Pholela High School, otherwise known as Pholela Institute or Pholela Public and at times called P.I. is a former self (and Dinaledi) proclaimed school of excellence. It used to be a boarding school run as an institution until it was made a public school in the year 2000.
Pholela High School is a school previously run by the Presbyterian Church. The school buildings were built in the old Dutch style, on the main road in Bulwer, directly facing the Amahwaqa Mountain.
The school was well known before the 2000s as one of the few black schools that consistently produced good matric results. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement and other issues, the 2000s saw the fall of this once giant in the education scene. The issue started with the government taking over the school due to some issues in 1999, after this the situation would get worse every year leading eventually to the closure of the boarding facility in 2008.
Efforts by the members of the church to renovate the school buildings did not yield any fruit and renovations were stopped with the view that it was not helping. Students were too negligent and vandalism of the new property was high.
The faith of the founders had been justified and a coat of arms was adopted including the motto: "In hoc signo vinces" meaning "In this sign (the cross) you will conquer." (Their motto has two crosses on either end).
Academic, sporting cultural spiritual needs of school life were catered for. The school also has a large chapel at the centre as evidence of the church and religious influences Fund raising began for a chapel. Pholela High retained its Christian ethos for a long time of its history. There was a compulsory church service every Sunday and there were prayers held every night organised by the SCM (Student Christian Movement) and occasionally, this organisation organised late night Sunday services that gave the students much entertainment through different performances.
Further classrooms were built including a Computer Room. On the sports front, provincial and, on occasion, national honours,have been earned in for example volleyball, soccer and netball. The school has a soccer/athletics field,a tennis court, volleyball court, a basketball field and 2 netball fields scattered over the large school premises.Mrs Steer (1999)
Mr M.D. Hlongwane (2000–2005)
Mr Mbanjwa (2005-2007)
Mr M.N. Skhakhane (2007-current)
The school's location in the tree-lined avenues of Bulwer, just below the Amahwaqa mountain. The Amahwaqa mountain plays host to a paragliding site and school. It is run by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and a school governing body.
About 685 students, mostly from the local areas of Bulwer, attend the school. Previously, the school attracted students from all over the country from as far afield as the Cape, Gauteng, etc. It is an Zulu-medium school and offers English as second languages (or first additional languages in the new FET curriculum). The school consists only of the black population from the local areas.
Pholela High School was once one of the top academically-performing schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the whole of the country. Its school-leavers write the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education exams.
Sports offered include soccer (football), netball, athletics,volleyball, tennis and basketball represented by both boys and girls teams. Cultural activities, including chess, debating, team-speaking, choir, poetry and traditional are offered. The schools sporting facilities are used for competitive activities, including the chapel. this is because these are far better than any other in the local area.
The blazer is navy and special awards are indicated with yellow ribbing. The tie is striped with navy and (gold) yellow. Blazer and tie are not required. The shirts are white all round. Navy skirts for girls and grey pants for the guys.