Calcutta School Society

Calcutta School Society an independent educational institution set up in calcutta on 1 September 1818. Like the calcutta school-book society (1817), it was established jointly by some Europeans and Bangali bhadralok. The School-Book Society sought to publish text books for schools, while the Calcutta School Society wanted to introduce identical teaching methods at different schools, reconstruct and develop patHshala or traditional schools, and also build new schools. In the beginning, the managing committee of the School Society consisted of 24 members, of whom eight were Bangalis. They included Maulvi Mirza Kazim Ali Khan (Mir Munshi of Secretary Office), Maulvi Belayet Hossain (a mufti or an expounder of Muslim law at the Calcutta Appellate Court), Maulvi Dervesh Ali, Maulvi Nurunnabi (the lawyer of the Nawab of Rampur), Babu Radhamadhab Bandyopadhyay, Babu Rasomaya Dutta, Babu radhakanta deb, and Babu Umacharan Bandyopadhyay. Mirza Kazim Ali and M Montaigue were its secretary and corresponding secretary, respectively. At the inaugural ceremony, JH Harrington, in his presidential address, emphasized the need for skilled native teachers and translators so that European learning and knowledge could be imparted and disseminated through translations.

The society's first annual report accounted the following successes: (1) 2400 students had been brought under the supervision of the society; (2) The reconstruction of native educational institutions in Calcutta had been undertaken; (3) An English school had been founded for the purpose of teaching good students; and (4) a declaration was made on adult education and technical training. Subsequently, the Dhaka School Society (est. 11 November 1818) and the Murshidabad School Society (est. 16 June 1819) were founded, even though the Calcutta School Society did not grant approval to schools outside Calcutta. After a few years of successful running, the society fell into financial difficulties. However, it was given a government donation of Rs. 6000 and managed to continue for some time longer. In 1824, 66 schools with 3487 students were brought under the supervision of the Society. The change in government regulations concerning language and teaching, the internal conflict among those following eastern and western ideologies, and the lack of initiative and enthusiasm on the part of the native activists were some of the reasons why this private institution lost its dynamics and eventually ceased to exist in 1833. [Wakil Ahmed]