Lovedale Missionary School

Lovedale Missionary School Image source

The missionary school where so many Black intellectuals of the 19th and early 20th century—from Tiyo Soga to Thabo Mbeki to Steve Biko — were to be educated.
Lovedale was established in 1824 by John Bennie and John Ross of the Glasgow Missionary Society (GMS). It was named after the society’s secretary at the time, Dr John Love.
It first provided informal education and training for Blacks around the Thyume Valley .
Lovedale officially opened as a seminary in 1841, three years before William Chamler presented Tiyo Soga, who would become South Africa’s first indigenous Black cleric for the Presbyterian Church, for the entrance examination.
Lovedale was a semi-multiracial school then — nine White boys, six Coloured and a multiple number of Black students, in 1841. They all shared classrooms and the dining hall, and mingled together in sport; but slept apart along racial lines. Classes were taught in Xhosa and English (there were no Afrikaans teachers). Christianity and classics (Latin and Greek) were the main subjects; followed by geography and mathematics.
Lovedale TVET College has a long and prestigious story to tell in the history of education in South Africa. Although the institution has changed shape and direction many times over the years, it has nonetheless remained an educational institution that has always had the interests of the surrounding community at heart.
Today, the Lovedale TVET College consists of three campuses, each one addressing particular needs of the community. The history of the College is tied up in the history of each of its campuses: Alice Campus, in the little town of Alice in the Eastern Cape and the site of the original Lovedale, King Campus in King William’s Town, and Zwelitsha Campus, also in King William’s Town.


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Last updated : 23-Apr-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 14-Jun-2017

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