Morris Mtisi Post Correspondent
HAVE you ever wondered why Anglican schools in Manicaland offer the best education and claim the best examination results in the province and the nation at large? Vision, planning, flexibility, organisational skill, research, networking and hard work are all part of the wisdom of excellence that has become a trademark of the Anglican mantra in Manicaland.
In a short and sweet orientation held at the Crocodile Motel in Rusape recently, the man at the helm of the Anglican Church in Manicaland, Erick Ruwona, clearly paved the way that he wanted to see Anglican schools in Manicaland province take in running the institutions.
Bishop Erick Ruwona announced eight Boards of Governors for eight key schools belonging to the Diocese of Manicaland: St Faith’s, St Augustine’s, St David’s-Bonda, St Catherine’s, St Anne’s, St Matthias, St Mary’s and St Werburgh’s High schools.
In his orientation speech, the Bishop emphasized the need for coordination and cooperation between all the arms of the Diocesan machine, namely the Board of Governors, the school administration staff-headmasters and mistresses, school principals, the SDCs and the Education Commissioners.
“We are one family. We must tow one line. We must share the same vision. We must understand our mission and purpose and move at the same pace towards the same direction,” he pointed out.
“The right hand must know what the left hand has or is doing. And in the same vein the left hand must know what is in the right hand and what it is doing…for they are two hands belonging to the same body. Our churches and schools for a long time now have been operating like little islands with heads of department, especially school heads doing what they wanted and hiding behind the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.”
The Bishop emphasized the need for observing protocol and systematic report procedures and mechanisms. He also stressed the need to adopt 21st century education skills and discouraged rigidity that kept people stuck in old and now irrelevant ways of doing things.
“We are very good at some things…and these are not a few things, but when it comes to things we are not doing well, we must admit and be prepared to learn and adapt,” the Bishop said.
He concluded his orientation to newly appointed board of governors and school heads at the Crocodile Motel by encouraging school heads to brace for a tough third term threatened by the harsh economic realities prevailing in the country. “…But don’t sit and mourn, clueless of what to do to make sure nothing changes in the quality of our education and church business even in the midst of adverse changes and hardships. Be creative, be innovative, be adventurous and in the process remember to consult and aim to beat our own records of excellence in whatever we do, in Churches or in Schools.
Addressing the same audience, the Diocesan Registrar, Ashel Mutungura appealed to the Board members to each secure and study the Acts of The Diocese which constitute the legal instrument of all church and school business.
“Everything we do with and for each other boils down to the Constitution of the Diocese of Manicaland,” the legal practitioner emphasized. “If we go by this ‘Bible’ we have no problems. We will not have individuals who are overlapping and doing what they are not supposed to do. It is written in very simple language, but if you hit a snag, let me know. I will help you. That is my job.”
Mr Mutungura said time had come for the church and schools to function according to the legal instruments of the Diocese.
“For too long, people did what they wanted and ended up creating unnecessary conflicts, tensions and misunderstandings. This Constitution drives our vision and mission as the Anglican Church and shows us how to do it. If we follow it to the letter, we will have no problems,” he said.
The legal practitioner judiciously explained and illustrated how the Constitution smoothly prompted protocol and procedure of doing things. He added that the Constitution was a legal document and no one qualified to oppose it, to amend it or alter it, except the Diocese of Manicaland.
Speaking to the same audience, Advocate Musendo, another lawyer by profession, encouraged the Diocesan administrative and managerial machine to bring about efficacy, efficiency and effectiveness through value addition. He emphasized the need to be techno-savvy and adopt 21st century ways of doing whatever business there is to be done in the Churches or schools. He emphasised the need for the Board of Governors and other leadership arms of the Diocesan machine to adopt the concept of disruptive leadership.
“Sometimes it is critically important to disrupt the orthodox ways of doing things in order to achieve results. Many young men and women today have adopted new ways of thinking and doing things and achieved amazing results…even in innovative and creative ways of running business and making enormous profits in the process.
“I want to encourage every leader here to move away from maintaining status quos and exhibit growth in whatever they do,” the youthful advocate said.
“If you keep things what you found them, what value have you added in your term of office? Research for innovativeness in business…how to make money…instead of how to spend it, in these institutions and stations that you were or have been appointed to.”
The legal practitioner did not mince his words about the need to seek ways and means of remaining relevant and being a foundation of progress and prosperity. He illustrated how ideas can be money citing examples of young men and women over short periods of time have made millions to billions of dollars from nothing bigger than an idea.
“This is the kind of leader who is wanted in the churches and schools today,” he said. He was clearly warning against a situation where the Diocese would be seen as bankrupt of ideas and susceptible to begging and futile donor-dependency syndrome.
The composition of the Board of Governors appointed by the Bishop on the day exhibited visionary and strategic wisdom on the part of the man of God at the helm. In each school board there were key professionals like legal practitioners, educationists, finance experts and organisational strategists.
The critical details of the orientation were contained in Venerable Kuwani’s presentation outlining the Diocesan vision and Strategy. Venerable Kuwani is the Arch-Deacon of the Diocese of Manicaland responsible for schools.