The second school on the merit list of India’s Best Government Schools is Bankura Zilla School, Bankura, West Bengal
Every weekday, hundreds of students in blue-and-white uniforms traverse the dusty roads of arid Bankura on foot or on bicycle to assemble at Bankura Zilla School. There’s nothing particularly unique about the double-storied building except that it is painted in the colours of the school uniform and is set inside a 10-acre campus.
It is unlikely that many people would have heard of the 176-year-old school that’s about 270 km outside Kolkata, but its students have never been out of the merit list of the State’s Class X Madhyamik exam. This year, two students made it to the list, last year there were 10.
This year, 48 of 105 students scored over 90 per cent and 22 scored between 80 and 89 per cent. The students are also often among the toppers in the admission exams to engineering and medical colleges, and to the IITs.
Headmaster Barid Baran Misra says it has taken years of hard work by teachers, students and parents to achieve this level of excellence.
“Being a State-run institution, the school does not screen students during admission but admits them on the basis of a lottery,” says Misra. The challenge is to bring students to school, but in an age when private tutorials have become the order of the day, more than 95 per cent of the students attend classes regularly. “I tell guardians that I am providing your children fans and light, the best teachers and a hygienic environment. They should not prevent their children from benefiting from classroom teaching,” says Misra.
Discipline and continuity help the school maintain high standards, says Amal Acharya, the Bengali teacher. “What is most significant is that students from families with very limited means come out with flying colours. There come from remote corners of the district or even from other districts; their parents rent rooms so that their children can study here,” says Acharya. Teachers, appointed through the State Public Service Commission, maintain high standards. Bankura Zilla School is one of 42 schools run directly by the West Bengal government.
The story was covered by Shiv Sahay Singh from Hindu and the article is originally posted here