Zithulele Independent School

Zithulele Independent School, a partner of Ubuntu Global Connections, is a “school of hope” for grades kindergarten to 7th grade, located in a challenging rural environment in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This school embraces a unique mix of children from the community as well as the children of local staff of several non-profit organizations which makes for a diverse and exciting learning environment. Since its inception in 2016, the teachers and school staff have helped make living and working more sustainable for NGO families, many of whom relocated to the rural Eastern Cape to support the community in the areas of health care and community development. Clearly, the impact of this school goes well beyond the lives of the 79 students in the classrooms.

The school has an excellent track record educationally as the students have performed well above their peers at other local schools. The students have also performed well in broader arenas: In 2022 the school’s team won the English section of the Zithulele Community Spelling Bee, had three students selected to represent the province in chess and seven students making it to the second round in the South African Maths Challenge. The 2022 alumni all performed above average in their 1st term of 8th grade, excelling in Maths, English and isiXhosa. This is good for the individual children but is also helpful for challenging the broader education status quo in terms of what a good education looks like and what rural children can achieve.

The school’s board is committed to making their excellent education accessible to students from the local communities by having a sliding scale for school fees. In 2023, 71% of the students paid the lowest fee bracket and only 15% paid full school fees so the school must rely on the generosity of donors to meet their expenses.

Zithulele Independent School Sliding Scale for School Fees
(Dollar values based on an exchange rate of 18.8 rand per dollar.)

Visit the Zithulele Independent School website for more information, and follow them on Instagram to keep  up to date with the school’s great work.