St Monica’s has grown out of St Stephen’s Playschool, which first opened it doors in 1990 in response to the community’s expressed needs. During 1993 it became clear that the demand for English medium education in Matatiele was such that the existing schools could not cope on their own. The St Stephen’s Playschool community then approached the Church authorities with the request to facilitate the opening of a school. The Church agreed and offered the disused church of St Monica’s in Seymour Street, as a site. A Board of Governors made up of representatives of the local church and parents was constituted. After much hard work the school opened with 24 children in two classes on the 18th January 1994.
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The South African Schools Act (SASA) of 1996 established a national schooling system and recognised two categories of schools: public and independent. Public schools are state controlled and independent schools are privately governed. All private schools were included into the independent school category.