Schools Support Visits

By Victor Gweshe 

Jesuit education is renowned for its academic precision and holistic education because of its empowering nature. The uniqueness and success of how Jesuit schools educate is based on the Ignatian spirituality which refers to companionship, being people for others, and cura pesonalis (care for the whole person) among other attributes. Jesuit education is a phenomenon which forms the whole person. 

As a support strategy for the Ignatian ethos, the thrust of the visits to schools by the Jesuit Education Office is mainly to complement the schools’ efforts in all spheres of school life extending from issues to do with infrastructure, learner wellbeing, safety, child protection, administration, teaching and learning etc. The exercise allows for an all stakeholder involvement in order to build conversations on what a given school is doing right, to foster the best from all faculties and ensure that all systems are meaningful.

Information gathered from the evaluation is then used as a baseline upon which recommendations are made for the particular school. This assists the school in question to improve in areas in which great strides are already being made while simultaneously discouraging wrong practices that may hinder quality teaching and learning. The positive feedback approach is used for report back as a tool to help stakeholders improve and continue at a given level of performance. 

Unlike a whole school evaluation, the support visit is a snapshot type of an activity that takes a day or two. Within that period all stakeholders that have a foothold in a school are afforded time to reflect in order to share consolations and desolations. This, as a result, informs the direction a school should take based upon the findings and recommendations. Jesuit education speaks of reflection as a key component of our work in transforming the lives of our learners. The intention of the schools support visits is to change the course of education delivery in Jesuit run or Jesuit administered schools to meet 21st century demands.

Schools visited so far this term are Chishawasha Primary School and Peter Claver Primary School.

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