Two schools run by the Church of North India (CNI) in Calcutta will open general education colleges, which will strive to provide quality education and attract bright students.
St James’s School, a 155-year-old ICSE-ISC institution on AJC Bose Road, will establish a college in Rajarhat, on the border with New Town.
St John’s Diocesan Girls Upper Secondary School, established 136 years ago and affiliated with the Bengal Board of Trustees, will open a college on land behind its Sarat Bose Road campus.
While St James’ is a school for boys, St John’s Diocesan is for girls. The colleges they will lead will be mixed.
“The church wants the two colleges to start operating in the 2021-2022 academic session. Both will be affiliated with the University of Calcutta, ”said a CNI official.
“One of the reasons for the establishment of the colleges is to meet the demand for quality education among bright students, many of whom are now enrolling in colleges in other states,” the official said.
Large numbers of deserving Calcutta students migrate to other states, and even overseas, after passing their Class XII exams, a trend that started in the city more than a decade ago.
The lack of a sufficient number of “good colleges with an appropriate academic atmosphere” is the main reason for the growing exodus, the CNI official said.
The two new colleges will have all the facilities one would expect of a higher education institute at this time, the official said.
“The proposed St. James College will be equipped with high-level infrastructure and students will be taught by qualified teachers. It will have all the facilities that an institute of academic excellence has from the day it starts operating, ”said Terence Ireland, Principal of St James’ School.
About 35 to 40% of St James’s students leave the city to pursue higher education after passing their Council Plus II exams, school officials said.
The count is 60% for La Martinière pour filles, also managed by the CNI, and 50% for Heritage Academy.
“St James’s School has achieved academic excellence after providing top-level education for many decades. St James’s College is also being established with the aim of achieving exceptional excellence in higher education, ”said Ireland.
Some of the main colleges managed by CNI outside of Bengal include 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 managed by the CNI.
St James’s College will start with arts and commerce and introduce science courses within two years.
St John’s Diocesan College will begin with the BEd course. It would later expand and offer undergraduate courses in arts, science and business.
Three plots in Rajarhat, each measuring approximately three hectares, have been identified for St James’s College. The land purchase process is expected to be completed in December with construction expected to begin early next year.
“It will take about 18 months to complete construction. Our goal is to start the college in July 2021, ”said an official.
The 30 cottah land on which the diocesan college of St John’s will be located belongs to the Calcutta diocese of the CNI. Construction is expected to start soon and it will take around 15 months for the college to be ready.