01/07/2020, 14.58
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St Nicholas High School, a Catholic institution serving Bangladesh for the past 100 years

by Sumon Corraya

The school was founded by Holy Cross missionaries. The country's first prime minister and the current president of Caritas Asia, Dr Benedict Alo D’Rozario, attended the school. The missionaries' goal is to give children a moral and spiritual education, alongside regular subjects.

Gazipur (AsiaNews) – St Nicholas High School in Nagari, Gazipur, an industrial district of Dhaka, has been serving the people of Bangladesh for a hundred years. It was the first school established in the area, now home to millions of garment workers.

Thousands of students, mostly Muslims, have had the opportunity to study in the classrooms of the missionary school. One of them was Tajuddin Ahmad, an independence fighter, and the first prime minister of Bangladesh during the War of Liberation from Pakistan (picture 3). For this reason, St Nicholas is considered as the ‘lighthouse’ of Bangladesh.

Between Thursday and Saturday of last week, the school marked its first centennial. Founded by Holy Cross missionaries, it was intended to give boys a moral and spiritual education alongside regular school subjects. For the missionaries, a child’s overall education serves to ensure that he is successful in life and work.

The guest of honour was Meher Afroz Chumki, a member of Parliament, who said that “In Gazipur, some Christian missionaries run schools that are playing significant role in the education sector. St Nicholas High School is one of them. Many important people enhanced themselves at this school. I hope that in the future this school will continue its quality service.”

Card Patrick D’Rozario led the celebrations. He said that the school “provides a non-sectarian education. Everyone can learn, whatever their race or creed.”

Caritas Asia president Dr Benedict Alo D’Rozario is an alumnus. “Holy Cross Brothers and teachers helped me establish my life and career. If I hadn't studied here, I probably wouldn't have been as successful.” His advice to students is to “Be honest, hardworking and pray to Almighty God, so you will be successful in life.”

Manjur Kader Khan, a Muslim, is the current Deputy Inspector General of the Bangladesh Police. He too studied at the school. “I feel proud because I was able to study in St Nicholas High School. This school taught me to be an honest and ideal human being.” He too urged alumni to work for society.

“Each year over hundred students pass 10th grade and go outside for higher education,” said the school’s principal, Br Prodip L Rozario. “We plan to start a college too.”

Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country with about 166 million people. Christians are just 0.3 per cent of the population. Catholics run more than a thousand schools, which provide a great service to the country’s development, serving with good will people of all faiths.

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