KOLKATA: The second campus of La Martiniere schools was inaugurated on Saturday. It has been named La Martiniere Oxford Mission School. Located near Behala Chowrasta, this sprawling campus has already come up with a basic structure with five standards of primary education. The academic session will start from August 2 and classes will happen online till the pandemic situation improves.
The school has some basic differences with the 185-year-old first campus of La Martiniere schools (boys and girls) off AJC Bose Road. This one is a co-educational school and will also have space for underprivileged children to study. The school has come up on the grounds of the Oxford Mission, which was set up by the missionaries who came from Christ Church inside Oxford University after the then Bishop of Calcutta appealed to them in 1879 to work among the poor here and educate them.
“The school will keep within that philanthropic spirit of the Mission. We want to bring quality English education to both the underprivileged for whom we run a home here and those who can afford it. The neighbourhood has many poor children who would come to the Mission for basic primary education, we will take them within the fold of the new school,” said Bishop Paritosh Canning, head of the Kolkata Diocese of the Church of North India, that will run the school. Some retired teachers of the La Martiniere schools have been inducted within the system to bring in the teaching processes that the school is known for.
Admission has started in the new school. Five standards, from lower nursery to class II have been set up already and new standards will be added with every passing year.
“We have inducted eight teachers to run the show and we are in the process of recruiting more,” said Stanford Francis, the administrator of the school.
The Oxford Mission, with its headquarters in UK within the university, continues to have a bond with the institution here and there are plans to set up exchange programmes in the senior classes, indicated the Bishop.
“There is a rich culture of music and sports among our boarders here. They are trained in music separately. We want to bring this culture into our programmes in the new school so that exchange programmes in music can happen between us and UK,” Bishop Canning said, adding that the sprawling Douglas grounds within the campus will have myriad sports facilities for the children.