Inanda Seminary, founded in 1869, was the first secondary school exclusively for African girls in southern Africa established by Congregationalist missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (a predecessor mission body of Global Ministries). The seminary is a church school of Global Ministries partner, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). The vision statement of Inanda includes the empowerment of students to play a role in the development of the nation and become future leaders.
Inanda Seminary believes in developing the whole child: intellectually, socially, physically and spiritually, and upholds six core values: honesty, respect/self-respect, responsibility, loyalty, self-discipline and sociability. Many of the girls studying at Inanda come from challenging situations, and receive significant scholarship support from Inanda, with support, in part, from Global Ministries.
Inanda Seminary is one of 22 schools that are a part of the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition, which define themselves as “impact schools”. Impact schools are high-quality, achievement-oriented schools that provide students from challenging situations across South Africa with affordable access to high-quality learning that prepares them for success in higher education and the world of work.
The pass rate nationally in South Africa is 70.7% and, in the province where Inanda is located, the pass rate is one of the lowest in the country with only a 60.7% pass rate. However, Inanda Seminary achieved a 100% pass rate in 2015, with 96% of graduates who qualify, planning to attend university.
As a part of its outreach efforts, Inanda Seminary is actively participating in its wider community to be a part of the solution of the education crisis in the country through providing opportunities for students from local public schools to access additional teaching and learning. In January 2016, at the start of the new school year, Inanda expanded its reach into the local community through the new Khanyisa (“Light”) community project. Every Saturday, students from local public schools attend additional classes in mathematics and science at Inanda.
Khanyisa started with over 300 children from three high schools attending Saturday classes. The plan is to grow the number of schools attending and to offer winter and spring class sessions during school holidays. In the near future, Khanyisa will also provide professional development for teachers from the community schools and leadership skills and development for all. Khanyisa currently uses existing classrooms at Inanda Seminary, but the hope is to obtain funds to build a multi-purpose center that will be designated solely for the use of the Khanyisa community project.