A view of the Alexandra Native Girls English Institution as it once was, and the Alexandra Girls School as it is now. Note how a piece of the past is carefully and beautifully preserved as part of the wall even in the modern building, a symbol of the way modernity loses nothing by remembering tradition.
IT is one of the oldest girls’ schools in the city, established in 1863 by Manockjee Cursetjee, an institution where ‘native girls’ from good families could get a good education in English. And as it gets ready to celebrate its sesquicentennial next month, this lovely all-girls school at Fort will certainly have much to be pleased about.
Cursetjee’s own residence, the ‘Villa Byculla’ in – well – Byculla, was the first venue for the school which had 13 students and was called the ‘Alexandra Native Girls’ English Institution’. After, it shifted to Waudby Road, now called Hazarimal Somani Marg.
It’s Board of Directors was a virtual Who’s Who of Indian Society. Among them were the Hon. Sir Phirozeshah Mehta and alumni such as Madam Bhikaji Cama, one of India’s great freedom fighters unfurled the first flag of Indian Independence in Stuttgart, Germany.
And look at the line-up of eminent personalities of the country who have graced past Annual Day functions of the school. “Great is your responsibility and much have you to answer for in the future”, said India’s nightingale Sarojini Naidu during her Prize Distribution Address to the pupils in 912.
“I have faith in the future of the country – faith in our young people – faith that they will subordinate all those considerations which divided us from one another to the supreme loyalty to this race”. These were the words spoken by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the Chief Guest at the school’s Annual Day in 1960!
As per the Founder’s wish, even today value education is provided with the object of developing the overall personality of the girl child in its care. Equal importance is given to curricular and co-curricular activities.
All the present Trustees and Directors of the Managing Board are Zoroastrians and stalwarts from the fields of education and law. The excellent direction given by this dedicated Board of Trustees and Directors and their far-sighted vision, is largely responsible for the progress of this 150-year-old Institution.
As for the teachers, the results that the school has gathered in year after year should speak for themselves and for them.
Consistently, cent percent S.S.C. results have been achieved over the years, proof of the excellent academic standard maintained by the Institution. In March 2012, 83 students were sent up for the S.S.C. Board exam and each and every child passed with a with Distinction in the majority of the cases. Of the total, 72 got Distinctions and the remaining 11 got First classes. The lowest score was 65% and the highest was 93.09%, with nine children scoring over 90%.
Extra-curricular activities are taken very seriously indeed and Alexandra has been the winner of the Best School Trophy at Inter-School level in Mumbai in judo, sports and elocution consistently for the past 4 years. Students have done the institution proud at the Trinity Guildhall Examinations, London, for Speech and Drama, Hindi Rashtrabhasha Exam, Maharashtra Drawing Grade Exam, Government Scholarship and Talent Search Examinations. Extra classes for students interested in Art, Speech & Drama, Western Dance, Indian Dance, Malkhamb, Abacus and Vedic Maths are also held.
And make a note of this. The school has had Girl Guiding as an integrated subject for the last 88 years and the 14th A East Bombay Guide Company has their Registration Certificate signed by the founder of the Guiding Movement – Lord Baden-Powell himself!
In its 150th year, the management has introduced ‘Smart Class Technology’ for all the classes from Std. I to X with the purpose of making the teaching-learning process a joyful experience for the children, as well as the teachers. CCTV cameras have also been installed in the premises to ensure safety of the girls studying within the portals of this fine institution.
The PTA is 56 years, the Ex-students’ Association is almost 75 years, and some of the ex-Alexandrians themselves are sprightly and sharp-minded nonagenarians. Everyone works together in perfect harmony.
And so there will be a number of events planned by the Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee specially set up for this historic year. Release of a Special Cover and launching of the school’s Website are the forthcoming events in the month of September. Children of other schools will be invited to participate in a three day fest organized by the school. There will be a grand show in April 2013 and a Souvenir will be released at that time.
In 150 years the School has achieved many milestones and the legacy continues. The best part? The fires of dauntless determination to scale the peaks of excellence have never burned higher. It is just on to the next 150 years!
The school can be contacted via Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or on 022 22072685