Eastern Cape - Schools of special significance should be developed into educational and cultural centres of excellence, Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said on Wednesday.

“If we can demonstrate how excellence can be achieved at these schools, then we will have created a model from which our nation as a whole can benefit,” he said at his former high school, Lovedale College, in Alice in the Eastern Cape.

Communities and past pupils would need to support the schools by donating time and money, and the government also needed to play a role in developing the schools.

“I therefore call on government to assign these schools a special category and designate them as academies,” Ndungane said.

However, for historic schools to thrive as academies they needed to be granted the autonomy to fulfil their visions.

Ndungane, who is executive director of the Historic Schools Restoration Project, said head teachers had to embody the principles the schools wished to impart to pupils.

Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki and Steve Biko were also former pupils of Lovedale College. - Sapa