NAVA NALANDA, aiming to be a centre of ideal education for boys and girls, launched upon its career on the 1st day of February, 1967 at a rented building in the premises No. 25, Southern Avenue, Kolkata, on the initiative of a group of enthusiastic organisers. Its roll strength on the opening day recorded 24 students and 9 teachers, including the Headmistress. The students were unevenly distributed among a limited range of classes, from Nursery – I (age group : 3+) to Class – V (age group : 9+). The financial resources were restricted within the personal funds of the organisers, unaided by any external sources — government or other. These limited resources, however, did not prevent the organisers from being ambitious enough to name their project after our richest national heritage in the domain of education.
ACADEMIC ATTAINMENTS :
Growing popularity, gained by virtue of tireless efforts of a band of devoted teachers, enabled the institution to add regularly to its roll strength, and thus, to proceed with steady expansion, till recognition of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education was obtained in 1973 and the first batch of regular students appeared for the Board’s School Final Examination in 1974. Increasing experience, coupled with sincere efforts, enabled the school to jump mediocrity in 1980, when one of its students, AMITESH MAITY, ranked 4th in the Madhyamik Examination. He started to be followed by more rank-holders at regular interval, such as, INDRANIL MUKHOPADHYAY (1984 – 11th), SUDIPTO KUNDU (1991 – 7th), RAJESH BHATTACHARYA (1993 – 16th), ARIJIT RAY CHAUDHURY (1995 – 10th), TOYA CHATTERJEE (2003 – 9th) & TAMOGHNA BISWAS (2005 – 3rd in West Bengal, 1st in Kolkata)(2007- 4th in Higher Secondary Examination, 6th in Joint Entrance Examination). These individual glories were systematically backed up by a progressive betterment of the 1st division and ‘star’ lists, a regular upward trend in ‘letter’ marks in individual subjects and almost blank 3rd division and failure columns.
The teaching method of NAVA NALANDA is characterised by a balanced combination of textual knowledge and off-the-text experience, so as to shape into complete education. This aim is sought to be achieved by, what is known as “extra-curricular activities”, though it virtually forms an integral part of NAVA NALANDA’s curriculum. Some of these are :
The ‘House’ activities. These consist of healthy rivalry among the three ‘Houses’ — Odantapuri, Taxila and Vikramshila – and annual election of ‘House” captain and vice captain on the basis of ‘juvenile franchise’.
The teacher’s day celebration on 5th September. It stand as a symbol of mutual love and respect between the teacher and the taught.
The Independence Day & Republic Day celebration. These are connected with some memorable discourses on our freedom struggle, national integration and related subjects by the late acting Governor Dipnarayan Sinha, eminent educationists, such as, the late Chinmohan Sehanabish, Anila Debi and Nemaisadhan Bose, Sri Ramaranjan Mukherjee, Pabitra Kumar Sarkar and Tirthankar Chakraborty, distinguished literateurs and journalists like the late Pramathanath Bishi and Santosh Kumar Ghosh, Sri Amitava Chowdhury and Sri Gour Kishore Ghosh, and last, but not the least, the legendary Ganesh Ghosh, whose absorbing recapitulation of the Chittagong Armoury Raid created a spell on the audience on August 15, 1974.
The Heritage & The Legacy : These are the annual publications for and by the seniors and the kids respectively, which are loaded with contributions from varying age groups, ventilating their thoughts and feelings.
Games & Sports : Our annual Athletic Meets are participated by hundreds in the presence of sports personalities of national repute, such as, Sri Chuni Goswami, Sri Gurbux Sing, Sri Prasanta Banerjee and others as the Chief Guest. Commendable performances have been recorded in inter-school cricket, footfall, table tennis, swimming and rowing competitions. Our under – 19 cricket team, visiting Bangladesh on an invitation tour in , returned with pleasant memories. Our inter-class mini-football for the primary department GEETA DASGUPTA MEMORIAL FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT,NALANDA CUP 5-A-SIDE FOOTBALLand Nalanda Cup Cricket Tournament for the Secondary and Higher Secondary departments figure among our more popular winter sports items. Also we have the All Girls’ Badminton Tournament to encourage sports activities for our girls. With all this background, NAVA NALANDA take pride in having produced the ex-captain of Bengal Cricket team, RAJA VENKAT, and the thrice national table tennis champion, POULAMI GHATAK.
