Catholic Education Network in South Africa
The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) established the CIE in 1985 for the bishops to be kept informed of developments in education in southern Africa and to undertake inservice training for teachers in Catholic schools. Bishop Giuseppe Sandri, Bishop of Witbank, is the current chair of the CIE Board.
The Catholic Schools Proprietors Association (CaSPA) was established in the early 1990s at the request of the newly elected democratic government to negotiate the future of public schools of private property. The association is comprised of all religious congregations and dioceses that own schools in southern Africa. Today, CaSPA remains as a vision and policy setting body for Catholic schools in southern Africa.
Catholic Schools Boards (CSBs) and their executive offices, Catholic Schools Offices (CSOs), exist in the Eastern and Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. The CSOs provide support to Catholic schools in ethos and Religious Education.
The CIE implements the policy and vision of the SACBC and CaSPA at a national level for all Catholic schools in southern Africa. The CIE has regional offices in Limpopo/Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and Northern Province. The CIE lobbies and advocates with national and provincial government structures for the interests of Catholic schools and Catholic education.
There are currently 352 Catholic schools in South Africa. 72% of these schools are public schools and there are over 6,000 teachers and 160,000 learners in these schools, who represent diverse cultures and religions, with Catholics forming the minority.
Catholic schools educate 174 395 children in South Africa, of whom 28% are Catholic, 91% are black and 9% are white. 93 477 are girls and 80 918 are boys. 7 707 teachers are employed in Catholic schools in South Africa. The average matric pass rate for Catholic schools in South Africa was 86.3% in January 2013, compared to the national average of 73.9%.