Memories on Campus
Md. Nazmus Sakib
I was only 10 years old when I first visited the campus and immediately I had fallen in love with it. I wanted to be a student here, like the rest of the boys around me on campus. After my SSC exams, I was lucky to pass the entrance exam and the viva which got me in. The first day in the college was wonderful, when I realised that I had become aNotredamian.
Shortly after the formation of Pakistan, the then Archbishop of Dhaka, His Grace Lawrence L Graner CSC, invited the Priest Society of the Congregation of Holy Cross to establish a college in Dhaka. Accordingly the priests assigned to this task, obtained permission from the Religious Brothers of Holy Cross and in November 1949 started a college on the campus of St. Gregory School, Luxmibazar, giving it the name St. Gregory College. Though the initial institution was humble, the aim was lofty-spreading the light of education in the eastern part of the newly born country, Pakistan. Since its inception, the college has been administered by the priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
In 1955 the college was relocated to its present site in the Motijheel area of Dhaka and renamed Notre Dame College, the name meaning 'Our Lady' in French. Most students study classes XI and XII, taking classes in Science, Business Studies or Arts. It also provides degree programmes. In the three-year degree programme, classes are offered that lead to a Bachelor's Degree in Arts (B.A. Pass Course) or a Bachelors in Social Sciences (B.S.S. Pass Course).
Besides the regular academic courses, an English Programme (English as a Foreign Language) is conducted almost all year round and is open to all. As an expression of social concern, the college conducts literacy classes (I to VIII) for slum children, in three shifts -- morning, afternoon and evening. About 1150 students attend the Literacy School.
The infrastructure of this college is splendid. The red brick building which is called Ganguly Bhaban is very popular amongst students. The other buildings are Harington Bhaban and Martin Hall. The classrooms are well organised, neat and clean. There is a library with a large collection of good books, a mosque, canteen, an auditorium, a playground and also a basketball ground inside the college campus. The pressure of exams and weekly quizzes make the ambience at Notre Dame a highly competitive one. Despite the study pressure, students of the college manage to involve themselves in several extra curricular activities at any one of the nineteen clubs of the college. The clubs at Notre Dame include Notre Dame Debating Club, Notre Dame Science club, Outward Bound Adventure Club, Notre Dame College Rover Group, Notre Dame Business Club, Notre Dame Chess Club, Notre Dame Humanitarian Organisation, Notre Dame Nature Study Club, Notre Dame Degree Club, Young Red Crescent Club-Notre Dame College, Rotaract Club of Notre Dame College, Notre Dame Theatre Club, Notre Dame Recitation Club, Notre Dame History Club, Notre Dame Environmental Promotion Club, International Understanding and Relation Club, Notre Dame Cultural Activists, Notre Dame Writer's Club, Notre Dame English Club. These clubs are active enough to provide all sorts of facilities and opportunities to perform extra curricular activities. Events like the annual science fair, debate competition, English Olympiad, nature festival, theatre and cultural activities, sports and many more take place each year. There are also different kinds of magazines, which are published on a regular basis showcasing the writing skills of the students on a variety of topics.
The teachers insist us not to remain confined to the prescribed syllabus but to learn as much as possible. Most of them have a great sense of humour, making the classes very interesting. It is for their great sense of responsibility and humility that the teachers earn such respect from us students. In my opinion, Notre Dame College is one of the finest educational institutions of this country and I hope it continues providing many more years of service and knowledge to the country and the future generations.
(The writer is a student of Notre Dame College.)