At the inception of the Historic Schools Restoration Project, a historic school was seen as one of the group of denominational schools, established by various religious orders that sought to provide education experiences to children of Black South African communities. These schools had been responsible for offering quality education to (almost entirely) Black South Africans until the promulgation of the Bantu Education Act of 1953.
With this in mind, the Department of Education – in response to a request from the Historic Schools Reference Group – commissioned profiles of twelve such secondary schools, which became known initially as the “pilot” schools.
The Historic Schools Project Reference Group and the newly constituted Board held a series of meetings and workshops to further refine this definition. Some of the criteria used to identify a historic school included the following:
- The school should have previously achieved prominence in the community it served through the quality of graduates it produced
- The school should be African in cultural character
- The school should have the potential to be a centre for sustainable community development
- The school should clearly demonstrate ownership of the restoration process by the surrounding community.
Taking the above criteria into account, a decision was taken to include schools that had played a meaningful role in the struggle for democracy as they could also be seen as historically significant.
As it was more practically viable to address the needs of a smaller group of schools in the initial phase of the project, the number of “pilot” schools was set at nine. They are Adams College, Healdtown Comprehensive School, Inanda Seminary, Lemana High School, St Matthew’s High School, Tiger Kloof Educational Institution, Ohlange High School, Inkamana High School and Vryheid Comprehensive School.
In essence and for the purposes of this project, a historic school is defined as a presently under-resourced South African secondary school which has formally played a significant role in the formation of our present day nation.
If your school might be identified as a historic school please use either of the following options:
Complete an online application form and send to us directly.
Download an application form (format: RFT, size: 165kb)