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History of the Birbhum Zilla School

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The Birbhum Zilla School was established on the 9th December, 1851, under the auspices of the Bengal Council of Education , and was managed by a Local Committee of which Mr. James, the District Judge, was Secretary. It met for three years in a rented house when it was removed to its present premises. During the Sontal Insurrection of 1856 it was closed for a few months. A uniform tuition fee of one rupee a month was introduced as soon as it became apparent that the people were willing to pay for an English education.

In 1855 the teaching staff consisted of:

  • Mr. M. Gregory, Head Master. Pay Rs. 150. Appointed on 2nd August, 1854.
  • Babu Womesh Chandra Ghosh, 2nd Master. Pay Rs. 60. Appointed on 7th November, 1851.
  • Babu Gurudas Chatterji, 3rd Master. Pay Rs. 30. Appointed on 4th May, 1854.
  • Babu Krishnalal Roy, 4th Master. Pay Rs. 25. Appointed on 13th February, 1855.

The number of pay pupils at that time was 135.

Mr. Gregory’s zeal and efficiency received special commendation from Mr. Malet, Secretary to the Local committee, and Babu Womesh Chandra Ghosh also received recognition of his good work.

The popularity and success of the school continued under Babu Joggeshur Ghosh, and were maintained under Babu Nobin Chandra Das, until in 1864 Mr. H. L. Harrison, officiating Inspector of Schools, South-West division, declared it to be the best of the schools in his Division. By 1870 the institution had fallen upon evil times, and its new Head Master, Babu Shib Chandra Shome, found that its very existence was being threatened owing to a rival school which had been opened by the Baptist Missionary, the Rev. Mr. Allan♣♣. Shib Babu, however, restored the school to its former status and stability, and he attained deserved popularity. It was during his incumbency that Stayendra Prasanna Sinha- in later years better known as Lord Sinha of Raipur- and Rasamoy Mitra, Rai Bahadur, were pupils of the school, whose designation was in 1878 altered to the Birbhum Zilla School, Shib Babu was ably supported by his Assistant, Babu Pitambar De, who gained recognition as a scholar and poet.

In 1882 Babu Ambica Charan Mukerji came the Head Master, and held office till 1898, when he was transferred to be Superintendent of the Hindu Hostel, Calcutta. His portrait in oils in the school hall tells of the affection and esteem in which he was held by pupils and the general public.

Ambica Babu was followed by Babu Akshoy Kumar Sen and Loke Nath Chakravarti in close succession. Besides Loke Nath Babu’s incumbency the school secured two scholarships of the First Grade, one of the Second, and three of the Third, at the Entrance Examinations of 1900 and 1901 – which caused Babu Kumud Bandhu Bose, Assistant Inspector of Schools, Burdwan Division, then to observe: “This school never, and I doubt if any school ever won so many scholarships in one year.”

Babu Satkari Ghosh was Head Master from 1901 to 1904. Babu Abinash Chandra Sen succeeded him, and continued at the school till he retirement there was a rapid change of Head Masters –

  • Babu Haripada Mukerji – 1917.
  • Babu Sarat Chandra Mitra – 1918.
  • Babu Adya Nath Roy – 1918.
  • Babu Basanta Kumar Mitra - !918 to 1920.
  • Babu Ashutosh Dutt – 1920.
  • Babu Haripada Mukherji – 1920 to 1928.

With haripada babu the school entered upon a prosperous career. He was instrumental in opening a Common Room, in forming a Scout Troop, in reviving the Moslem hostel, and in acquiring and filling up an insanitary tank. Lord Lytton visited the school in 1923, and entered an appreciative note in the Visitors’ Book.

The present Head master of the school is babu Banwarilal Ray, who is assisted by a staff of 12 teachers, of whom 7 are English teachers, 4 teachers of Oriental Classics and 1 Drill and Drawing Master. The number of boys on the rolls is 295, of whom 251 are Hindus, and 44 Muhammadans.


♣ In 1842 the General committee of Public Instruction was disbanded, and replaced by the Council of Education, which assumed control of all the schools in the Province expecting those in which purely vernacular education was being imparted. By the Educational Despatch of 1854, the functions of the Council of Education were vested in the Department of Public Instruction presided over by the Director of Public Instruction. H. A. S

♣♣Mr. W. Adam in his Reports (1835-1838) states that in 1838 there was at Suri, the headmasters of Birbhum District, a school built and conducted by the Rev. James Williamson of the Baptist Mission, and – that in it English Was being taught. H.A.S

A detailed history of our 160 years old institution was published by the Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, Government of Bengal. You may read the document here or download it from the link below:

 

Download History of the Birbhum Zilla School - published by the Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, Government of West Bengal

 

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