HISTORY OF SASTRI COLLEGE
Sastri College was named after its founder, the right Honourable Srinivasa Sastri. Sastri came to South Africa in 1926 as part of a delegation to hold talks with the South African Government on the issue of repatriation of Indians. As agent, he was convinced that education held the key to the upliftment of the Indian Community. Sastri subsequently drew up plans for an institution that would serve both as a High School (offering instruction up to Matric) and as a teacher training College. After interesting the Community in his plans, Sastri launched a fundraising drive at the beginning of August 1927. On 14 October 1929, the Governor General of South Africa, his Excellency the Earl of Athlone, officially opened Sastri College. In his address the Governor General remarked that the building of Sastri College was “a fine example of personal effort by individuals for the good of the community”. Sastri College officially began when all the pupils from the Carlisle Street Government Indian School were transferred to Sastri College at the beginning of February 1930.
Mr William Buss was appointed Principal and he led an all-white staff. Since its inception (and until 1981) Sastri College was to remain a boy’s only high school. Females were only allowed in the teacher training section of the college. In so far as the teacher training aspect is concerned, students were initially prepared for the Natal teacher’s junior and senior certificates, and later for the T5 and T3B courses. In August 1951 the teacher training department transferred to the Springfield College of Education. In that year also, Dr AD Lazarus was appointed as the first Indian Principal of Sastri College. In 1979 tragedy struck! Government announced its intention to convert Sastri College into an annexe of the ML Sultan Technikon. Community leaders and would have none of this and the “save Sastri College Action committee” was constituted as a matter of urgency. Despite the valiant efforts of the committee, Government went ahead with its plans. It was not until 1993 that Sastri College re-opened its doors as a non-racial and non-sexist academic high school. Eighty six years is a long time in the life of any community. For the Indian Community the past eighty six years have seen Sastri students make a worthy contribution in many fields of human endeavour – medicine, law, education, commerce, local government, social work and industry. It is through these contributions that Sastri students have elevated the status on the Indian Community.
A happy, positive school culture exists to engage and support our children in their learning,. Sastri College aims to provide an education of the highest quality. Visitors comment on the positive atmosphere which pervades the school. Qualities such as loyalty, courtesy, consideration, tolerance, sportsmanship and respect contribute towards the unique tone and spirit of the school. Whilst a sense of achievements is fostered in team efforts that bring honour to the school as a whole, learners are also encouraged to think and work independently, and to develop the initiative and skills necessary to enable them to cope with the challenges of the future.
Sastri College is a school which offers a wide variety of academic, cultural and sporting activities as well as clubs and extension programmes. Our aim is to offer all our learners a well-rounded education in a warm, nurturing environment.
Despite strenuous objections from the community, Sastri College was closed as a secondary school in 1982 under the Apartheid policies of the Nationalist Government and became part of ML Sultan Technical College, offering courses in cookery, motor mechanics, carpentry, hair styling etc. Amid momentous political changes in the 1990’s, the College re-opened in 1993 as a secondary school, admitting learners of all races and becoming a co-educational institution for the first time.