Friday April 24 2020

Circular 3 From the Principal Director

Shalom! 

I join you all in celebrating the gift of life which not so long ago we often took for granted. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on lives and activities across the globe, we are grateful that the Lord continues to protect us. 

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) 

As the initial date for opening schools in the second term draws near, 5 May 2020, I wish to inform you of our plans to resume formal learning and teaching even if we have to go the digital way. This is in light of the obligation we have to prepare our candidates for the International examinations at the end of the year. Below, please find details of our different programmes from our College departments. 

1a) Academics 

Our teachers have been working to prepare for second term and a plan is in place to ensure that good quality learning takes place, wherever our students are based. We will be guided by the relevant authorities on when our pupils will be allowed to return to campus, but in the meantime, our teaching and learning processes will resume on Tuesday 5 May using alternative approaches. 

By Wednesday 29 April, your child should have received emails from all of their subject teachers which includes information on the topics that will be covered from 5 May to 15 May. If your child does not receive an email by then, please alert us on admin@mcc.ac.zw, and copy in principal@mcc.ac.zw. Teachers collected Gmail addresses from pupils or assisted them in the creation of such addresses before end of last term for usage in the event of delay in opening for second term. These are the email addresses which will form the backbone of our online learning as of 5 May. 

On Monday 4 May, your child will receive another email from all of their subject teachers which will include their topic objectives, a summary of work which will need to be submitted for marking and feedback for the period ending 15 May, as well as a timetable for them to follow. 

Thereafter, via email to pupils, teachers will distribute topics, topic objectives and a summary of work due for marking and feedback for the next two week period until such a time as pupils are allowed to return to school. We therefore urge you to ensure that at a minimum, your child is able to access their emails. 

In order to facilitate the monitoring of the online teaching and learning processes we advise you to ask your child(ren) to forward copies of some of their subject expectations to yourselves, especially assignment work. We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with these details so that you are aware of our expectations and can access the teaching and learning processes for yourselves. On our side the school will still be making use of the Senatical online platform to provide feedback from teachers on the learning progress by pupils as we have already been doing. 

Google Classroom is one of the tools that we will be using to support the teaching and learning process. All pupils should have received an invitation to their Google Classrooms. Where pupils have not received the invitation, they are to let their teachers know via email and they will be sent the codes. Please see the attached Google Classroom guide to learn more about this tool. The Google Classroom will also have information on topics, objectives and assignments in addition to other support resources relating to the topics being covered. We believe that your child’s access to this interactive platform will enhance their learning process and we encourage its use. 

We remain committed to effectively fulfilling syllabus and examination expectations for this year and ask that you give us and your children your full support as we work in new and dynamic ways in order to do so. 

1b) Google Classroom 

Online Learning Solution for Students studying from home 

Brief introduction 

Google Classroom is a free web service, developed by Google for schools, that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students. Our students will be able to interact with their teachers and submit assignments and get feedback using this useful platform. This is an excellent platform to ensure that students continue to learn even outside the physical classroom. 

There are two options to join a teacher’s classroom. 

  1. Students receive an invitation (via email) to join their teacher’s class for all those who submitted their emails to their teachers last
    term. For example, a student could receive the email below from Mr Chigudu to join his class and they simply click on the join button to join the class. (See below)

2. They can join the class using the teacher’s Google Classroom Code (to be provided by the individual teachers). This is for any student who may have challenges with their existing emails or who was unable to submit their emails to their teachers. They simply click join class. 

They then enter the code from their teacher (See below) and join their teacher’s classroom.

Submission of work and feedback from teachers 

Once a student has logged into the classroom the student is free to ask questions concerning the work a teacher will have set and do the given assignment and work that the teacher will have given. For examination classes (Form 4, Lower 6 and Upper 6), the students were allowed to go home with their textbooks for all subjects. The teachers will give guidance on Google Classroom in terms of the work that is to be covered each week. The information will be as follows: 

  1. The topic, 
  2. The objectives of the topic,
  3. The reference pages from the prescribed textbook and, 
  4. The Instructions of what should be covered and then, 
  5. The questions to be answered. The questions can be questions from the textbook itself or past examination papers.

Students will work through weekly assignments and submit these on the Google Classroom Platform for marking and feedback from the teacher. 

Below is sample of Work that a teacher will upload onto Google Classroom for a Lower 6 Geography Class Week 1: Atmosphere and weather

Diurnal energy budgets
Describe and explain the following factors affecting the diurnal energy budget:

  • incoming (shortwave) solar radiation
  • reflected solar radiation
  • energy absorbed into the surface and subsurface
  • albedo
  • sensible heat transfer 
  • long-wave radiation
  • atent heat transfer – evaporation, dew and absorbed energy returned to Earth

Instructions: Refer to page 207 to 208 of your text book. Read about energy in the atmosphere. Log on to google Classroom and refer to the power point on atmosphere and weather for a better understanding of local energy budgets. You must also read pages 19 to 22 of the International and AS Level Geography Revision book which is in our Google Classroom.

Written work: Refer to the International and AS Level Geography Revision book which is in our Google Classroom and answer the following questions:

  • Page 19 questions 1&2
  • Page 21 questions 3&4
  • Page 22 questions 9 &10

Parent Support

Parents can support their child or children in the following ways:

  1. Where possible ensure that their child or children have Internet Access and a gadget (iPad, Tablet or Laptop)
  2. Ensure that their child has joined all the relevant Google Classes for the subjects that he or she is doing.
  3. Check on their child’s progress daily and weekly to ensure that all assignments that are due are submitted on time.

