Kalimpong, Sept. 27: The 110-year-old Dr Graham’s Homes has decided to embark on an expansion drive by almost doubling the number of students and turning the institution into a university of excellence in the long run.
The school has currently 1,300 students and the management’s immediate plan is to increase the strength to 2,500. “The short-term plan is to increase the primary and junior school base by adding more sections. This will require the construction of more classrooms and hiring of more teachers,” said Anmole Prasad, a member of the managing board of Homes.
The managing board of the school was recently reconstituted with Lt Gen. (retd) J. Mukherjee taking over as the president from M.J. Robertson. The new board members deliberated on ways and means to expand and improve the school during the course of the week-long celebration to commemorate the institution’s 110th anniversary. The celebrations concluded here yesterday.
Prasad said the new board would work on a multi-pronged approach to improve the education delivery system in the school. “The long-term vision is to turn Homes from a school into a university. Homes has the infrastructure, assets, heritage and importantly, the brand equity to turn itself into a premier institution of higher education,” he added.
Ex-students of Homes, many of whom gathered here in good numbers from different corners of the world over the last week, were unanimous in welcoming the plan. “Why not, why not. The school has the space and assets for expansion,” said Ganesh Mani Pradhan, an alumnus of 1957 and a floriculturist of the town.
On the concluding day of the anniversary celebration, the Kalimpong chapter of Old Boys and Girls (OGBs), as the alumni association of Homes is called, organised a sponsored walk in which the present and past students took part. More than 120 participants walked 19km, from Homes to 17th Mile via 11th Mile and then back to the school through another route.
Most of the participants collected roughly Rs 1,000 each to take part in the walk. “Part of the money will be used to sponsor a project in the school. We organise such a walk when there is a good gathering of ex-students during an important school event like this year’s 110anniversary celebration,” said Hiren Mani Pradhan, the president of OGBs’ Kalimpong chapter.