An introduction to the world of Catholic Schools
The founders of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth:
The Dominican Sisters of Cabra
The Missionary Sisters of the Assumption
The Marist Brothers
The Dominican Sisters of King Wiiliams Town
The Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
(Dc la Salle Brothers) ••• and Parish Priests…
The schools today:
23 Catholic schools in the Diocese.
22 are public-schools-on-Catholic-Church-property (PSPP), each with a Deed of
Agreement with the Department of Education, 1 is independent.
20 are primary schools, 3 are high schools.
Our schools’ common story:
Chapter 1 Foundation stories – the rise of new religious orders’ in 09th.
Chapter 2 Beginnings in SA – ‘Roomse gevaar’ fortresses but with open doors – esp. early C20
Chapter 3 The crushing of SA’s ‘mission’ schools & teachers-colleges the 1950s
Chapter 4 Expansion and multiplication – into the 1960s
Chapter 5 Contraction, amalgamations, & closures the 70s and 80s
Chapter 6 Open schools, white flight. & the waning of boarding – 1970s-90s
Chapter 7 The coming of Lay Principals -the 80s and 90s
Chapter 8 The coming of Boards of Governors – the 80s and 90s
Chapter 9 Independent schools & PSPP – the new SA of the 90s
Chapter 10 Expansion & conversion (hostels & houses) vs mere subsistence – the 90s & beyond
Chapter II The Lay Age of Catholic Education – the C21st
The third generation in Catholic schools:
1st generation was the pioneers, typically Sisters or Brothers,
2nd gen: the inheritors of established schools in the late C20th.
3rd generation is you…
- Third-generation is not third-class. Progress, not degeneration…
- A whole new set of strengths from the new base of ordinary family people.
Then and now…
|Lots of Sisters & Brothers in their habits||Plainclothes professionals from ordinary life|
|Single-minded dedication of Sisters/Brothers||A range of levels of staff dedication|
|The strengths & weaknesses of the Cloister||Stronger links to the wider world|
|Strong conservative forces built-in||Freer to innovate and try new ways|
|Some ‘tribalism’, much competitiveness||Much collaboration and networking|
|Almost all single-gender schools (‘monastic’)||Both single-gender & co-ed options available|
|The hidden subsidyn0f unpaid Religious||Much harder to make schools affordable at all|
|The schools were simple but resourceful||Wider gap between have & have-not schools|
|Apartheid in the schools was enforced by law||Still much apartheid by geography/location|
|Catholic schools were smaller & decentralised||Catholic schools are larger but fewer|
|Differences were mainly economic||Two different worlds: independent & p-on-p-p|
|The charisma & spirituality held by Religious||The charisma & spirituality shared broadly|
|The Brothers/Sisters held the world-wide links||Schools belonging to something worldwide|