Maid acquires teaching diploma Ms Trinity Mawana

Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau

WHEN Ms Trinity Mawana’s name was called, she sauntered to the podium to receive her graduation certificate amid thunderous cheers from her colleagues who knew and understood her story of triumph.

The odds were against Ms Mawana when she relocated to Bulawayo from rural Gokwe to work as a domestic worker after passing one subject at Ordinary Level.

However, through determination, commitment, and resilience, she was among the 201 who graduated yesterday with teaching diplomas from the privately run Blended Education College of Southern Africa (BECSA) Thursday in Bulawayo.

The college is an affiliate of the University of Zimbabwe.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Permanent Secretary Professor Fanuel Tagwira presided over the graduation ceremony on behalf of Minister Prof Amon Murwira.

Ms Mawana was fortunate enough to have an employer who encouraged her to further her studies. She supplemented until she passed six subjects at Ordinary Level paving the way for her to pursue a course in teaching.

“When I came to Bulawayo in 2013, I got a job and my employers urged me to pursue my studies. I had passed one subject at O-Level and following encouragement from my employer, I decided to do private lessons,” she said.

“I wrote O-Level and passed six subjects. I recall one day while walking in town on my way to collect my employer’s child from school, I came across a new college that had just been established.”

Ms Mawana said upon returning to her workplace, she told her employer about the college.

“My employer encouraged me to apply and I did exactly that and was accepted to study teaching. While I brought my employer’s child, in between, I would do my school work,” she said.

Ms Mawana said juggling between work and school was no easy feat. At some stage, she contemplated quitting her studies as she struggled to raise the fees.

During weekends she would sell tomatoes to supplement her income.

“At some point, I wanted to give up, but my mother, lecturers, colleagues, and friends gave me words of encouragement,” said Ms Mawana before breaking down in tears.

Today, she is a proud holder of a diploma in teaching. Ms Mawana expressed gratitude to the people who instilled confidence in her.

“All that is now history. When I tell my friends out there that I was a maid some can’t believe it. So as a word of encouragement to others in the same predicament, I say, ‘don’t give up” she said.

Ms Mawana, who is presently working as a conductor, has set her sights on joining the teaching profession.

“Now that I have graduated, I’m looking for a teaching job because this is really what I wanted. At one time, I taught a Grade 7 learner Shona for two terms and her parents didn’t believe she could make it, but she passed,” she said.

BECSA director Mrs Rosemary Sibanda said she was excited to witness some of her students who had gone through trying times completing their studies.

The college conducts physical and online learning.

“Some of them had never touched a laptop and we told them we are blended and we said we can’t register you without a laptop. Some of them reported us to the Ministry at Mhlahlandlela, arguing that we were being difficult, but we explained our method,” she said.

“We are so grateful today because we have changed lives. We love training human capital, and I am in business to be in education not to be in education to be in business. I’m quite excited and feeling emotional after one of our students who was a maid graduated despite the journey not being smooth.”

 Prof Tagwira commended the BECSA executive for investing in human capital development in line with the national development thrust.

He said the country requires an education system that responds to the needs of the people hence the adoption of Education 5.0.

“An education that does not produce goods and services is not useful at all and this is the reason why we transformed our education. In the past, we used to say this man is educated, but that man would not be able to do anything to support his family or even support the nation,” said Prof Tagwira.

“With this new education, we are producing people who will hit the ground running, who will be able to employ themselves but also able to support communities.”

Prof Tagwira said it was worth noting that BESCA is leveraging technology to deliver modern education.

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