D.J. School: 139 years
Sherpur is named after the ruler Sher Shah. This ancient little town was long ruled governed by landlords. One of the oldest sites in this old region is the 139 year-old D.J. School. During the British Rule under reigning monarch Queen Victoria, the school was established to celebrate the “Diamond Jubilee”, hence the name “D.J.” School. Towards the beginning of 1958, the current Sherpur D.J. High School was established as Minor English School. Later towards the beginning of 1868, it was renamed Aided School and in 1985 again renamed High English School. After the British left, the word “English” was dropped from the name and the school simply became known as “D.J. School” or Sherpur Diamond Jubilee School in full.
In 1887 the first fully operating building was erected for the school. Later it was expanded. D.J. school is among the eight oldest schools in Bangladesh. The school was established by Radha Raman Munshi, Chandrakishore Munshi and Raykali Kishore Munshi of the Munshi Zamindar family. The family had also contributed to the Bogra Bar Library and other things. A member of the Munshi family was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the school.
This historical school is now neglected. Students who once studied at the school are now scattered throughout the country and the world. Students from all economic classes have passed through this school. Some of the people who have passed out of this school include the late Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish, former education minister Abdul Majid Khan, radio singer Bedaruddin Ahmed, Amritbazar newspaper's editor Kali Ranjan Acharya and many others.
This coeducational institution was built on 1.27 acres of land. Since 1980, there have been two curriculums in the school: general education and technical education. The pass rate was 79% in the general section and 28% in the technical section. There are 11 GPA-5s, 3 Golden GPAs in the SSC exam.
There are 1100 students in this 139 year-old school. It is fully non-governmental. Female students may win scholarships based on merit. There are very few teachers per student. There are only 34 teachers working full time. It is becoming very difficult to appoint more teachers due to neglect and a lack of government funds.
There is one main source of income for the school: tuition fees from the students. This limited income and lack of government support is putting a lot of pressure on teachers' salaries and other school activities. There is currently no initiative to nationalize the school. There is no auditorium for the students. Seminars, symposiums and other cultural programs cannot be held at the school because of a lack of facilities. The principal Md. Morban Ali thinks an auditorium must be built to reform the school
Currently the school is pretty worn down. Even when there is a little bit of rain, water leaks off the rooftops. In the past, students would come from afar to study. There was a residential hall, which no longer exists. Parents just don't feel safe sending there children here. D.J. School's former principal and current president Md. Ahmed Ali said, “the school has endured two world wars, Partition, the birth of Bangladesh and many other things. This ancient school is an important historical monument.”
(R) thedailystar.net 2007