since become synonymous with Direct Contact when it comes to academic achievements.
Mr Koke believes that the institution’s success is deeply rooted in research, knowledge of the syllabi and teaching methods at the learning centre.
“What has worked in our favour are diverse research methods the subject teacher adopted, which has in the past two years earned us a pole position in Environmental Management in the whole world,” he said.
Mr Koke added that the feat has also spurred other teachers in various subjects to up their game, in anticipation of similar accolades in their disciplines.
More students than before are even switching classes to take up the subject, Mr Koke said
He added that while participation by both the teacher and the student was crucial in producing good results, an incentivised teacher was a better performer than a disgruntled one.
“Schools should always strive to create a symbiotic relationship between students and their teachers.
“It is equally important to reward the teaching staff so that they can give out their best. Good results are usually compatible with enough resources, something which we have gracefully embraced over the years,” he said.
A former teacher for nearly a decade, Mr Koke is now among leading educationists, who have transformed the education sector in Zimbabwe.
His contribution and expertise has been the hallmark of success at Direct Contact School as attested by the pass rate the college has been getting in the Cambridge public examinations for both Ordinary and Advanced level since the inception of the college.
The private college which started off as a mere institution targeting students repeating either O’ or A’ Levels nearly a decade ago, has transformed to become one of the few reputable private colleges with a high pass rate for public examinations.
Mr Koke believes market confidence in the school has been instrumental in the growth of the school and subsequently the good academic results.
“With the good results that we have been getting we have managed to demystify the tag that private colleges are not competitive compared to conventional schools,” he said.