A Profile on Chittagong College
Star Campus Desk
Chittagong College is a well respected college in Bangladesh. It is also the first college established in Bangladesh. Having started out as Chittagong District school in 1836, it was upgraded to an Intermediate college in 1869. It started providing science education in intermediate section from the year 1909 and became a graduation college in 1910. Now this college is giving honors and masters degree in 16 subjects. It is also continuing its intermediate course as well.
The college has five academic buildings, library with approximately 60,000 books, mosque, auditorium and other facilities. The sports ground of the college is known to all with its famous name Parade Ground.
Students of the college have made significant contribution in the history of Bangladesh. Also many distinguished scholars have taught here over the years. Among them were Surendranath Dasgupta, Beni Madhab Das, Janardan Chakravarti, Bhabatosh Dutta, Subodh Sengupta, Jogeshchandra Singha, Mansur Uddin, Motahar Hossain Chowdhury, Momotazuddin Ahmed and Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Chittagong College is officially known also as Chittagong Government College.
Chittagong college was first established as Chittagong Zila School in 1836. It was upgraded as a college in 1869 by offering F.A. (First Arts) course and took its present name Chittagong College. Its academic activity a college began in a Portuguese-merchant built building beside Parade Ground, College Road, Chawkbazar.
Besides F.A. course it also provided education in Law for students to enable them to qualify for leadership examinations. Law education in the college, however, was suspended in 1909.
From 1909 science courses were offered for Higher Secondary Level, then F.A.
In 1912, University of Calcutta registered it as a first grade degree college and allowed it to offer both honours and pass level courses in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. In 1919, honours course in English was introduced. Besides Economics and Philosophy was added as supplementary course from this year.
In 1926, the first student dormitory was established by the eminent politician, then Education minister of Bengal province Sher-E-Bangla A.K.Fazlul Huq. From this year co-education was introduced. In 1942, honours course in Economics was introduced.
The college suspended its honours programme in 1955 but reintroduced honours courses on English, Bangla, Economics, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in 1960. B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) courses on Zoology and Botany and B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) /B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) course on Statistics were introduced in 1962.
From 1955 to 1965 the college experienced enormous infrastructural developments.
When University of Dhaka was established in 1921, this college became registered as Degree college under this university. At present, this college offers Honours and Masters course under National University, Gazipur on 16 different subjects viz, Bangla, English, Economics, Political Science, History, Islamic History and Culture, Philosophy, Sociology, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Statistics, Geography and Psychology.
Presently, the college has 16,500 students and 135 teachers.
Faculties and Departments
This college has two faculties, they are:
Faculty of Arts & social science
This faculty comprises the following departments:
1. Department of Bengali
2. Department of English
3. Department of Economics
4. Department of Political Science
5. Department of History
6. Department of Islamic History and Culture
7. Department of Philosophy
8. Department of Sociology
9. Department of Arabic Studies
10. Department of Pali
11. Department of Sanskrit
Faculty of Science
This faculty comprises the following departments:
1. Department of Physics
2. Department of Chemistry
3. Department of Botany
4. Department of Zoology
5. Department of Statics
6. Department of Mathematics
7. Department of Geography
8. Department of Psychology
My Feelings as a Student of Chittagong College
Since my childhood, whenever I would pass by the College Road- the road that goes between Chittagong College and Mohsin College- I would feel an intense fascination. The area has always been graced with the footsteps of young and aspiring students and teachers ready to impart their wisdom. I used to dream and wish I could be a part of Chittagong College. It was my Father's desire that someday I would study English Literature at Chittagong College. Today I feel proud that I am a student of English Literature at Chittagong College - one of the oldest, largest and most reputable colleges in Bangladesh.
Chittagong College today is 140 plus years old and still standing tall with pride, heritage and excellence in the heart of the city. Students of the college have made significant contributions to various fields in the education arena. Many distinguished scholars since the British rule have taught here as full-time faculty. Among them were Surendranath Dasgupta, Beni Madhab Das, Janardan Chakravarti, Bhabatosh Dutta, Subodh Sengupta, Jogeshchandra Singha, Mansur Uddin, Motahar Hossain Chowdhury, Momotazuddin Ahmed and our Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus to name a few.
