Edward Institution: Over a Century
A century has passed but the Edward Institution still bears the mark of Edward VII. Edward VII made a visit in Mymensingh in 1903 and to mark his visit the then Zaminders of Mymensingh Babu Abonikanta Lahiri Chowdhury established a school with the name Edward Higher Education School in the same year. Both Edward and the Zaminder Abonikanta Lahiri Chowdhury are long gone but the people of Mymensingh still remember them with gratitude. The school started its academic activities after being recognized by Calcutta University on January 1, 1903 and it later renamed Edward Institution. The school observed its centenary in 2003. Present and past students of this school participated and a booklet was published containing the writings of students and teachers and photographs of past and present teachers.
The school, towards the beginning, had to be closed down as it was not getting the necessary financial support. Later in 1917, ten jute traders of the district town came forward to save the school and took all responsibilities to make a new start. A ten-member school governing body was formed in the same year. Babu Priyanath Sen, BA was appointed as headmaster of the school on January 1, 1918. Maulavi Abdul Ali and Roybahadur Jagadesh Chandra Guha Roy were made president and secretary of the school governing body respectively. Thus the school started its function again under the new leadership and continues to run today.
Under the frantic efforts of the school governing body, a total of Tk. 13,754 was collected from different parts of the society including local jute traders. An H shaped building with 12 rooms was built to run the school smoothly. As the school needed more funding to run, the then Secretary Roybahadur Jagadesh Guha helped by buying furniture. The school committee took Tk. 11,982 as a loan from Roybahadur Jagadesh Guha in 1920 and the present administrative building was constructed. The loan increased with interest in 1924. As the school committee could not pay back, the tangible properties were sent back to Roybahadur. However, Roybahadur returned everything. Following his great contribution to the school, the committee recognized Roybahadur as the founder of the school.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the school had a good reputation and a huge number of students. At that time, the students were in three groups Science, Arts and Commerce. The number of students was good till 1990 but later it came down slightly. The result in SSC is satisfactory. Now the school also has a center of Bangladesh Open University for its SSC level. The school also has BNCC and a Scout team which performs on various occasions including on Independence Day and Victory Day. Annual milad-mahfil and celebration of Swaratshati Puja of this school have become an attraction both for the students and guardians for long. The school has a library with a large number of books including some rare ones. But many books are now in pitiable condition. School sources said. "We need more books and furniture to make the library a modern one where the students could avail the necessary reading facilities for the interest of their studies," added the sources.
The present acting head of the school, SM Azharul Islam who joined in 1978 and took the charge as head in 2005 said that they have been trying earnestly to revive the past glory of the school. It is not only a school but also an institution bearing our culture, said the headmaster who hails from village Kawaidi in Bhaluka upazila in Mymensingh district. He also added that the result in SSC level is good and last year it was 77 percent. The result in this year's SSC examination is expected to be much better.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007