Genesis, Evolution and Growth of the School:
Since inception of Chittaranjan in 1947 till 1966, there was neither any government school having English as the medium of pedagogy nor any English medium school within the affordability of all sections of employees here, although Bengali and Hindi medium schools were available. Moreover, there was no English medium school at all of any genre whatsoever for Higher Secondary education. Chittaranjan being a cosmopolitan township having population of widely diverse composition with heterogeneous ethnicities from all zones of India by dint of the personnel serving Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), the need for an affordable government English medium school was long felt strongly. It was all the more essential to such families for whom either Bengali or Hindi was neither the mother tongue nor a natural language of choice. Finally, CLW Administration took the requisite initiative under the visionary leadership and missionary zeal of its General Manager (GM), Shri R Krishnaswamy. Ultimately, the long overdue necessity of Chittaranjan citizens and their wards was fructified in the New Year of 1967. The educational institution of Chittaranjan High School (English Medium) / CHS(EM) was established under the aegis of CLW, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, named after Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the Foundation Day of the School being 02nd January 1967, Monday.
Location of the School was selected based on available space and accessibility from all areas of the township. Initially, two separate wings, boys’ and girls’ wings were planned. The two-storey School building had been constructed accordingly. It had the main entrance/exit through the centrally located front portico as well as had two transverse entry/exit routes. While entering the School through the main entrance, the complete two-storeyed left segment and the complete two-storeyed right segment were earmarked for the girls’ wing and the boys’ wing respectively. Recruitment of Teachers was undertaken and necessary infrastructural facilities like class rooms, Teachers’ common rooms, administrative chambers with office rooms, libraries, laboratories, playgrounds with galleries, etc were set up to cater for each wing independently.
At that point of time, the concept of class-XII was not in vogue, Higher Secondary examination used to be conducted at class-XI. Each of the boys’ wing and girls’ wing was envisaged at the planning phase to cover from class-I to class-XI independently. However, the boys’ wing took off with its range from class-I to class-VIII and the girls’ wing was launched with its span from class-I to class-VI.
With regard to girls’ wing, it was planned to open the classes VII & VIII gradually, whereby the girl students were due to be promoted to the levels of classes VII & VIII progressively after passing out from class-VI. Further, the plan was to open the classes IX, X & XI subsequently and raise the girl students passing out of class-VIII progressively to classes IX, X & XI in their separate wing itself at the end of successive annual examinations of earlier classes, so as to prepare them ultimately for Higher Secondary examination at the end of class-XI.
With regard to boys’ wing, it was planned to open the classes IX, X & XI gradually, whereby the boy students passing out from class-VIII were due to be promoted to the levels of classes IX, X & XI progressively in their separate wing itself at the end of successive annual examinations of earlier classes, so as to prepare them ultimately for Higher Secondary examination at the end of class-XI.
But, in the wake of major alteration in planning at the beginning of 1970s, the idea of separate classes for girls and boys from class-I to class-XI was tweaked. Instead, separate wings of girls & boys were limited from class-I to class-VIII, and co-education of boys & girls was introduced in classes IX, X & XI, ostensibly as an austerity measure to prune expenditure by way of curtailed requirement of Teachers. This arrangement continued till 1976 and all classes used to be held in day session without any morning session.
The first batch of CHS(EM) students appeared at the centrally conducted Higher Secondary examination in March-April 1971 at the end of class-XI. During that time, students could exercise options to choose subject combinations under the tutelage of Teachers. Rigid segregation of subject streams at the level of Arts/Humanities, Science and Commerce hadn’t yet come into effect.
Major changes happened in 1977. Class-XII was introduced to Higher Secondary curriculum in this year. Simultaneously, Primary section for both girls and boys covering class-I to class-V separately was segregated from day session to be held henceforth in the morning session in order to tide over space constraint. The Secondary section consisting of classes VI-X mentoring its students for Madhyamik Pariksha at the end of class-X and the Higher Secondary section consisting of classes XI-XII mentoring its students for Higher Secondary examination at the end of class-XII remained in the day session. Segregation of Arts/Humanities, Science and Commerce streams came into force at Higher Secondary level.
Principal used to look after the complete School as its Head right since its inception. For the Primary section in morning session, Teacher-in-Charge was anointed under Principal initially. Subsequently, the formal post of Headmistress instead of Teacher-in-Charge was created for Primary section. Headmistress used to function under Principal, who in turn used to act as Secretary for the Primary section.
