Holy Child Institute founded in the year 1938, is recognized by West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE), is a Christian minority institution belonging to the Catholic Church, established and administered by the Society of Sisters of Charity of Saints B. Capitanio and V. Gerosa of Calcutta Province.
St. Bartolomea Capitanio held the youth very dear to her heart and by profession she was a teacher. According to St. Bartolomea Capitanio the mission of education was a means to form the character of the youth and transform them into good human beings who in turn become the agents of change in the society. With this goal, Provincial Superior Sr. Ernesta Del Corno rented a small building at 34/1 Beadon Street on 11th November 1938 and a band of five young and dynamic Italian sisters were sent to begin this mission. They started a kindergarten school with 80 students.The first five Italian sisters were Sr. CostanzaAnelli, Sr. Adele Casagrande, Sr. Immacolata Costantini, Sr. Theonila Battois and Sr. Rose Dal Pra.
Ladies from the higher strata of the society and house-wives attended sewing classes conducted by Sr. Adele. After few months Sr. CostanzaAnelli was transferred and Sr. Theresa Galbiati took her place as superior. She was a trained teacher and well educated in Italy. Under her able supervision the school saw good progress. The first Indian sister to join them was Sr. Rosina Pinto in the year 1939. Sisters visited the neighbouring families and people were very good and helpful to the sisters. They occasionally provided them with some material help.
However due to world war II, the school had to be closed down for three years. It was re-opened in January 1944 at 32/1, Beadon Street.The sisters were soon compelled to look for a bigger building as the application for admission was increasing. After much prayer and penance, on 9th January, 1953, the Red Building was purchased from Mr. Taraknath and on 17th July of the same year, the children, Sisters and the teachers made their triumphant entry into the building, making the commencement of a successful age.
The sisters trudged all the way from Convent Road, Entally for a few more months. On the feast of St. Anthony on 13th June 1954, the sisters went in to take over their residence at 20 Beadon Street. Mgr. Eric Barbar, after the Holy Eucharistic celebration, generously sprinkled a bucket of Holy water in every nook and corner of the house, thus transforming the ‘haunted house’ into a dwelling place were peace and harmony reigned.
The first headmistress, Sr. ImmacolataCostantini together with Sr. Rosina Pinto and Sr. Agnes Biswas were thrilled as they installed the statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the entrance of the school. The statue of Mother of God is still there at the entrance of the school, watching over every child, every teacher and everyone who enters the school.
The school received the first recognition as Junior High School in 1954. In 1956 the school was recognized by the government as High School. The first batch of students were sent up for the Board Examination in 1957. The school proved itself so efficient in all fields of education that the school was raised to the status of class XI school in 1960 and continued to send up students for H.S. Exam. During these years, every batch produced students with outstanding merits who came out as toppers. The valiant sisters and the dedicated teachers kept the Holy Child flag aloft. The guardians and well-wishers extended their whole-hearted co-operation and support to make Holy Child Institute one of the premier education institutions of Kolkata. More colourful fathers were added to the cap of Holy Child Institute when one of the students secured 3rd position in West Bengal in the Higher Secondary Examination in 1970.
The ‘red building’ could not accommodate both boys and girls. The boys were shifted to 3/2 Duff lane in 1957, in the vicinity of the school. The boys’ section, however, had only classes from the pre-primary to the second standard. The parents were happy to admit their wards to this section for the equality education they received at the tender age. Due to lack of space the school management opted out of co-education and admitted only the girls. From its inception the school was known for its character formation of the young, discipline and education.
The evening section was hailed as a blessing for the less privileged girls of the neighbourhood. These girls, coming from the suburbs of Kolkata, took up full time jobs as house-maids in well-to-do families of the city. They were given free education in the evening shift up to fifth standard. There were times when it had the roll strength of well above 200. Gradually the number began to reduce due to the mushrooming of government schools. Some of them having savoured the value of education found ways and means to continue their education in other institutions. A fewof them were found capable of joining the main stream of the school.
In 1976 the H.S. course was suppressed as it was shifted to the colleges as per Government policy and Holy Child Institute opted for the Madhyamik level. After a lapse of 27 years, the Higher Secondary course was re-introduced under the West Bengal Council of H.S. Education on 18th July, 2003.
Another feather was added to the cap of Holy Child Institute when No objection certificate was obtained for English Medium from the Govt. of West Bengal in the year 2015 and in 2016 permission was granted by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education for introducing English as first language in English Medium after a tremendous hard work and fatigue. At present Holy Child Institute has a Bilingual medium (Bengali and English) of instruction where Languages of English and Bengali are taught as First language in respective mediums.
Thus the glorious saga of Holy Child Institute makes headway with the lofty, exalted and pious mission of shaping exemplary human beings for a predominantly paramount social structure exigently required at this hour. We hope in the coming days, the downturn in number of sisters serving the congregation will witness a promising acceleration by propelling God’s chosen young ladies of sterling prediction, towards the blissful and humble quest for the healing touch of Lord Jesus, through their sublime spirit of selfless service to mankind, overcoming all penury of their hearts. It is then that together we may sing –
“Just as I am, I come to you, Lord
Just as I am, I come before you
Humbly I come, to offer myself
Sanctify me, Lord my God.”
Use URL : hcikolkata.org