Catholic Institute of Education


Since the first Catholic school opened in Port Elizabeth in 1847, Catholic schools have served the children of South Africa. There are now 335 Catholic schools in South Africa, with over 7 600 teachers and more than 170 000 learners. These schools’ communities represent diverse cultures and religions, with Catholics forming the minority.

Seventy percent of Catholic schools are public schools on Church-owned land, while the other 30% are independent. Catholic schools have a long tradition of offering a values-based education of high quality.

The unique ethos and pastoral care offered by Catholic schools makes them stand out as beacons of hope to the marginalised and vulnerable learners in the communities they serve. Catholic schools reach out to those in their community who are in need by offering material and spiritual support.

Catholic schools set aside time for prayer, meditation, the celebration of Mass and other liturgical services. Catholic schools honour and respect the religious beliefs of all staff, learners and parents, and acknowledge the feasts and festivals of other religions. A Religious Education programme that supports the spiritual formation of learners is offered to learners from Grades 0 to 12.