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     Volume 2 Issue 17| April 25, 2010|


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Century old Schools in Rangpur

Rahat Chowdhury

RANGPUR recently became the 7th Division of Bangladesh. Rangpur has been a centre for culture and education in Northern Bangladesh for centuries. There are many schools of heritage in this division that were established in the British period. This article introduces three such schools namely, Rangpur Zila School (1832), Rangpur Government Girls' High School (1876) and Afanullah High School (1908) with interviews of the heads of the schools.

Rangpur Zila School is one of the oldest schools in Bangladesh. It was established in 1832 by a local Zamindar and was named Rangpur Zamindar School. Some leading Zamindar families and Nathial Smith, the District Collector of Rangpur, played an influential role in the establishment of the school. The school was inaugurated by Lord William Bentinck, erstwhile Governor General of Bengal. The Maharaja of Cooch Bihar donated funds for the construction of the school building. Krishna Nath Ray joined as the first headmaster.

The school came under the management of the Raj in 1857. It was affiliated with Calcutta University. In 1862, it was renamed Rangpur Zila School. The school is known for its quality of education. The school has always been one of the top schools of Northern Bangladesh. In 2007, the school celebrated its 175th year.

Prafulla Chaki, a Bengali revolutionary, carried out attacks against British colonial officials in an attempt to secure independence. Other prominent students of the school include Dr MA Wajed, reputed nuclear scientist, and author, novelist, dramatist, and journalist, Anisul Hoque.

Rangpur Govt Girls' High School was established in 1876. Students of this school have always done well in achieving Scholarship and in the SSC. In 2009, 142 out of 219 candidates got GPA-5 in the SSC. Mrs Helena Khan was the first head teacher. Ms Sayed Khaleda Akhtar is the present head teacher.

Mahigonj is regarded as old Rangpur. Afanullah High School is situated in Mahigonj. It was established as a junior school in 1908. It was promoted to a High School in 1956.

The school was named after Khan Saheb Afanullah Kobiraj. Prominent students include Prof. Arshadul Bari, Former VC of Open University;

Prof. Dr. Abdus Sobahan (Former Principal of Rangpur Medical collage) and Prof. Shawkat Ali of Economics dept of JU. Shah Abdur Rajjak Khandakar was the first Head Teacher. Mr Md. Mofazzal Hossain is the current Head Teacher.

Schools of Heritage in Rangpur are still contributing to the development of school education in Bangladesh. However, the teachers-students ratio is low and many schools lack adequate facilities to meet the challenges of a modern Bangladesh and modern world. We need to focus on investment in the education sector because the students of today will one day be the leaders of tomorrow's Bangladesh.

(The writer is a student of 2nd Year in the Department of Economics at Jahangirnagar University)

Rangpur Zila School
Head Teacher: Noor Md. Anisul Islam Chowdhury (NMAIC)

Q. Please tell us about the format of the school management committee.

(NMAIC): like all other Government schools, the DC is the president of the managing committee and Head Teacher is the member secretary.

Q. Number of teachers? (NMAIC): 53, 1 Head Teacher, Two Assistant Head Teachers, and 50 Assistant Teachers.

Q. Are there adequate library facilities for the students?

(NMAIC): The school library is well furnished and it has a good collection. But at the moment we do not have a librarian. So, we are not being able to provide adequate service to the students.

Q. What about the computer and internet facilities?

(NMAIC): We have facilitated students with computer and internet facilities.

Q. How do you evaluate student and teacher relationship?

(NMAIC): The teachers of RZS maintain high level of standards. They are well educated, devoted to their service and intimate with the students. But we have to work more on this. We have different clubs and activities for this purpose.

Q. What about extra-curricular activities? (NMAIC): We have earned many national prizes. The Sports teacher plays a great role here. He arranges various games. We have debate club, computer club, science club and maths club. We also have BNCC Rover Scout, Cub Scout, Red Crescent teams. We publish a school magazine every two years.

Rangpur Government Girls' High School
Head Teacher: Sayed Khaleda Akhtar (SKA)

Q. Please tell us about the managing committee of the school.

SKA: It is the same as any other Government school. The DC is the President of the managing committee and the Head Teacher is the Member Secretary.

Q. How many teachers do you have?

SKA: 53, 1 Head Teacher, 2 Assistant Head Teachers, and 50 Assistant Teachers.

Q. Are there adequate library facilities for the students?

SKA: We provide this service, but we don't have a librarian.

Q. What about the computer and internet facilities?

SKA: Recently we have provided this facility. We don't have Internet facilities.

Q. How do you evaluate the teacher and student relationship?

SKA: The teachers-student relationship is excellent.

Q. What about extra-curricular activities?

SKA: We don't have different clubs. We arrange debate, drama and various cultural programmes to mark various occasions.

Afanullah High School
Head Teacher: Md. Mofazzal Hossain (MMH)

Q. How many teachers and student do you have?

MMH: The number of teacher and student are 16 and 900 respectively. We need more teachers immediately so that student can get proper education.

Q. Are there adequate library facilities for the students?

MMH: We have a library, but its condition is deplorable. It needs to be repaired.

Q. What about the computer and internet facilities?

MMH: We have computer facilities, but we do not have Internet facilities.

Q. How do you evaluate the teacher-student relationship?

MMH: Teachers are well trained. Student and teacher relationship is friendly. School management is working on this issue.

Q. What about extra-curricular activities?

MMH: We do not have different clubs. Debate, reciting and various cultural programmes are arranged as and when necessary.

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