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Offering an Education For Life

Tunga Mashungu Tunga Mashungu

HEADMASTER'S SPEECH-2019 SPEECH NIGHT

HEADS SPEECH 2019- “ The Value of Christian Education”

Our distinguished guest of honour The Headmaster of Gateway Primary School Mr Angus Hulley and Mrs Michelle Hulley, Chairman of the Board Mr Daud Taranhike and Mrs Taranhike and members of the board of trustees, The DSI of Northern Central District Mr Mafukidze and Ministry officials here present,The CEO of the Gateway Schools Trust Mr Abe Gatsi and Mrs Gatsi; Chairman of the Gateway PRC Mr Mike Utete and members of the PRC committee, Fellow Heads of ATS schools, Board members of ACSI Zimbabwe , Directer of Gateway Christian Training Centre Mrs Caroline Chirume, Staff and pupils of Gateway High school, invited guests,Parents, ladies and gentlemen, friends of Gateway i greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus christ and welcome you to our annual Speech and Prize Giving Night.

2019 has been a year of mixed fortunes as the difficulties in our country have continued to torment us and test us in ways we never saw coming. From currency changes to escalating rates, power outages, fuel shortages and fuel price increases. Currency changes which have finally led to hyperinflation. One cannot help but wonder what will be thrown at us next. And yet we remain resolute and strong , it begs the question why? and until when?

Our journey for accreditation with the Association of Christian Schools international (ACSI) has reached an advanced stage. After completing our self study we had a readiness visit in June by Mr Tim Thompson and Mr Bastien Norell who came to assess if we were now ready for a team visit. They were pleased with our progress and concluded that we were ready for the final team visit. In september a team of five led by Mr Mike Epp carried out the final accreditation visit over a period of four days. Every aspect of our school was scrutinized by the team, our facilities, policies, documentation, classroom methodology, students, parents, staff, board members were all part of the process. I am pleased to announce that after a two year journey Gateway High school has been recommended for accreditation.

This year we welcomed Mr Ndekha to our music department and Miss Hungwe to our sciences department. Our hope is that they will have a fruitful journey with us. We are sad to say goodbye to the following staff who have made a huge impact in the lives of many in the Gateway community: Miss Mhambi from the music department, Mr Nyaunga Humanities and exams, Miss Nyeke Counseling and life skills department, Mrs Knight Support for learning and Mr Madanhire Business studies department. Thank for for all you did during your time at Gateway and whilst we are sad to see you go we wish you all the best as you enter a new chapter in your lives. May the lord enlarge your territories and keep you from harm.

Many of us have heard of christian schools but what does it mean to have christian education and a christian school. How is it different from any type of education? How does a quadratic equation, a 100 meter race, playing Romeo in Shakespeare’s literature fit in with christianity?. Education in any form will have a particular perspective on life. it may not always be obvious but it will shape how things are understood and spoken about, how things are done and what is chosen to be taught and ultimately how things are taught. The end goal is to promote a certain belief and influence the character of those receiving the education. This might be in the form of assumptions about the nature and origins of the world or it might be evident through suggestions about the purpose of life and indeed what it means to be fulfilled as a human. No form of education is neutral as it will always be providing a particular lens through which the student sees the world and their place in it. Christian education invites young people to see and understand the world through the perspective of God’s truth. The bible becomes the lens in which students view what they are learning. The lens focusses their thinking on ultimate truth a biblical vision for life where the world is created and sustained by God; where God has acted in history to deal with the distortions of creation caused by human rebellion and where history is advancing towards a new creation in which all things are reconciled to God through Jesus who is not only the climax of the biblical story but is also the focal point of the lens. The world has distorted biblical truth so much that what appears to be the truth in todays world is frightening by any accounts. Mr Hulley and I attended the ACSI leadership conference in South Africa earlier this year. I assumed it would be the usual program where we are enriched and empowered by powerful godly speakers and come back on fire to continue our roles. It turned out to be a conference to deal with LGBT issues. My jaw dropped when i found myself being addressed by a transgender lady and an ex homosexual man. It was rather confusing at first because in my world these things were Taboo. I kept asking myself what exactly God wanted me to learn at this conference and it wasn’t until towards the end of the second day of the conference that it became clear to me what God’s agenda was. I needed to be reminded of my role in teaching the truth to God’s lost people. That ladies and gentlemen is the value of Christian education. The Lord tells us in Hosea 4:6 ‘that my people perish from lack of knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, i also will ignore your children’. My journey with christian education begun in 1997 fresh out of school arrogant and very full of myself. It was a huge culture shock being in a christian educators college. The first shock was listening to them pray sounded like they had swallowed a bible. Then there was the biggest lesson of them all which was how to make being poor look good. We were afforded a monthly allowance as students which could buy one large pizza, a i liter coke, two tickets to the movies, i bottle of lotion, i packet of washing powder and a bar of soap. I knew i’d crossed over when i would start looking forward to the next allowance pay day two days after the previous one a skill that i have put to good use in recent years. Our training officer the legendary Vivian Jenkins was a genius at the art of brain washing and making you believe in the calling. In my first year she taught us the song “i hear your call lord”, by the time i graduated in 1999 i would sing the song backwards and id added the tears rolling down my cheeks as i proclaimed my total devotion to the call. Funny as it may sound i was sold to the reality of christian education and have never looked back since. This is teaching for eternity, a gift that no amount of money can buy. It is touching and changing lives forever for the kingdom of God. What and honour and privilege it is to be a part of it. Gateway was bourn out of God’s heart to serve and fulfill his purposes. It is and will always be different to others. that is Gods intention and purpose for our existence.

