Kyle College head, Ddendaal calls it a day


MASVINGO – After 14 years of great achievements, some ups and downs, Kyle College head, Corrie Ddendaal has called it a day.

He resigned on March 30, 2021 and Ddendaal who has a strong farming background is retracing his footsteps back to what is probably his first love.

He is assuming a post at Masvingo Chicks as a farm manager.

Ddendaal came to Kyle College in Masvingo in 2003 when he joined Kyle Prep as a teacher. A year later he was promoted to become Kyle College deputy head and head in 2007 after replacing Peter Kolbe who was the head.

“My last day at Kyle was March 30, 2021 and I have since joined Masvingo Chicks as farm manager. It was a long and satisfying journey,” said Ddendaal in an interview with The Mirror.

The 67- year old looks back to his 17 years at the school with pride. He oversaw a lot of infrastructural developments at the school and his academic and sports achievements were remarkable.

Cambridge pass rates have always been high; above 82% for O Level and 92% for A Level. In sports Kyle College dominated rugby in the country while its girls are a hockey powerhouse.

Located about 4km from the CBD along Masvingo – Zimuto Road, Kyle College has a student enrolment of 450 students with both day and boarding places.

Ddendaal however, said Covid19 nearly wrecked the school’s good academic record as pass rates for November 2020 examinations dropped to 70% for O Level and 90% for A Level subjects.

The lockdown almost spelt disaster had the school not quickly switched onto online learning. Now the school has adapted to the new learning and everything is smooth sailing, he said.

“We were caught flat footed by the pandemic but I am glad my staff and pupils managed to adapt to the new norm as we quickly switched to online learning and the pass rate was good under the circumstances,” said Ddendaal.

Looking back, Ddendaal said the year 2007 and 2008 were the worst for his tenure as head because of the hyperinflation. Prices changed every day making it difficult to plan, he said.

Ddendaal was born in Chivhu in a family of three boys and three girls. He went to Gert Nel Primary School in Chartsworth, Gutu and did his secondary education at Victoria High in Masvingo.

He enrolled for a BA Honours Degree with the University of Free State and later joined the University of Rhodesia (now UZ) for his Graduate Certificate in Education.

In 1976 he joined Vainona High School in Harare where he taught Geography, Physical Education and Afrikaans.

In 1978 he quit teaching and went farming until 2002 when his farm was repossessed by Government during the land reform programme.

Ddendaal is married to Rene and the couple is blessed with three girls and a boy who all went to Kyle College for their secondary education.

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