By Byron Mutingwende
Parents and students received comprehensive education about life and good health during the David Mascott Wellness and Sports Tournament held in Norton on 30 June 2018.
“At the heart of good education is wellness and good health. To that effect, we have come up with this wellness and sports tournament where we have brought together various stakeholders at one place to enjoy watching our students participating in various sporting disciplines and to give an opportunity for the parents to learn from the service providers who advance good health and wellbeing,” said Gertrude Mandizvidza, the Director of David Mascott and Good Care Pre-School.
A number of institutions supported the school in the wellness and sports tournament. On one hand was the National AIDS Council (NAC) led by its district official Mrs Virginia Tausa who expressed her gratitude to David Mascott for inviting the organisation to participate during the event.
“”As NAC, we avail ourselves where people will be gathered in large numbers and take the opportunity to teach people about HIV and AIDS through coordination of the various multi-sectoral responses. Our theme is closing the tap of new infections. We make sure that prople get tested wherever they will be.
“When they know their HIV status, they will be able to protect themselves from getting infected if they are negative or if they are positive, they will protect the next person by not infecting them,” Tausai said.
Under the 90-90-90 strategy 90% of people who are HIV positive should know their HIV status.
“The majority of parents gathered here for this tournament don’t know their HIV status. By testing them here, we make sure those positive are referred for treatment. We are also encouraging parents to have their children tested. As NAC, we are not allowed to test children under the age of 16 years on their own but at functions like these, parents and guardians can have their children tested,” Tausa added.
When given the slot to speak, NAC encouraged parents to talk about HIV at home, work, church and gym among other places where people meet. They encouraged adherence to antiretroviral therapy to those who tested positive to HIV.
Really Makainganwa, an HIV and AIDS activist, said students should endeavour to keep well through exercising. She told parents at the sports tournament that despite having tested positive to HIV in 1999, she had given birth to two healthy babies who are eight and five years old respectively because of getting onto the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme. She has also graduated as a teacher and encouraged pupils to take education seriously while exercising and taking good diet.
Taurai Mukokotekwa from the Eye Institute was giving free eye screening services as part of promoting and advancing wellness in the community. Old Mutual (Private) Limited also came with a life assurance programme that encourages parents to have savings for their children’s education in future.
Good Care Pre-School opened its doors on the 3rd of January 2011 with an enrolment of four girls. Despite its humble beginnings, the pre-school gave birth to a junior school in the form of David Mascott Country School.
Of importance is the fact that the two institutions are registered with the ministry of primary and secondary education.
“This has enabled us to attend all workshops that the ministry offers and our teachers are well versed with the new curriculum which enables children from the early age to be involved in various learning areas so as to eventually produce a person who will help in the development of the country,” said Mrs Mandizvidza.
In 2018, as combined schools, David Mascott Country School won numerous awards in chess because of the importance of early child development (ECD).