Marshal Hartley Reopens Boarding Facility Door

The official reopening of the boarding facilities for the Marshal Hartley Primary School was held on the 13th of October 2023. Although the school was established in the 1890’s it was destroyed during the liberation struggle which prompted its rededication. In welcoming the guests, the Principal Revd. James Mtemasango in his remarks said that great and prominent people were produced in this institution and he very much appreciated the rededication of the school to be a boarding school once again.

A brief history of the mission school was presented by the General Secretary Revd. Dr Martin Mujinga who chronicled that, Marshal Hartley was the first Mission station to be established in 1891. When Revd. Owen Watkins and Isaac Shimmin arrived on 29 September 1891, mission started from that moment. When Watkins left for the Transvaal, he left Isaac Shimmin in charge of the new mission station. Shimmin headed northwest to Nemakonde to establish a mission station. On 15 December 1891, they marked out the new mission farm which they named Hartley in honour of Marshal Hartley who was the Secretary of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in England.  Thus this day 13 October 2023 was set aside to rededicate this Primary School in Makwiro to be a boarding school once again to return to its former glory. During the liberation struggle the school was destroyed and was re-established but with a small enrolment but through the leadership of the Headmaster Mr B. Nyamadzawo who took the issue to the Board of Governors so that the school could be made a boarding school. It was also through the efforts of the Member of Parliament for the constituency Hon. Webster Shamu who also convinced the ZimPlats to build the boys and girls dormitories thereby making Marshal Hartley the third primary boarding school belonging to the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe following Chemhanza and Waddilove Schools.

In his speech on the purpose for gathering the General Secretary further highlighted that the major purpose of gathering is:

  1. To celebrate our history as the Methodist Church which is defined by both missionaries and teacher-evangelists.
  2. To add our value to the Government’s program of education as the only means to life. Mahatma Gandhi once said,

“By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and body, mind, and spirit. An education which does not teach us to discriminate between good and bad, to assimilate the one and eschew the other, is a misnomer”.

  1. To fulfill our strategic pillar 5, where education is the Church’s social responsibility.
  2. To give value to the people and the Church through this school.
  3. Rededicate Marshal Hartley into a Boarding Primary School thereby making it the third Boarding Primary School.
  4. To live our dream of establishing all Methodist Primary schools with High Schools to be boarding schools and the existing secondary schools to be Boarding schools. 

The Presiding Bishop Revd George T. Mawire in his speech of the dedication ceremony mentioned that it is an occasion of great significance in many ways. It is significant because of the cooperation many organisations and individuals who have made the establishment of the school and construction of this complex of buildings possible. But the significance of this occasion extends beyond the establishment and opening of the boarding school. The aspirations of the Education Services for what this school will achieve for its staff and above all for its learners and their parents in the years ahead is perhaps the most important dimension. The government, at national, provincial, and local level have made important contributions, both symbolic and very practical.  Special mention was made of the role of Zimplats Company in constructing of the school infrastructure and of the Ministry of Education for the expeditious issuing the approval for the operation of this school.

Furthermore the Presiding Bishop said that an education for success in the modern world must be enabling and it must be outward looking. It must not only teach the time-tested skills of reading, writing, and mathematics, which remain important. Today’s students need to learn to use computers. The ability to use communication and information technology is now a critical part of the learning, as well as an essential qualification for eventual application in the workplace. He also made a few remarks on two more dimensions of education for the modern world. The first relates to inquisitiveness, critical thinking, and problem solving. What leaners know is no longer the most important measure of the quality of education. The true test is the ability to engage with what they do not know, and to work out a solution. The second dimension involves the ability to reach conclusions that constitutes the basis for informed judgements. The ability to make judgements that are grounded in solid information and employ careful analysis should be one of the most important goals for any educational endeavour.

Those who were present at this momentous occasion were the Presiding Bishop Revd George T. Mawire, Connexional Lay president Mr Gear Hanyane, General Secretary Revd Dr Martin Mujinga, Education secretary Revd Dr Daniel Muzenda and the Bishop of Kadoma District Revd Peace Simango and the Bishop of Bulawayo District Revd Matthew Ncube. The Member of Parliament Hon. Webster Shamu was also there and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was represented by the Provincial Education Director Mr Mumha and representing Zimplats was Head Corporate Affairs Mrs Sibusisiwe Chindove. Also gracing the occasion were the guests from the Birmingham District (British Conference) District Chairperson Revd Novette Headley, Revd Farai Mapamula, Revd Cleopas Sibanda, Deacon Jane Mills, Maurice Mills, Clare Hallam and David Hallam. The Principals and Headmasters of some of the MCZ mission schools were also in attendance. The Presiding Bishop and the District Bishops led the official dedication ceremony through prayers and then the cutting of the ribbon by the Provincial Education Director and the Presiding Bishop while the Moleli High School choir presented their melodious hymns in celebration of the moment. The guests also had opportunity to take a tour of the school accompanied by the Principal and Headmaster.