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     Volume 2 Issue 7 | March 31, 2007 |


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Guru Griho
From Sylhet
109 Years of Dattarail High School and College

Iqbal Siddiquee

When the remote areas of the then British ruled India were far lagging behind in the field of education, some men took the initiative to make it better. Although most of the initiative was taken at the district headquarters or townships, some work was done in rural areas too.

These visionaries established the institution at the village of Dattarail in Golapganj thana in 1898. 109 years later, Dattarail High School and College still goes strong. The records show that people like Rai Bahadur Prokash Chandra Dev Chowdhury, Zaminder Kalikrishna Datta Chowdhury and Moulvi Bahauddin Chowdhury were responsible for taking the first steps towards building the school. At the beginning, Zaminder Kalikrishna Datta Chowdhury donated the lands for establishing the school on its beautiful location. The school played a great role in educating the vast remote villages of North East Sylhet, then a quite backward and conservative society. The school observed its centenary in 1998. A meeting of the local leading people was held on March 10 of 1938 and chaired by Nirod Nath Das. The board decided to start Class VII with respect to a proposal by Mujahid Ali Chowdhury. Accordingly the school authority requested the education department for opening Class VII and Class VIII. But, unfortunately the Deputy Inspector of Schools, North Sylhet declined. Later in 1944 the decision was made to make the Middle English School into a High English School. The class VII was started from 1944 and class VIII from the next year. Permission was also given to start Class IX in 1946 and class X in 1947. In 1947 the Registrar of Calcutta University gave its approval to the High English School for 2 years.

In 1995 the intermediate section was introduced in the institution with Humanities and Science groups. Since then, students of the institution have proven their merit in different
fields of extra curricular activities. The students bagged a number of prizes in the different district and divisional level competitions and tournaments.
The acting principal of the institution- Rezaul Amin said that there was a very pleasant environment in the school. In all, there are about 30 teachers and about a thousand students. The campus lies on about 4 acres of land at nice location on the Sylhet-Dhakadakshin Road.

Additionally, the school owns shops at the Dhakadakshin Bazar as well as two other commercial structures. A good number of successful personalities of the country had once studied in this school. The ones who were on the school managing committee at the very beginning are, Kalikrishna Datta Chowdhury, Moulvi Baha Uddin Chowdhury, Ananda Mohan Datta, -Deputy Inspector of Schools- Moulvi Aftab Ali Chowdhury, Moulvi Mosod Ali, Moulvi Shohir Uddin Chowhdury, Kali Romon Bhattacharya, and Indra Kumar

Some of the people, who served as the Headmaster starting from the beginning till 1971 are, Radhanath Chowdhury, Kunja Bihari Raha, Labonya Kumar Chakravarty, Pulin Bihari Shil, Ananda Charan Dev Majumder, Srinibash Chandra Home Chowdhury, Shailendra Nath Gupta, Sanath Kumar Bhattacharya, Khirod Chandra Das Purkayostha, Latif Ahmed Chowdhury and A H Fazlul Bari. Among them, Khirod Chandra Das Purkayostha was a man who served for 42 years including 35 years as Head Master until his retirement in 1969. Hailing from the nearby Beanibazar upazilla, Khirod Purkayostha graduated from Calcutta University in 1926 and joined the school as Assistant Teacher that year. He took over as Headmaster in 1934 and took measures to bring a major change during his long tenure. In 1949, he was relieved of his position in a controversial decision by the school committee. However, he was brough back at the initiative of the locals after a year. Then he served for another 19 years.



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