Zenzeleni School for Creative Education

School Type: Urban

Year Elected: 2014

In Cape Town’s largest township, Khayelitsha, lies the Zenzeleni School for Creative Education. It was founded in 1999 by teachers from Khayelitsha at the request of parents and in collaboration with the Centre for Creative Education (CCE), a Waldorf teacher-training college in Plumstead, Cape Town.

Zenzeleni stands for “do it yourself,” which captures the ethos of the school. Zenzeleni develops the whole child in a three-fold way: thinking, feeling and willing. The ultimate goal is for learners to leave Zenzeleni with strong resilience and their will in the right place to take control over their lives, transform their realities and become whoever they wish to become. Because the curriculum meets children at each of their stages of development this already places great emphasis on learner-centered approaches. 

Furthermore, the teachers are open to learning and partner with several CSOs such as Seed, Greenpop and Abalimi Bezekhaya to keep the school healthy and green. Zenzeleni has the potential to play an influential role in the education field in South Africa because even in the face of the many challenges experienced by people in their area, the school community is able to meet academic standards while also preparing students emotionally and socially for adult life.

Changemaking Initiatives

  • Teachers, organized as a team work together to run the school, inspired by principles of Waldorf pedagogy, applied within a South African working class context to create a unique experience of changemaking for pupils.