Two CNI schools to run colleges
Two schools run by the Church of North India (CNI) in Calcutta will open general degree colleges, which will strive to offer quality education and attract bright students.
St James’ School, a 155-year-old ICSE-ISC institution on AJC Bose Road, will set up a college in Rajarhat, bordering New Town.
St John’s Diocesan Girls’ Higher Secondary School, which was set up 136 years ago and is affiliated to the Bengal board, will open a college on a plot behind its Sarat Bose Road campus.
While St James’ is a boys’ school, St John’s Diocesan is for girls. The colleges they will run will be co-educational.
“The church wants the two colleges to start functioning in the 2021-22 academic session. Both will be affiliated to Calcutta University,” a CNI official said.
“One reason for setting up the colleges is to meet the demand for quality education among bright students, many of whom now enrol in colleges in other states,” the official said.
A large number of meritorious students from Calcutta migrate to other states, and even abroad, after passing their Class XII exams, a trend that had started in the city more than a decade ago.
The absence of adequate number of “good colleges with proper academic atmosphere” is the main reason for the growing exodus, the CNI official said.
The two new colleges will have all the facilities that one expects at an institute of higher learning in this age, the official asserted.
“The proposed St James’ college will be equipped with high standard infrastructure facilities and students will be taught by qualified teachers. It will have all the facilities that an institute of academic excellence has from the very day it starts functioning,” said Terence Ireland, the principal of St James’ School.
Around 35 to 40 per cent of the St James’ students leave the city for higher education after clearing their Plus II board exams, officials in the school said.
The count is as high as 60 per cent for La Martiniere for Girls, also run by the CNI, and 50 per cent for Heritage Academy.
“St James’ School has achieved academic excellence after offering high standard education for many decades. The St James’ college is also being set up with an aim to attain outstanding excellence in the field of higher education,” said Ireland.
Among the prominent CNI-run colleges outside Bengal are St Stephen’s College in Delhi, Wilson College in Mumbai and Hislop College in Nagpur. In Calcutta, Scottish Church College and St Paul’s College are run by the CNI.
The St James’ college will start with the arts and commerce streams and will introduce science courses within two years.
The St John’s Diocesan college will start with the BEd course. It will later expand and offer undergraduate courses in arts, science and commerce.
Three plots in Rajarhat, each measuring around three acres, have been identified for the St James’ college. The process of buying the land is expected to be complete within December and construction is set to start towards the begining of next year.
“It will take around 18 months to complete the construction. Our target is to start the college in July 2021,” an official said.
The 30-cottah plot on which the St John’s Diocesan college will come up is owned by the Calcutta diocese of the CNI. Construction is set to start soon and it will take around 15 months for the college to be ready.