Historic schools project aims to recapture our heritage

Compiled by Nereshnee Govender

A project aimed at revitalizing South Africa's historic schools was launched at Adams College in Amanzimtoti, Durban in November. The Historic Schools' Restoration Project was initiated by Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan. This project is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, churches and non-governmental organisations.
At the launch Archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane said that the historic significance of these schools could not be underestimated. "We desire our schools to be centres not only of educational, but of cultural excellence. As we look to the future, we know South Africa will always be a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual nation. Inkosi Albert Luthuli, a son of Adams College, as a pupil and a teacher, went on to become secretary and later president of the African Teachers’ Association, president of the ANC and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,” said Ndungane.
Another famous Adams alumnus was John Dube, the first president of the ANC, who went on to found Ohlange High School, one of the pilot schools for the project. “Our vision is to produce value-based, transformational, Afro-centric leaders, who are able to meet the critical demands of community and country and our mission is to recapture the heritage of our historic schools and transform them into sustainable, aspirational African institutions of educational and cultural excellence,” the Archbishop said.
Ndungane added that President Thabo Mbeki, Chris Hani and himself were products of Lovedale, another of the 17 schools identified to pilot the project. Others include Morris Isaacson in Soweto and Livingstone High School in Cape Town.