Excursions : Temporary relief from class room monotony is provided by periodical outings and picnics on the rarely – found greeneries in and around Kolkata, or educational visits to the museum, the planetarium, the meteorological office, the press, and so on. These are often supplemented by week-long trips to far-away sites of Santiniketan – Bakreswar – Masanjore (1975), the antiquities of Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodh Gaya (1977 & 1983), the historical relics of Varanasi – Sarnath – Chunar (1979), the artistic and sculptural excellence of Ajanta – Ellora (1981), the golden triangle of Delhi – Agra – Jaipur (1985) and the picturesque Vizag – Araku Valley (2004),Agra- Jaipur- Chittore(2006).
Social Service : The cause of service to the community has always brought our boys and girls to the forefront, collecting enormous amounts for the Red Cross, or some Ramkrishna Mission village reconstruction project, or for the victims of Orissa flood, Gujarat earthquake, the Kargil war, the Tsunami, or, for one of their own school-mates, whose fight with death on the hospital bed is costing his parent’s fortune. It was indeed a life-time’s experience to have Mother Teresa visiting NAVA NALANDA on the 1st February, 1993 and personally acknowledging the truck-loads of Christmas gifts sent every year from the school to the orphans under the Mother’s care.A special social service progarmme was organized on 21st August, 2007, with huge donations from the students and teachers being given to 1. Missionaries of Charity, 2.Voice of the world, 3.Red Cross Society, 4.Bharat Sevasram, 5.Thakurpukur cancer institute.
Nalandasree contest. The winter ushers in the long-awaited Nalandasree intra-school contest on varied items, such as, Sit-and-draw, Story/Script Writing, Recitation, Vocal Music, Dance, Solo Acting, One-Act Play, Quiz, Antakshari, Debate, Elocution and so on in the midst of overflowing enthusiasm.
Inter-School Nalandasree Competition :
Our school has completed 40 years of its existence on FEBRUARY 1ST, 2007.
This happy occasion is being celebrated by us with a series of educational, cultural & sports activities, stretched throughout the year. Some of these activities have been planned to include schools in our neighbourhood, aiming at fostering a feeling of togetherness and friendship among institutions functioning with a common purpose and aim.
These events have been planned as a part of NALANDASREE INTER-SCHOOL COMPETITION held on 20th, 26th & 27th January, 2008 at our school premises and at the boulevard facing the said premises.
The items of contest include ON –THE SPOT STORY WRITING,SIT & DRAW,GROUP & SOLO DANCE,GROUP & SOLO SONG,JUST-A-MINUTE,QUIZ,ANTAKSHARI
All these carried attractive prizes. apart from this, Group Championship Trophy was also awarded to the school, earning highest marks in the aggregate.
NalandaRatna Award- awarded to the student who has created mark in a specific field of activity. The first recipient of this award was Poulami Ghatak, four times National Champion in Table Tennis . in 2008, this was awarded to Tamoghna Biswas, rank holder in both Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examination in 2005 & 2007 respectively and to Aneek Dhar, The voice of the World, champion Zee Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa award, 2007.
Cultural activity : This has always been a part and parcel of NAVA NALANDA. The ‘Sharadotsav’ in September-October for the seniors features dance, music and dramatic items, combined with literary seminars, while the pre-winter vacation programme for the juniors invariably centre around the arrival of Santa Claus, followed by the chanting of Nursery rhymes and ending with Christmas Party. These activities have frequently reached the public stage and the television, with such productions as Abanindranath Tagore’s KHIRER PUTUL, Rabindranath’s NATIR PUJA, TAASHER DESH, KALMRIGAYA, PARIR PARICHAY, SUORANIR SAADH and a feature on the birth of Christ, entitled ABIRBHAV, based on Achintya Kumar Sengupta’s work. Added to this, were the classical stage presentations of ballets based on Michael Madhusudhan Dutt’s MEGHNADBADH KAVYA, the great epic MAHABHARATA and Abanindranath Tagore’s RAJKAHINI, in which the NAVA NALANDA children joined the professionals to add to the quality of the productions.
