lephants are symbols of leadership, strength and wisdom in many cultures. This has inspired the Faculty of Education Sciences to build a large statue of an elephant.


“The elephant symbolises the faculty’s pursuit of excellence, while embracing diversity and the community,” says Prof Robert Balfour, dean of the faculty, who initiated the project.


Many hands contribute

He says the objective is to have the faculty’s staff, students and members of the community working together to build it. Groups of children from the Abraham Kriel Child and Youth Care Centre, Potchefstroom Gimnasium and the Sanbona Women’s Group have all worked on the statue and will be involved in the project until its completion.


The statue also provides excellent learning opportunities for students and staff. Education students participated in the pre-sketches of the elephant, BEd Technology students constructed the frameword and the development of the project has been incorporated into a module for fourth-year BEd students who have creative and performance art as a subject.


Three semesters to complete project

The elephant will be constructed during the first three semesters of this year. The completed statue will be unveiled in late September.


The faculty plans to launch a competition to find a suitable name for the elephant.


It is currently being built in the covered courtyard in building C6.


For more information or to follow the progress of the project, please visit the Faculty of Education Sciences’ Facebook page or visit the website of Umcebo Designs, who is advising and guiding the project. Click on the links below.




Merna Meyer, lecturer from Creative and Performing Arts in Education, with some of the mosaic that will be used for the pedestal on which the completed elephant will triumphantly stand.

Taking form – the elephant project is a group effort. BEd Technology staff and students constructed the framework while art and other students, staff and children from the community participate in decorating the framework.

The Faculty of Education Sciences on the Potchefstroom Campus has embarked on a special project that involves staff, students and members of the community. They are building a giant statue of an elephant that will symbolise the faculty’s values and their hopes for education in South Africa.


symbolises faculty’s values

The former Potchefstroom Education College, the site that has become the Faculty of Education Sciences, used to have a small elephant statue in the centre of the fountain in front of the main building. The current project blows new life and deeper meaning into an old symbol and reminds many alumni of student fun. The original statue can still be seen in the museum in building C6 on the Potchefstroom Campus.