THE BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY
NAVA NALANDA, aiming to be a centre of ideal education, launched upon its ambitious career on 1.2.67 in a rented building at 25, Southern Avenue (Meghnad Saha Sarani), Kolkata – 700 026 on the initiative of a group of educationists and enthusiastic workers, headed by Mr. Arya Mitra, Founder Rector, and Mrs. Bharati Mitra, Founder Headmistress. Its opening-day rolls recorded 24 students and 9 teachers, including the Headmistress. The students were unevenly distributed among a limited range of classes from Nursery-I to Class V. With gradual rise in roll strength and steady upgradation of classes, recognition as 10-class school was obtained from the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education in 1973 and the first batch of regular candidates for the School Final Examination was sent up in 1974.
Increasing experience enabled the school to jump mediocrity in 1980, when one of its students secured the 4th rank in the Madhyamik Examination. He was followed by more rank-holders in 1984 (11th), 1991 (7th), 1993(16th), 1995 (10th) & 2003 (9th). These individual rankings systematically coincided with a progressive betterment of the 1st division and ‘star’ lists, a regular increase in ‘letter’ marks in individual subjects.
Textual study is supplemented by extra-curricular activities of versatile nature, being aimed at a complete development of juvenile faculties. Annual educational exhibitions, covering a wide range in the science and humanities streams, enrich the students’ knowledge. Annual Teacher’s Day and Independence Day/Republic Day celebrations strengthen their organizational ability. Wall Magazines and the annual School Magazines, ‘The Heritage’ and ‘The Legacy’, ventilate juvenile thoughts. Intra-school contests on debate, elocution, quiz, music, recitation, drawing, story-writing and script-writing, combinedly known as ‘Nalandasree Competition’, enable the children to earn laurels. Prizes from inter-school competitions also crown the dedicated efforts of the students. Musical and dramatic programmes on the public stages of Rabindra Sadan and Nazrul Mancha, as well as on the Doordarshan screen, flower them with plaudits from the audience, the viewers and the press. Their interest in games and sports is testified by commendable team performances in inter-school cricket, football, table tennis, swimming, rowing, chess and many other sports. Special mention may be made about some outstanding individual feats of students/ex-students in the Ranji Trophy Cricket and Inter-national Table Tennis Championship. An invitation tour to Bangladesh by the Nava Nalanda cricket team and their friendly matches with a number of schools and junior cricket clubs of that country were indeed some memorable events. The Nava Nalanda Interact Club, established in 1994, has excelled in social welfare service. The club has played a prominent role in the promotion of international friendship during their Bangladesh trip in 1994. Service to the suffering humanity drew the Nava Nalanda children close to Mother Teresa, whose graceful presence in the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the school programme on February 1st, 1993 is one of the memorable events in the history of the school.
EXPANSION OF THE SCHOOL
Growing popularity of the school led to steady increase in roll strength, till the scanty figure of 24 on the opening day shot up to over 5000 at the end of the 2003-04 session. It set the organizers in the hunt for larger accommodation. Thus, from 1975 to 2004 a number of buildings were acquired. The following are the different buildings presently housing our different departments:
|Southern Avenue Complex||Status||Depts./Classes|
|1.||25, Southern Avenue||Owned||CL-VIII/IX/X
|2.||24, Kabir Road||Owned||CL-VIII/IX/X|
|3.||68 & 70, Lake Avenue||Rented||CL-VI/VII|
|4.||2F, Bowali Mondal Road||Owned||CL.I/N-II/N-I|
|Jodhpur Park/Lake Gardens Complex|
|1.||192, Jodhpur Park||Rented||Nursery &|
|2.||2/1, Gobindapur Road||Owned||Primary|
|3.||162/B/193, Lake Gardens||Owned||Departments|
|Higher Secondary Unit||Owned|
THE TEACHING STAFF
Urge for perfection has necessitated appointment of teachers in proportion to the number of students. In fact, the ratio of students to teachers is much healthier than most of the reputed and Govt. schools. Qualifications vary from Graduation to Masters Degree according to classes supervised and subjects taught.
THE SANTINIKETAN UNIT
Meanwhile a separate unit of the school started functioning in Santiniketan since July, 1991 in response to local demands. Its roll strength as on date is more than 800, distributed among 14 classes from Nursery I to Class XII, functioning in buildings owned by the institution and standing majestically on 61/2 bighas land.
THE HIGHER SECONDARY UNIT
With about 350 students on the average coming out with each Madhyamik Examination, need was felt for opening the Higher Secondary unit. Long overdue on account of acute space problem, this unit was ultimately brought into existence on July 19, 2004, enjoying recognition of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, with permission to introduce Science and Humanities streams. Accommodation was provided at 24, Kabir Road with 130 students enrolled in class XI on the opening day and a few more to follow later on. Apart from the existing teachers of the Secondary section, the Higher Secondary unit is aided by some eminent personalities in the teaching line, either on full-time or part-time basis. However, in 2005, a separate unit for Higher secondary came into existence at 55/5 Purnadas Road , where an elaborate unit was set up with state of the art Laboratories. Presently, the Higher Secondary section has more than 600 students in Science, Humanities and Commerce.