schools revamp to spur leaders

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane is tugging at both the heart and the purse strings in a campaign to nurture high-calibre African leaders for the future.

Ndungane was approached by Minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan in 2006 to champion a project to restore historically significant South African schools.

Yesterday in Johannesburg Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) chairman Jay Naidoo followed in the tracks of businessman Matthews Phosa when he donated R100000 to boost the highly ambitious historical schools restoration project.

Coincidentally, the period 2006 to about 2009 marks the bicentennial of the commencement of the work of the African prophet Ntsikana, who was instrumental in promoting literacy among the AmaXhosa. This was the inspiration for Jordan's initiative.

Seven schools are in the initial phase of the project to restore historically significant schools and turn them into centres of cultural and educational excellence.

They are: Adams College, Inanda Seminary and Ohlange High School in KwaZulu-Natal, Healdtown Comprehensive and St Matthews High schools in Eastern Cape, Lemana School in Limpopo and Tiger Kloof in Northern Cape.

Supported by Education Minister Naledi Pandor and the Minister of Arts and Culture, the national and provincial departments and business institutions and organisations, including the First Rand Group, DBSA, Investec and KPMG, the project seeks to:

lNurture future high-calibre African leaders;

lRevitalise the rich heritage of the historical schools and transform them into sustainable, educational and cultural institutions;

lFoster excellence in teaching and learning, encouraging ownership of the project by the schools' communities, alumni and founders;

lForge partnerships between the schools, the historical schools restoration project, government, NGOs, churches and business institutions;

lPromote African culture, language and values (ubuntu) and build moral character and leadership skills.

Some of the schools earmarked for the second phase are Wilberforce Community College, St Martin's School, Kilnerton (now John Wesley College), Morris Isaacson and Orlando High in Gauteng, the Lovedale and St John's colleges in Eastern Cape, the Zonneblom and Livinstone high schools in Western Cape, Pax Boys College, Glen Cowie High School and St Mark's College in Limpopo.