The aim of Vidyapith is to train boys for an all-round development of body, mind and spirit. For achieving this end it is necessary to have faith in the educational ideals of Swami Vivekananda. These ideals are based on Brahmacharya or purity and Shraddha or faith in one’s own self and faith in the preceptor. Lack of co-operation on the part of either the students or their guardians may result in the failure of the boys to derive due benefit from this institution and thus the very purpose, for which this institution stands may be defeated.
The object of this institution is to give an education of the public school type, but suited and adapted to the Indian background. Great care is taken to form the character of the pupils. The Vidyapith being a fully residential institution, it has been possible to give proper stress on leadership training and prepare the students for a democratic society.
The Secondary Section (upto class X) is affiliated under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
Swami Gatidananda Maharaj | (December 2015 – Present day)
A branch of Ramakrishna Mission, the Vidyapith is administered by a School Managing Committee appointed by the Governing Body of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah.
Staff: There is an efficient and well-experienced staff to teach various subjects in the school. Each class is divided into smaller sections and teachers take every care to help the students in classrooms and outside. Personal studies of the boys are supervised by the teachers and while additional help is provided for the weaker boys, special assistance is extended to the exceptionally bright boys. In short, we try to impart individual attention to help every pupil develop most of what is latent in him.
The curriculum followed is generally what is prescribed by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. There is provision for instructing boys through both Bengali and English mediums in separate sections in all classes. Bengali is taught as the first language in the Bengali medium and Bengali or Hindi as the first language in the English medium. Bengali or Hindi or Sanskrit is provided as the third language to a student of class VI, VII and VIII.
Boys also have to take up some of the following activities under work education: woodwork, tailoring, gardening, house-wiring, ceramics, etc.
As per the new instruction from the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education the session starts in January and ends in December.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO BOYS
About one fourth of the students receive stipend, free studentship and scholarship. Financial assistance is given to meritorious students, coming from families of low-income group.Boys also have to take up some of the following activities under work education: woodwork, tailoring, gardening, house-wiring, ceramics, etc.
The Vidyapith has a library with more than 34,000 volumes of text and reference books and also a Reading Room for teachers and students. A good number of leading periodicals, magazines and newspapers are also subscribed to.
True Religion forms the basis of all activities of this institution. Neither sectarian nor ritualistic religion is taught, but every care is taken to make the students grow in all directions – physical, intellectual and moral, as envisaged by Swami Vivekananda. The institution relies on the potency of a favourable environment for gently drawing the minds of the students towards higher values of life. So a spiritual ambience is sought to be maintained through regular congregational prayers, discourses, celebration of religious festivals and birthday anniversaries of leaders of different religions. Prayer forms an integral part of the students’ daily life. Prayers are held in the shrine daily in the morning and in the evening. To develop among students, the Indian ideal of life, special classes on Indian Culture are held once in a week. To implant the sterling qualities of great lives in their minds, the biographies of great men are studied with special emphasis on their inspiring traits like truthfulness, self-sacrifice, etc.
To help manifest in a child his dormant traits and to meet a growing boy’s various interests and also to guide the boys through creative activities the institution has introduced various kinds of programmes throughout the year.
Among the co-curricular activities, music (instrumental and vocal), painting and drawing, debate, elocution, recitation, drama, quiz and literary works are worth-mentioning. Boys of classes V through VIII participate in the weekly cultural programme. Educative and cultural films are shown to the boys on many occasions in the auditorium with the aid of projectors.
The Vidyapith offers a wide range of hobby activities guided by a band of capable teachers. Ceramics, Physics, Chemistry, Indology, Literary Activities, History, Life Science, Geography and Painting are some of the popular areas of activities.
Special care is taken for the boys’ physical development through physical training, games and sports. Every boy has to participate in the Physical Training early in the morning and sports and games in the evening, except for medical reasons.
There are 20 play grounds to facilitate the boys’ playing habit. Arrangements are there to provide scope for playing football, cricket, hockey, volley-ball, dodge-ball, basket-ball etc. The indoor games include carrom and table- tennis. A well-equipped Gymnasium provides lessons in body-building exercises, gymnastics and yogas. The institution is proud of its Vidyapith Cadet Corps known as Vivekananda Regiment with its own flag and insignia. To develop a healthy competition and team spirit among the boys, the cadets are divided into four platoons, viz. Rana Pratap Platoon, Chhatrapati Sivaji Platoon, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Platoon and Netaji Subhas Platoon. The Vidyapith Band Troupe and the Gymnastic Troupe have earned public admiration for their performance.
Outings and excursions are arranged to inculcate in the boys broad outlook, team work and self-confidence. Annual excursion is held for all the boys in groups to places either of natural beauty or of religious, historical or industrial importance.
The Annual Social Service Camp is organised for the boys of class IX at some suitable place for three or four days during which they learn about the life of the villagers and take active part in rural uplift.
The institution awards a number of prizes in recognition of the boys’ merit on individual and collective basis. Prizes are awarded for different types of activities among different age-groups.
The residence of the boys is divided into four Houses namely Ramakrishna Sadan, Vivekananda Sadan, Brahmananda Sadan and Shivananda Sadan. Each Sadan (House) is sub-divided into a number of Dhams (dormitories). Each Dham is under the supervision of a warden and the over-all management is entrusted to a monastic member. Boys are placed in different dormitories class-wise. The general upkeep of the dormitories is entrusted to the boys themselves. They, while looking after cleanliness and tidiness of the dormitories, learn practical lessons in self-help and dignity of labour. An inter-dormitory competition is held every month to foster among students sense of responsibility and fellow-feeling, habit of cleanliness and spirit of service.
Provision is made for a balanced diet for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian groups. Besides two meals and two tiffins, some small snacks are given during school recess. Special diets are allowed only on the ground of health under medical advice. Additional cost for such diet is to be met by the guardians.
The activities of the Vidyapith start in the early morning with the rising bell followed by Bhajan and devotional songs and open-air P.T. The activities include classroom teachings at noon, games in the afternoon, Aratrika and Bhajan in the evening. On Wednesday, classes are held in the morning hours and they remain suspended on Sunday. Every student is to follow the routine of Vidyapith unless he is medically advised otherwise.
Purulia is a health resort. So, the general health of the students remains quite good here. Occasional medical examination and recording of weights of the boys are carried out. For minor ailments, the boys are treated free of cost and preventive vaccination is provided. In case of any illness other than minor ailments, guardians have to bear the necessary expenses. There is a well-equipped indoor hospital in the campus with a segregation ward. A qualified doctor is in charge of the hospital.