After 193 yrs, Kolkata school allows girls in classroom

A school in Kolkata has embraced change after almost two centuries.

For 193 years, the Scottish Church Collegiate School has remained a boys-only institution. Come January 2024, and it will have girls as students for the first time in its classrooms.

A report in the Times of India said that the co-education section of the school has been set up at the 18, Duff Street campus adjacent to Duff Church on Duff Street. The building where a Diocesan Kindergarten School was run earlier by the church was restored and has been made the third campus of the school after its Bidhan Sarani campus and Kestopur campus. A pre-primary and primary (Class I) section with a capacity of 30 students each will be started here with affiliation to the West Bengal Madhyamik board with English as the medium of instruction.

Bibhas Sanyal, the principal of the school, said that the local population had wanted girls to be included in the school. “Many of them asked us why are we so rigid and why are we not allowing girls to study here. After receiving so many requests we discussed the matter with the bishop and under his supervision we embarked on a new journey to create a new history before celebrating its 200 years,” he was quoted as saying by TOI.

The school managing committee has decided that the doors will be open for Plus II girl students to study in Class IX and Class XII.

“It was decided in our internal meeting to allow girls to join after Madhyamik. They will be allowed to take admission from 2024 session and will be accommodated at our main building on Bidhan Sarani,” Sanyal added.

Alexander Duff was the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. On July 13, 1830 he founded the General Assembly’s Institution in Calcutta, now known as the Scottish Church College & Scottish Church Collegiate School.

Music composer Tanishk Bagchi, chess player Sayantan Das, famed playback singer-composer Manna Dey and theatre maestro Badal Sircar are some famous members of the school’s alumna.

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William Murphy

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