Conclusion 

We are now living in the digital age of technology and Google Classroom is an important tool to help teachers and students continue to learn in these difficult and uncertain times. We continue to pray for wisdom in these times for all those in the medical field. As a school we have a strategy which we believe will help learners continue to learn regardless of circumstances. We would like to encourage all parents to support their children with this online learning initiative. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further queries or suggestions to support your children. 

2. Health and Safety Department 

In the wake of the COVID-19, the following procedures have been put in place for the foreseeable future as we do our best in fighting the pandemic at our MCGS premises. 

  • (i)  Upon entry onto the premises, a temperature check at the main gate for every person or alternatively at car parks before proceeding to different venues.
  • (ii)  Washing of hands is expected at the different designated places.
  • (iii)  Persons are expected to wear masks, before proceeding to classrooms or hostels.
  • (iv)  Social distancing has to be maintained at all times, clear markings to be followed will be evident at assembly points.
  • (v)  As much as possible parents are encouraged to communicate digitally or make an appointment if it becomes necessary to
    come in person to the offices.

N.B: Any persons found with a high temperature may be denied entry onto our premises. 

When schools reopen, the following steps are to be followed:

1. For Day Scholars

  • Checking of temperatures will be done by the main gate or car park before proceeding to class.
  • Washing of hands is done at designated places.
  • Any parent wishing to walk with their child on premises will be subjected to temperature check first and must be wearing a mask.
  • For parents and guardians who will not leave their cars, it may not be necessary to do temperature checks.
  • Students driving themselves to school will have their temperature checked by the main gate, or at the students’ car park area, before
    washing their hands and heading for classes.
  • Day scholars who register high temperatures will be expected to return home immediately. 

2. For Boarders

  • They are to bring at least 2 washable and labelled masks for their own daily use.
  • Temperature will be checked on arrival and scheduled temperature checks will be conducted during each week.
  • Washing of hands will be done at the main gate on arrival at school.
  • In the event of boarders developing high temperature, isolation facilities will be made available at the school, as much as possible.
  • We are going to suspend having visitors at hostels until further notice.
  • No parcels will also be received for boarders until further notice.

N.B: We welcome suggestions on additional measures we need to put in place to make our environment as safe as possible. We also trust that everyone will bear with us as we adjust to these new safety measures.

3. Staff Changes 

I am pleased to announce that our two year search for a MCC Headmaster has finally ended. This appointment follows a Board decision to restructure the Midlands Christian School, Midlands Christian College and Midlands Christian Training Centre into a single centrally administered Institution headed by a Principal Director. We congratulate Mr T. Mkhosana on his appointment as MCC Headmaster with effect from 1 May 2020.

BRIEF PROFILE OF MR T. MKHOSANA, THE MCC HEADMASTER DESIGNATE (1 MAY 2020) 

Mr T. Mkhosana trained as a teacher at Midlands Teacher Training College qualifying with a BA General degree and a Diploma in Secondary Education in 1995. He then went on to teach Geography and History as well as coach sports at Midlands Christian College from 1996 to 1998. Thereafter, he moved to St John’s College in Harare where he taught Geography and History and also coached Cricket and Hockey up to provincial and national level. In 2010 he did a short stint of relief teaching and student teacher education at Gateway High School and Training Centre in Harare. 

His involvement in sports management led to a move to Zimbabwe Cricket Union in 2002 where he was a General Manager and was the beneficiary of a brief secondment to the International Cricket Council in London, United Kingdom in 2003. He continued working for Zimbabwe Cricket Union on his return to Zimbabwe and in 2004 he returned to the United Kingdom to pursue further studies attaining an MSc in Sport & Leisure Management degree from Loughborough University. From 2006
his journey grew into a career as a manager and executive in sales, marketing, distribution, manufacturing and entrepreneurship in the FMCG sector in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. At the time of his appointment Mr Mkhosana was working for Lactalis South Africa in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

He brings with him his foundation in education, varied management and leadership experience as well as a willingness to serve. Mr Mkhosana believes his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the support of his family, particularly his wife, are his pillars of strength. They have three children. His passion to share the love of Christ in a broken world and to shape the future of young people, see him coming back into what he considers to be his real calling in life, education. 

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As I move full time to the office of Principal Director, I welcome Mr Mkhosana back to the College and trust that his skills and experience will add great value to the group. In fulfilling my executive appointment as Principal Director, I will ensure a sound vision, growth and development for the entire MCGS Institution. I will also work towards achieving a synergy amongst the schools and their administration.
My office will be located at our property adjacent to the current MCS pre-school buildings. 

4. Term 2 – Fees 

The bursars will soon start sending out fee invoices. Those wishing to make payment arrangements are encouraged to do so via email as much as possible to avoid coming to the offices in light of the pandemic challenges. The bursar’s department will also use emails to distribute class admission slips for all cleared pupils to attend lessons physically or receive digital instruction. Your support and co-operation is always treasured and we will do our best to ensure that our Eagles continue with their education in this difficult global season. 

Pastor D. Pswarai

REFLECTION: 

In times of difficulty and challenge it is often so easy to give up and allow others or the system to dictate the way forward. Whilst there are certainly some aspects of our lives we do not have control over, God is still calling His people and leaders to LEAD THROUGH each difficulty and challenge with great perseverance and endurance. (J. MASHIA)