Mahadevi Birla students on roller skates. Picture by Arnab Mondal
Boys, get ready to invade Mahadevi Birla Girls’ Higher Secondary School from the next academic session.
The south Calcutta school has decided to admit boys to Upper Infant from the April 2013 session.
A child must be aged 4-plus to be eligible for admission. There are six sections in Upper Infant with a capacity of 210. The admission procedure will start in September-October this year.
“The management feels that schools in the 21st century all over the world as well as in India are mostly co-educational. It is a healthy way of growing up and generates healthy competition between the two genders,” said a source at the school.
In keeping with the global outlook, the school will be renamed Mahadevi Birla World Academy and will also embrace a new logo. Changes in the school uniform are on the cards as well.
The school was established in 1959 by industrialist G.D. Birla and named after his wife, late Mahadevi Birla.
The school had admitted boys to Lower Infant, Upper Infant, classes I and II for a few years in the mid-80s before doing away with the Lower Infant class around 15 years ago. Boys admitted to the school during that period had to change schools after Class II.
“Shri G.D. Birla firmly believed that a nation can progress only when education goes hand in hand with industrial development. He understood that the country could advance only if women’s education was given sufficient importance,” said a school official.
Classes will continue to be held on the school’s existing campus on Darga Road. But turning the school co-educational would require changes in infrastructure such as toilets. More ayahs will have to be recruited. “We would have to employ male teachers as well,” the official said.
The school authorities warned that a co-educational environment would call for more caution. “The freedom the girls are used to in an all-girls’ school will no longer be there and a subtle caution will have to be exercised,” a source said. “For every change, there are cons but that does not mean we would not move ahead with the pros.”