Nava Nalanda Mela. An air of festivity marks the Nava Nalanda Mela, a bi-annual festival, starting from 1993, being accommodated on the boulevard in front of the main building at 25 Southern Avenue. It presents an array of art and craft products by the students, a wide variety of village handicrafts from the sources of their origin, forgotten delicacies from the kitchens of the teachers and cultural programmes by the “Bauls’ from Birbhum, the ‘Santals’ from Chotanagpur, the ‘Chhou” group from Purulia, from the Ganjam district of orrissa, the ‘sankhyavadya’ of puri, the ‘animal mask’ dance and the ‘Gotipua’ dance and of course, colourful items by the NAVA NALANDA children themselves.
Rabindrasmaran : NAVA NALANDA has its firm footing on oriental culture, with the thoughts and ideals of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore as its guiding star. In the fitness of events, therefore, the celebration of Rabindra Jayanti became one of the main features of the school activity, almost from the inception of the school, being participated by hundreds of children and joined by maestros – Sm. Suchitra Mitra, Sri Dwijen Mukherjee and the late Kanika Banerjee, Hemanta Mukherjee, Debabrata Biswas, Chinmoy Chatterjee, Ashoktaru Banerjee and Sagar Sen. Since 1996 this programme has been shifted to the Southern Avenue boulevard, so as to accommodate thousands of school children, their guardians and the local residents. In fact, NAVA NALANDA’s ‘Rabindrasmaran’ is now hailed as one of the main attraction of the city on the 25th Baishak.
NAVA NALANDA (SANTINIKETAN)
Being brought into existence on the 1st July, 1991, the Santiniketan unit of NAVA NALANDA represents the institution’s homage to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Increasing confidence of the guardians from Bolpur, Santiniketan, Surul, Ahmedpur, Bhedia and adjacent localities has raised the roll strength to the vicinity of 500, necessitating the housing of the Nursery, Primary and Secondary departments in separate rented buildings. Meanwhile, approximately 6½ bighas of land were acquired in Andrews Palli, the foundation of the school buildings was laid by Sri Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of the Lok Sabha, on the 9th March, 1996 and a majestic building with an attractive annexe for the Nursery section and a large play ground with complete infra structure now accommodates the Secondary departments. The Nursery and the Primary departments have now shifted to this new building .
The 40th year celebration:
The 40th year was marked by a series of activities throughout the year.
1. The Foundation Day ceremony on 1st of February, 2007 saw the launching of the new school monogram “ shaping tomorrow”.The school flag was hoisted by the president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Sri Ujjal Kumar Basu, while Smt. Suchitra Mitra lit the ceremonial lamp.Prizes were given to the meritorious students of Madhyamik & Higher Secondary Exam 2006.
2. The Annual sports day at Rabindra Sarobar stadium with almost all the students from Nursery to the Higher secondary department participating in cultural events and atheletic meet on 11th January, 2007.
3. All members of the teaching staff were felicited on the auspicious occasion of the 40th anniversary of the school on 4th of February, 2007.
4. The Annual dinner was organized at the Tollygunge club, Far pavilion on 18th of February, 2007.
5. The Rabindra jayanti was celebrated on 8th of May, 2007 from 6am at the boulevard of Southern Avenue with 300 students & teachers in front of 6000 strong audience.
6. Rabindra Jayanti at Nazrul Manch on 12th & 13thMay, 2007 with school students, invited guest artistes & invited schools .
7. A social service programme was organized on 21st August, with students donating clothings, toys, books, food and the the teachers donating money. These were then taken to different charitable organizations like by the students.
8. The Inter- School 5-a-side football competition at the lake ground with 16 reputed schools participating in the 3day long tournament. Sri Chuni Goswami was the chief guest on the finals held on 29th of November, 2007.