Further major changes occurred in the School from 1977 onwards, which altered characteristics of the Institution substantially.
Besides English medium, a Bengali medium section was introduced to the Secondary level of CHS(EM) for classes VI-X, primarily in order to accommodate the surplus students of Deshbandhu Vidyalaya (Boys) / D V Boys’ School. This section was meant for only boys.
In the original English medium section of Secondary level at CHS(EM), boys & girls continued to study separately from class-VI to class-VIII and together in co-education from class-IX to class-X.
Higher Secondary classes were discontinued at Deshbandhu Vidyalaya (Boys) / D V Boys’ School & Deshbandhu Vidyalaya (Girls) / D V Girls’ School, and all the students passing Madhyamik Pariksha from these two schools were admitted in various language streams of CHS(EM) Higher Secondary classes.
In the new-configuration Higher Secondary wing of CHS(EM) comprising classes XI & XII, pedagogy was taken up in three different subject streams – Arts/Humanities, Science & Commerce, and three different mediums of instruction – English, Bengali & Hindi.
In this overhauled Higher Secondary curriculum, Arts/Humanities lessons were imparted in only one language of Bengali in co-educational mode. Science lessons were imparted in two languages of English and Bengali in co-educational mode. Commerce lessons were imparted in only one language of Hindi for only boys. However, boy students preferring other languages to Hindi could also gain admission in Commerce stream, but they were required to write examination answers in English.
Conversely speaking, in the English medium of the overhauled Higher Secondary curriculum, only Science subjects were taught, in co-educational mode. In the Bengali medium, Arts/Humanities and Science subjects were taught, in co-educational mode. In the Hindi medium, only Commerce subjects were taught, only for boys.
Under this system, plethora of senior Teachers from D V Boys’ School & D V Girls’ School were transferred to CHS(EM), resulting in flutter due to the generation gap between the younger Teachers of original CHS(EM) and the older Teachers migrating from other schools. Similar flutter arose due to drastic alteration in composition and ambience of the School with the influx of multitude of students from D V Boys’ School & D V Girls’ School along with their Teachers. The flutters led to churning effects in Teaching community as well as student community, which took time to settle down. Fortunately for pedagogy and education, the undercurrents of psychological wedges never came to the fore.
The state of major flux continued at CHS(EM) from 1977 till the latter part of 1980s. Ultimately, the senior Teachers mostly reverted to their parent schools, primarily D V Girls’ School, along with their students, when Higher Secondary classes were restored there. Hindi Commerce stream stayed back at Higher Secondary level of CHS(EM) for few more years before it was shifted altogether to the Higher Secondary Hindi medium wing of D V Boys’ School. The Commerce stream at Higher Secondary level of CHS(EM) was subsequently taught in English. The Bengali medium section at Secondary level of CHS(EM) was abolished during mid-1990s and the students of this section along with many of their Teachers returned to their parent D V Boys’ School, where Higher Secondary studies continued to remain withdrawn in the Bengali medium wing. Co-education was terminated at CHS(EM). An English medium section was opened at Higher Secondary level of D V Girls’ School in the meantime apart from Bengali & Hindi medium sections, where the girl students of CHS(EM) Higher Secondary wing were relocated in various language streams.
It is amply evident that during 1967-1990s, CHS(EM) had to withstand a string of frequent upheavals effected by CLW Administration. In spite of the consequent impact on the Institution, the overall high standard of education, Teachers, students and examination results has never waned. Relationship between Teachers and students has been cordial & synergic over ages. CHS(EM) students are well-established in all spheres of life all over India and abroad.
Finally, emerging through trials and tribulations, the configuration of CHS(EM) in terms of language medium, subject stream & student community has closely been restored to its original one, as follows:
(i) Primary section (classes I-V, morning session) – boy students and girl students separately – only English medium
(ii) Secondary section (classes VI-X, day session) – boy students and girl students separately – only English medium, and
(iii) Higher Secondary section (classes XI-XII, day session) – only boy students – English medium (Science & Commerce) and Bengali medium (Arts/Humanities & Science), conversely, Arts/Humanities (only Bengali), Science (both English & Bengali) and Commerce (only English)