The Department of English is called the “Royal Department”. The department was established in 1910, before the establishment of Dhaka University. In 2010 the department will celebrate its Centenary Jubilee. Over the years, the Department of English has been blessed by the presence of prominent teachers. In 1933, Professor Subodh Chadra Sen Gupta, M.A., came to Chittagong College from the Presidency College of Kolkata. He had been a distinguished graduate of Calcutta University, whose academic career had been one of exceptional brilliance. Professor S.M. Nazim Uddin is the current Head of the Department.
|Photos: Anurup Titu
Our teachers deliver their lectures so eloquently that sometimes we become wanderers like Wordsworth and escape to the world of imagination like John Keats. Our teachers are sincere, friendly and helpful but very tough in terms of discipline and rules. The environment inside the campus is learning-friendly. We have a large college library and each department has a seminar room. But the library lacks many latest references. We also lack Internet facilities. Students of this college are thus falling behind others where such facilities are available.
There is a Foreign Language training centre (FLTC) in the Department of English. Here, English, Arabic and Japanese are taught by skilled and experienced teachers. The objective is to make the students able to communicate easily once abroad. This training program is financed by the UNDP under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.
Although Chittagong College is one of the oldest educational institutes in Bangladesh, unfortunately it lags behind many public and private universities. Students lack proper Internet facilities; a counseling centre; seminars by eminent academics; job fairs to name a few. To solve accommodation problem the number of seats in hostel and number of classrooms must be increased. The auditorium needs to be renovated providing modern facilities so that more cultural and literary activities may be held to enhance our creative and intellectual faculty.
If the college authorities come forward we hope that Chittagong College will surpass all the hindrances and will be a beacon in the quest of knowledge.
|Photos: Anurup Titu
Interview with Prof. Shekhar Dastider, Principal of Chittagong College
By Sristi Barua
“Our students are the best assets of our nation”
PROF. Shekhar Dastider recently joined Chittagong College as the Principal. He expressed his views on several issues with Star campus. The interview was taken by Sristi Barua.
S.B: Sir, you were one of the students of Ctg College. Do you think the college still enjoys good reputation, as it did in the past?
Principal: Although Chittagong College upheld its glory since its establishment in 1869, it started losing its pride after a few years of independence in 1971. Nevertheless, students still secure top positions in Chittagong Board in the H.S.C. The students of this college are the best assets of our nation. Our students have preserved the reputation of Chittagong College.
S.B: What is your evaluation regarding the standard of teachers and students?
Principal: The standard of teachers is good. There are 15,000 students in our college. Teachers remain busy all the year round taking classes and examinations. As there is no separate examination halls and insufficient manpower, the authorities have to suspend classes against their will during exam time. We regret that during this time students miss out on important lectures.
S.B: Are the students of graduation and post graduation level getting sufficient academic resources?
Principal: In comparison to the number of students of 16 subjects, books, number of classrooms etc are not adequate. There is no Internet sevice. The authorities of the National University sets the total seats of the Honours, Masters, and Preliminary Courses. But they have no scope to establish infrastructure, to create posts of teachers, and supply other necessary education materials.
The college authorities have to apply to the Ministry of Education, Directorate of Education or the Facility Department with request for various facilities. Though some steps have been taken, it is not sufficient and as a result it sometimes hinders the academic activities.
S.B: What is the reason behind attaining good results in the H.S.C?
Principal: We only take students with good results who possess competitive minds. However, we make sure that they get best education as the reputation of the college is at stake. These are the reasons why students get attracted to join Chittagong College.
S.B: Is there any initiative to make Chittagong College more competitive at the national level?
Principal: There are no specific steps as yet, but students who are sincere in attaining knowledge make their own positions in the job market. Teachers offer helping hands in time of their need.
S.B: Please say a few words about co-curricular activities?
Principal: The college authorities organise annual education week, science fair, annual sports, National days, and religious festivals. Rover Scout, Red Crescent, BNCC have their regular programmes. Some students have formed literary-debating-sports club. The authorities give them encouragement so that they may excel in their endeavours. The individual departments arrange seminars and symposiums for students.
S.B: What plans do you have for further improvement of Chittagong College?
Principal: At present we have nearly 15,000 students. It is almost impossible to give them equal attention in giving standard education with the current number of teachers and weak infrastructure. Compared to the financial assistance public universities receive, the Government colleges receive a meager amount. Despite all financial and infrastructural limitations, our results and quality of education is satisfactory. If we do not get more assistance it will be impossible for the College authorities to enhance and maintain the glory of this age-old institution.
(Sristi Barua is a 2nd Year (Hons) student in the Department of English at Chittagong College)