Kolkata’s oldest school hostel set to turn into law college – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: When the Bastille fell and the sans-culottes took to the streets of France in 1789, in a quiet corner on the Eastern flank of the Hooghly, the British started a school for the community’s children, making it the oldest school that still exists. St Thomas School, Kidderpore on Diamond Harbour Road not only admitted British day scholars but also had hostel facilities for those who came from outside. This 232-year-old hostel will no longer exist in its original avatar and is getting transformed into a law college.
The school is run by the Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India (CNI), which has decided to change the utility of the building. The sprawling heritage hostel that had housed generations of students, mostly from the Anglo Indian and underprivileged backgrounds, is shifting the 35-odd boarders to the Oxford Mission hostel (boys) and Elizabeth hostel (girls), both heritage campuses in Behala and both run by the same management.

They will, however, continue to remain the students of the school and will be brought to the campus. They will have access to the canteen and other facilities when physical school reopens. Now that they are attending online classes, arrangements have been made for them at the Behala hostels.
“Once upon a time, the sprawling hostel used to be teeming with boarders. Times have changed now and we are left with very few children, whom we are supporting. Most of them are from Anglo Indian backgrounds. The building was mostly vacant and there was no point wasting such premium space. So, the Diocese decided to convert it into a law college,” said secretary of the Diocese and principal of the school, (boys and girls), John Ghosh.
The law college will be affiliated to the Calcutta University and a no objection certificate is being awaited. The preliminary inspection has already been done. “It’s a heritage building and one of the most cherished institutions under our umbrella because it is perhaps the oldest school hostel building in the country. We are restoring it and putting the hostel rooms to re-use for the law college,” Ghosh added.
Old boarders are, however, sad that the hostel, where they had spent some of their best years, will no longer exist. “It was my first home for 14 years from 1980-94. It’s sad to think that the building will no longer remain a hostel,” said Ajit Agarwal, a former student.
The Kidderpore campus also has a tech school that is getting shifted to Diocese land on B T Road. This building will be utilised for an all new under graduate general degree college that is coming up. This, too, will be affiliated to CU. Two other Diocese-run degree colleges are coming up on the St James School campus on AJC Bose Road and on St John’s Diocesan Girls HS School campus on Sarat Bose Road.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/citys-oldest-school-hostel-set-to-turn-into-law-college/articleshow/85879441.cms