May i take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to many that have partnered with us this year. To Mr Mike Utete and the PRC committee thank you for all the time you have devoted to making a difference to the school. Through you and the parents we have seen the installation of emergency showers in the science lab and ACSI requirement, purchase and installation of a cache server for our IT backbone, fixtures catering, kitting out of our first teams, support for gifted students and the introduction of parent engagement meetings. Your efforts have ensured the continued development of the school in critical areas. To Mr Daud Taranhike and our Board thank you for your vision; wisdom and unwavering support. Your guidance and leadership has seen us prevail through many tricky situations this year, may the Lord continue to cause his light to shine upon you and bless you abundantly for your obedience. To Mr Gus Hulley Headmaster of Gateway Primary and Mrs Caroline Chirume Director of Gateway Training centre our weekly lunchtime meetings continue to be a source of strength and inspiration. Thank you for your wise counsel, endless support and standing with me in prayer. To the intercession team of prayer warriors that faithfully gather every Monday morning to pray for this institution thank you for your tireless prayers and your commitment to standing in the gap for all of us. Mr Abe Gatsi the CEO of Gateway Trust and your team at the trust office. Thank you for the unenviable task of playing the unpopular role. You have survived the various onslaughts on social media and during school fee meetings but you have remained resolute. I am eternally grateful for your support.

To the Outgoing Captains, Team Leaders, leaders and sixth form students. Your journey as a Gateway student is almost done but your God given mandate is about to be unleashed into the world. You are the products of christian education, you are the reason why we exist. Through you we will change the world, impact nations and bring biblical truth to a fallen and desperate world. May the word that has been deposited in your hearts guide you as you chase your dreams. Always remember who you are and the mighty God that you serve.

To the teaching staff led by the efficient Heads of Department thank you for the many hours that you've put into preparing our students spiritually, academically, culturally and physically on the sports field.You are the true heroes of christian education. You are different from others because yours is not just a profession, it a special calling to kingdom work which echoes in eternity. Thank you for your sacrifice to the cause, your perseverance in the face of adversity, the love that you show to our students and the many hours you give all for the Glory of God. To Mr MacKop and the estates team, thank you for making this school look so amazing and for always going the extra mile in making sure that our facilities are always prepared. I stand in awe at how much time and dedication you put into your work. Im always humbled by the friendly and cheerful atmosphere at the workshop whenever i have lunch there. May i applaud the efforts of Mr Phenias Govati who retires at the end of this year after faithfully serving Gateway for 19 years. May God continue to bless you abundantly in the days of your retirement.

To the administration staff led by my PA Mrs Tafadzwa Mukambi thank you for being the face of the school as you deal with visitors, parents, students and staff. Your professional service and efficient handling of all that have passed through the offices this year has been outstanding. To my senior management team Mr George Faneti Academics Head; Mr Paduze Divisional Head, Mrs Hove Senior Mistress, Miss Mudehwe Director of Life Skills, Mrs Gotora director of ACSI coordination, Mr Masaya Exams Director and Mr Chirume Director of co-curricular activities,Thank you for the laughter we’ve shared in SMT meetings and your honest opinions. Your vigilance and strong leadership in your respective portfolios has ensured that Gateway High school remains the quality institution that it is. May the Lord expand your territories and prosper you.Thank you for remaining steadfast and committed to duty even through these very trying times. You continue to be my eyes and ears and custodians of the Gateway standard that we so jealously guard. To my Deputy Mr Saunders. Thank you for your faithfulness to duty, always going the Extra Mile with a smile. Your wisdom and calm approach to situation ensures stability in the team. May the Lord continue to inspire you and guide your paths.

In closing may i take this opportunity to give some advice to the Gateway Student body. Yes you are different, unlike the other schools and this is for a very good reason. You are a chosen people a royal priesthood set apart to do christ good work. You are not second best or at the bottom of the food chain. You are vessels that God has hand picked to change this world, impact our nation and restore our land. You are the heads and not the tail, seated amongst you are tomorrows leaders, great men and women will come from your rank, men and women of integrity, sound minds, fearless, filled with humility, exemplary in conduct and highly favoured of the lord. I leave you with Our school verse Ecclesiastes 12:1 reads ‘remember now your creator in the days of your youth.

Tunga Mashungu

Headmaster 

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