Hillcrest Schools New Principal - Mr. Orlando Fernandes

Monday, 11 May, 2020

Dear Parents.

It is funny how things work out, I was expecting to come to Hillcrest towards the end of last term, then this whole Corona Virus situation exploded across the world and the term was cut short. I found myself sneaking into the College expecting a number of times to be turned back as I travelled here. Many friends and colleagues from my previous school told me I was stupid to leave at all. Times are uncertain, what if you got sick, who would you have there and so on. I am excited to be at Hillcrest; it has a good reputation around the country, and I don’t feel for one minute that my move was a mistake.

Education is a multi-facetted endeavour where we aim to impart to our children a lot of knowledge and skill sets to give our children a fighting chance to succeed in the world around them. At Hillcrest, we take a holistic approach to education where every part of an individual is given room to develop and find expression, whether it be mentally, socially, spiritually, culturally or physically. Which is why I am such a strong believer in a formal education system. The Covid-19 pandemic has raised its ugly head forcing us all to change the way we usually do things.

Education, for me, has four pillars; the teachers, the facilities, the students, and the parents. All have a vital and integral part to play in the education system and all have to be meaningfully involved or utilised (in the case of the facilities). Removing one of these pillars makes the whole system unstable and lessens the value of the education imparted.

Hillcrest Schools have embarked on an Online Learning Programme in order to ensure your child’s education is not neglected and that one does not fall behind or finds oneself under pressure to complete a course as a result of the lockdown measures in place. It is a learning curve for all of us and no doubt there will be lots of challenges along the way. We all need to be understanding and we need to communicate clearly so we can decide on the best way forward.

Not that I want to be smothered by calls and emails, but it is perhaps surprising how few parents have contacted me about anything. I was half expecting a fair bit of correspondence of some sort. I just want to reiterate we need to communicate. Why let issues simmer and come to a head. We could easily minimise problems and plan a way forward if we communicated more with the relevant people. Not communicating our issues lead to bad feelings and mistrust, we are part of the same team and we all want what is best for your child.

I am glad that I put this initial message of mine out a bit late as it gives me great pleasure to commend the following for their outstanding achievements in the recent International Cambridge Examinations:

Paras Govind for his High Achievement for the June AS Level Global Perspectives and his Top of Zimbabwe award for A Level Physics in the November examinations.  May I also commend Messrs Blessing Mwale and Emias Chiundo his teachers in these respective subjects.

Tapiwanashe Chipato for her Top of Zimbabwe award for the June AS level English Language, she is the daughter of Mr. Orbert Chipato our Deputy Headmaster at the College who also taught her.

Tracey Matsaira for her Top of Zimbabwe award for the November IGCSE Agriculture. I would like to commend the teacher Mr. Michael Mutenje.

Ghulam Mubashar for his Top of Zimbabwe award for his IGCSE Computer Science examination in the November examinations. To be commended also is Mr. Paradzai Makotore, his teacher.

I look forward to meeting you all in due course. With the warm, welcoming reception I have had from the few people I have met, I look forward to my time at Hillcrest.