ADVENTIST College of Education will soon start enrolment of students after the completion of the first phase of the US$17 million teacher training college in Gweru, an official has said.

SDA, Zimbabwe Union Conference, education secretary, Pastor Felix Njini said the first phase of the state -of-the-art college is almost complete and they are waiting for the Public Service Commission to give them the green light to enrol. Pr Njini said project was one of the biggest investments in Zimbabwe’s education sector in recent years.

The College which is 18km from Gweru along Bulawayo Road is being built in two phases with the first phase taking up primary school teachers only. The construction of the College which sits on a 22-hectare piece of land at Arcadia Farm is being funded by the Church using both local and external resources from friendly organisations outside the country.

Pastor Njini said that the College will produce a new brand of teachers called “teacher evangelists” who will uphold Christian values and ethical standards. “We have realised that the whole world have lost the moral campus hence our children are in danger, the training college is aimed at moulding a teacher who has a Christ-like character. “Bearing in mind that teachers are very powerful and they have amazing influence especially to children, our desire is to be a bank of morals to the nation, producing God fear teachers,” said Pr Njini. “Our approach to education is holistic in nature; we put our major focus in mental, physical, spiritual and social aspects.”

He said the construction of the first phase of the college started in February. “We are doing this to augment Government efforts by producing teacher evangelist who upholds Christian values wherever they are. “We also felt that since we run 146 schools in the country there is also need to produce teachers who can easily fit into our education system although deployment of the teachers remains the prerogative of the Ministry,” he said.

Some of the buildings under construction include hostels, lecture rooms, kitchen, dining hall and chapel. Pr Njini said the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, approved the project.

SDA was the first to establish a Church run university in Zimbabwe when they were given a Charter by the President in 1994 to convert Solusi into a University.