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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Where men fail, women take over': Inanda Seminary's rescue by its own
Author:Couper, Scott EverettISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 1726-1686)
Geographic term:South Africa
black education
Christian education
educational history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2014.963141
Abstract:In December 1997, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa and Inanda Seminary's Governing Council decided to close southern Africa's oldest and once most prestigious school for black girls. The school survived colonialism and apartheid. Yet, after providing 128 years of quality Christian education, the Seminary could not survive South Africa's new democratic dispensation. After hearing the Council's announcement of closure, the school's alumnae ('Old Girls') resolved to save the Seminary. The wider church and the Council, under whose auspices and weak leadership the Seminary operated poorly, rescinded its earlier decision, relinquished control and agreed to allow the Old Girls to administer the school independently. The former students inherited an almost hopeless task. Deep infrastructural, administrative and financial rot permeated the school rendering it profoundly dysfunctional. Though the alumnae averted the school's permanent closure in 1997, the Seminary teetered within a 'critical care' state for the remainder of the decade. Only in the new millennium did the Seminary fully recover and again become a school of excellence. This article chronicles the crisis from 1997 to 1998 that led to the school's survival. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]