The Scottish Church Collegiate School is one of the oldest continuously running Christian Missionary school in the country. Being a premier seat of education in West Bengal, the Scottish Church Collegiate School has been consistently highly rated by academicians. The Scottish Church Collegiate School is an institution, which is better known for its academic standards, and its intellectual milieu.
The Scottish Church Collegiate School (both English & Bengali Medium) is a boys’ school in north Kolkata, having a history of more than 186 years. The school was founded in 1830 by Alexander Duff, who came to Calcutta as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. The Scottish Church Collegiate School is affiliated with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, and the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education for the secondary & higher secondary school examinations respectively. Due to rise in number of the students the school was shifted to a palatial building, on the Nimtala Ghat Street (Now Jorabagan police station) and continued there till March 1844. After that the school was again shifted to Cornwallis Square (now Urquhart Square). In 1910 the school was finally transferred and settled in the newly erected building on the Cornwallis Street.
In its centenary year it was renamed as “The Scottish Church Collegiate School”. A building was later built on the play ground at Roy Bagan Street, besides the main building. This building was further enlarged in 1958 and later named as “Hensman Block” after the then headmaster J.C. Hensman.
The Junior Section of the school (both English & Bengali Medium) functions from 6.30 am till 10.30 am.Shri Anish Mondal, is the Teacher-in- Charge of this section.
The primary section of the school began its function in 1950 at the St. Andrew’s House on Beadon Street (near manicktala market). Previously, it had been used the premises as hostel for outstation students.
The Governing Body of the school under the guidance of the President, Right.Rev.Ashoke Biswas, the Bishop of Kolkata, started the Pre-Primary Section after the current headmaster Mr.Bivash Saniel joined the school. The new English medium pre-primary section has started functioning in the St. Andrews House from the academic session 2012-13.Shri Amitava Pal is the Head Teacher of the Primary (Day) & the Pre-Primary Section (Day).
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has marked the main premises of the school as a grade-1 heritage building.
The school functions under the Governing Body of Diocesan Schools, the Diocesan Board of Education and the Church of North India.The institutional origins are traceable to the life of Alexander Duff (1806–1878), the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland, to India. Known initially as the General Assembly’s Institution, it was founded on 13 July 1830.
Alexander Duff was born on 25 April 1806, in Moulin, Perthshire, located in the Scottish countryside. He attended the University of St. Andrews where after graduation; he opted for a missionary life. Subsequently, he undertook his evangelical mission to India. In a voyage that involved two shipwrecks (first on the ship Lady Holland off Dassen Island, near Cape Town, and later on the ship Moira, near the Ganges delta) and the loss of his personal library consisting of 800 volumes (of which 40 survived), he arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830
Feringhi Kamal Bose
Initially supported by the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck,Rev. Alexander Duff opened his institution in Feringhi Kamal Bose’s house, located in upper Chitpore Road, near Jorasanko. In 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysack’s house at Garanhatta. Mr. MacFarlon, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta, laid the foundation stone on 23 February 1837. Mr. John Gray, elected by Messrs. Burn & Co. and superintended by Captain John Thomson of the East India Company designed the building. It is possible that he may have been inspired by the facade of the Holy House of Mercy in Macau, which reflects the influence of Portuguese Renaissance and Manneristand colonial architecture. Traces of English Palladianism are also evident in the design of the college. The construction of the building was completed in 1839.
In the early 1800s, under the regime of the East India Company, English education and Missionary activities were initially suspected. While the East India Company supported Orientalist instruction in the vernacular languages like Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit, and helped to establish institutions like Calcutta Madrasah College, and Sanskrit College, in general, colonial administrative policy discouraged the dissemination of knowledge in their language, that is in English. The general apathy of the Company towards the cause of education and improvement of natives is in many ways, the background for the agency of missionaries like Duff.
Inspired by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Alexander Duff, then a young missionary, arrived in India’s colonial capital to set up an English-medium institution. Though Bengalis had shown some interest in the spread of Western education from the beginning of the 19th century, both the local church and government officers were skeptical about the high-caste Bengali’s response to the idea of an English-medium institution. While Orientalists like James Prinsep were supportive of the idea of vernacular education, Duff and prominent Indians like Raja Rammohun Roy supported the use of English as a medium of instruction. His emphasis on the use of English on Indian soil was prophetic: