Thursday, 17 May 2018

THE CITY COLLEGE SCHOOL – A Beginning of the Education Mission of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

After the foundation of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in May, 1878. Another important step was taken by some eminent members of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj by opening a higher class English Institution called the City School. These members were Anandamohun Bose, Sivanath Sastri Umeshchandra Dutta, Krishnakumar Mitra, Rajaninath Ray, Durgamohan Das, Dwarakanath Ganguli and Kalisankar Sukul. Rastraguru Surendranath Banerjee also took important part for this purpose.

The School was opened after a special Divine Service on January 6, 1879 even before establishing the Prayer Hall (Mandir) of Sadharan Braho Samaj. Its prospectus had been issued in the name of Anandamohun Bose, who supplied the initial expenses, Surendranath Banerjee, who though not a member of the Samaj, yet kindly undertook to be one of the first teachers, and Pandit Sivanath Sastri, who was the first Headmaster of this school. The names of the above-mentioned first two persons, who were at that time the organised leaders of Bengal, drew into the school a large number of students (300 three hundred in the first year) and it was a success from a pecuniary point of view almost from the day of its foundation. The young Brahmo teachers who joined the institution also entered upon their duty with great earnestness, making it altogether attractive to those who came to it. It also secured the confidence of parents and guardians who became anxious to place their children and wards under the moral superintendence of the new teachers. Thus this institution was a success from the very beginning.

During this year (1879) the enthusiasm of the members of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj found an outlet in other channels of philanthropic and propagandist activity. On the 27th of April they opened a new institution called the Students’ Weekly Service. The meetings of the Service used to be held on Sunday mornings in the City School Hall. At that time when there were no other institutions Intended specially for the moral and spiritual education of the student community of Calcutta, the Students’ Service was the only one working in that line and its influence on the minds of the rising generation was great.

Along with the Students’ Weekly Service some young members of the Samaj started in the City School a Society called “The Young Man’s Theistic Society”, which used to meet once a month and hold discussion on important theological and ethical questions.

Remarkable success had attended this school since its foundation in 1879. The authorities of the school, amongst whom Anandamohun Bose and Umeshchandra Dutta were the leading figures tried their best to make it a model Institution by adding a college department to it on the 17th of January, 1881 and the City College was opened and the first Principal was Umeshchandra Dutta who was the second Headmaster of city College school after Pandit Sivanath Sastri. Pandit Sivanath Sastri engaged himself in the works of the Samaj and Umeshchandra Dutta took up responsibility of the administration of the City School and City College.  All classes of the school and of the college were held during daytime.

The City College became one the largest and most efficient institutions ever affiliated to the University of Calcutta. Anandamohun Bose became the Life President of its council. It was his earnest desire to make the city school and the City College the nucleus and centre of a vigorous educational mission with a band of devoted and self-sacrificing workers like the Professors of the Fergusson College of Poona, educated and patriotic young men who would work for the promotion of education on a more subsistence allowance.
Later, the school and the college were left to a body of Trustees by Anandamohun Bose, with a constitution that was exemplary and in which the staff of teachers and the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj Committee were both represented. This Constitution was further developed and registered in 1905, thus giving it a legal and permanent status, according to which the appointment of the Managing Council lies entirely in the hands of the Executive Committee of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, under the sanction of the Trustees. Of course, the idea of a fair representation of the teaching staff in Governing Body had not been overlooked. This Board of Trustee was known as City College Institution. In course of time this City College institution became a registered body and came to be known as Brahmo Samaj Education Society. Now the City School, City College, City College of Commerce and Business Administration, Umesh Chandra College, Anandamohun College, Rammohun College, Prafulla Chandra College Herambachandra College and Sivanath Sastri College are the educational institutions managed by the Brahmo Samaj Education Society. It is a registered Society-Registered under Act xxi (Registration of Societies Act) of 1860.

Anandamohun Bose established City School and City College at Mymensingh and hoped that other branch institutions might be opened.

The City School was first started at 13, Surya Sen (formerely Mirzapur) Street in the house which was Bharat Ashram. This original house was demolished and a new building in which we are holding our classes was built up. The foundation stone of this original building was laid on September 15, 1883 by Mr. Justice Romesh Chunder Mitter and the new building was opened in 1884 by the Governor General of India, Lord Ripon. All distinguished persons of Calcutta including Lt. Governor of Bengal, Sir R. Tomson were present at this grand opening ceremony. Foundation Stone of the backward portion of this building was laid on June 30, 1960 and was opened on August 20, 1961, by Dr. Devendra Mohun Bose.

The objects of this school and of the other eight colleges already referred to are to promote the cause of education in its highest and widest sense; to make that education – comprehending the training of the mind, heart and body and founded on a theistic basis – conduce to the good of man and the glory of God.

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