Nova Pioneer recently celebrated its valedictory ceremony for its Grade 12 students at Ormonde Secondary. The ceremony, which took place at the campus, saw students and staff maintaining all social distance protocols as well as live streaming for those students, speakers and family members who were unable to attend in person.
“Nova Pioneer is proud of how quickly our students and teachers were able to adapt to learning during the pandemic this year. Because we follow the Cambridge curriculum, three groups of pupils sat exit exams over this time: Grade 11 (IGCSE), Grade 12 (AS) and Grade 13 (A-levels). All of these students had to pivot between ‘normal’ school, fully online and hybrid delivery systems while preparing for these high-stakes exams. We are incredibly proud of the perseverance and can-do approach that they displayed at all times”, says Theun Opperman, Head of School at Nova Pioneer Ormonde Secondary.
2020 presented unprecedented challenges, with schools mandated to close in March. As a result, Nova Pioneer shifted immediately to virtual learning to support the continued learning of students. The anxiety associated with this sudden change was felt by all students and parents, but none more so than those in their final year of school.
Ntando Makwela, the author of “The Dynamic Kid” and a student at Nova Pioneer Ormonde, started his address at the Grade 12 valedictory ceremony by saying that his class needed to celebrate the fact that one skill they have acquired through this year is ‘resilience’.
“The class of 2020 have developed the skill of being able to learn on their own, with teacher support that looked and felt very different, through online platforms that have become their school experience in March. They were always very aware that they would be writing international exams and as such had no choice but to leverage technology and each other throughout this period”, says Ntando Mlilo, Dean of Students at Ormonde Secondary.
“One of the biggest achievements of the class of 2020 was to maintain the connection in the school throughout this remote climate. This was achieved through having school-wide conversations around topical issues, such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Gender-based violence’. Planned and moderated by students, these termly conversations ensured a sense of unity within the student body. What one can learn from the class of 2020 is that resilience is built when young people are given the opportunity and platform to independently persevere through challenging times”, says Mlilo.
Nova Pioneer is a proudly African independent school network that builds and operates world-class facilities offering affordable education. As a testament to its commitment and perseverance to excellence, Nova Pioneer is celebrating some fantastic achievements from its second class of Grade 12’s since opening in 2015.
The Nova Pioneer concept is the brainchild of Chinezi Chijioke whose vision is to produce world-class African leaders and thinkers who will power the continent forward. The Harvard and Stanford graduate has a life-long passion for education and always dreamed of being a part of a team that would develop schools across Africa to unleash the incredible potential of the continent’s youth.
Part of Chijioke’s vision was to offer a holistic education to his students. This meant not only attending to their scholastic needs but also building character. “Our vision of a Novaneer is centered on three ‘C’s: character, capabilities, and connection. The three together equip our students to solve problems, take on challenges and shape the world for the better. Among the three Cs, the first is Character, because it is the foundation upon which distinctive capabilities, or the connections of a strong community, are built,” says Chinezi.