Adams College dreams big

2014-01-17 00:00

ONE of the most historic teaching institutions in KwaZulu-Natal says it is confident that its rich contribution in producing some of the country’s leaders will be officially recognised.

Yesterday, spokesperson for Adams College in Amanzimtoti, Thulasizwe Makhanya, said they expect the National Heritage Council to make an announcement on whether the school will be declared a National Heritage Site by early February.

“We are excited, and confident that we will get the green light from them. It will validate our work and history, and the contribution of everybody who has ever passed through our corridors,” Makhanya said.

Last November, the National Heritage Council of South Africa together with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, charged with leading the research component and documentary on the 160-year legacy of Adams College, did their final inspection.

This was made possible by funding of R450 000 from the council in 2005 following a research based on the impact of mission stations in the province.

Adams College is one of the American church mission stations founded by Dr Newton Adams in 1853.

The institution is the second oldest institution for Africans in South Africa, and was then called Amanzimtoti Institute.

The college’s alumni include early leaders of the national liberation movement, presidents of Botswana and Uganda, several ministers and leaders of the African National Congress.

Together with the Adams College Development Fund, formed by former pupils and the school governing body, the school has created the 3R Project (Revitalise, Re-develop and Re-position) strategy to restore Adams College to its former glory and transform it into a leading state-of-the-art educational institution.

This includes construction of a new African Library and Resource Centre, renovations of the computer, biology and science laboratories, extra classrooms, an African Nepad Garden and Walk of Fame, renovation of 16 houses into B&Bs and the establishment of a sports academy.

The NHC said in a statement they believed that cultural tourism can contribute immensely to the economic development of the country.

Whilst the Heritage, Tourism and Community Development Project was being implemented by a range of stakeholders including local communities, UKZN had been tasked with the research component since 2006.

“The NHC funded this project due to the indelible print on the cultural and heritage landscape left behind by the missionaries in this region of South Africa. A principal component of the project is to encourage community development through promotion of religious heritage tourism in order to stimulate local tourism in area.”

Makhanya said the main benefit of being registered as a heritage site is that the legacy and history of the school will be officially protected.

“We have produced so many icons, mainly political but also in many other spheres.

“Being formally recognised will mean massive marketing and tourism opportunities, and a renewed interest in our shared history.”

The school’s 1 200 pupils from Grade 8 to 12, bear testimony to the sentimental attachment to the school, as most of them are descendants of people who used to attend, Makhanya said.

“We will be involving our pupils in naming houses, roads and facilities at the college after our ex-students, but they will have to put strong motivations forward.”

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