Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane has pledged his support for an initiative to restore 10 historic schools that produced the who’s who of Struggle luminaries and southern African leaders.
On Tuesday, Ndungane, the executive director of the Historic Schools Restoration Project, visited Inanda Seminary, one of the 10 schools, where he appealed to past pupils and the public to contribute to a trust fund established to help pupils.
“The project also seeks to reclaim the memory and heritage of the historic sites that include the original school buildings,” he said.
He said the historic schools should be fully restored and transformed to centres of excellence, because they have a special place in SA’s heritage.
Inanda Seminary alumni include former deputy minister of health Nozizwe Routledge-Madlala, ANC national chairwoman Baleka Mbete, attorney Thandi Orleyn and the late health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.
Adams College, near eManzimtoti, is another of the pilot schools and counts among its distinguished past pupils AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
“We urge people to contribute to the ZK Matthews Trust Fund to assist learners at these schools.”
Ndungane said the government also needed to play a role in developing the schools.
“I call on [the] government to assign these schools a special category and designate them as academies,” he said.
“The academies in Britain and the charter schools in the US are examples of such an organisational model. They provide publicly funded education aimed at specific goals – goals of excellence – and pursued through the granting of considerable autonomy. Schools need this sort of flexibility to develop their vision and to create the sort of partnerships, including those with the private sector and civil society, that can support delivery of the excellence for which we need.”
Other schools that the project has committed to helping are Inkamana (Vryheid), Ohlange (Inanda), Vryheid Comprehensive, St Mathews (Soweto), Lemana (Magangeni village, Limpopo), Tiger Kloof (Northern Cape), Healdtown Comprehensive (Eastern Cape) and Orlando High school (Soweto).
Archbishop Ndungane addresses a Grade 10 English class at Inanda Seminary