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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 144| November 15, 2009|


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60 Years of Notre Dame College
The Legacy Continues…

Rawnak Martin

Notre Dame College, Dhaka, is a degree college affiliated with the National University. Shortly after the formation of Pakistan, the then Archbishop of Dhaka, His Grace Lawrence L Graner CSC, invited the Priest Society of the Congregation of Holy Cross to establish a college in Dhaka. Accordingly the priests assigned to this task, obtained permission from the Religious Brothers of Holy Cross and in November 1949 started a college on the campus of St. Gregory School, Luxmibazar, giving it the name St. Gregory College.

Though the initial institution was humble, the aim was lofty: to spread the light of education in the eastern part of the newly born country, Pakistan. Since its inception, the college has been administered by the priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In 1955 the college was relocated to its present site in the Motijheel area of Dhaka and renamed “Notre Dame College”. Even though it is a Degree College, most students study in the intermediate level for two years (classes XI and XII), taking classes in Science, Business Studies or Arts. In the three-year Degree program classes are offered leading to a Bachelor Degree of Arts (B.A. Pass Course) or a Bachelor of Social Sciences (B.S.S. Pass Course).

Besides the regular academic courses in the Intermediate and Degree levels, an English Program (English as a Foreign Language) is conducted almost all year round and is open to all. As an expression of social concern, the College conducts Literacy classes (I to VIII) for slum children, in three shifts, morning, afternoon and evening. About 1150 students attend the Literacy School.

Meaning of "Notre Dame"
The French words "Notre Dame" mean "Our Lady". In order to express their deep devotion and respect for this unique woman, Catholic Christians call Mary "Our Lady". Notre Dame College has been dedicated to this majestic lady Mary, because her role was extraordinary in Jesus' life, as he "increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man". Notre Dame College has been named thus because the aim and objective of the college is to help students with motherly affection and love to develop themselves as fully matured human beings. Entering the main gate one can notice the mosaic picture of Mary teaching the boy Jesus.

Why is Notre Dame College different? Regular and maximum number of classes round the year at Notre Dame holding regular classes is the main focus.

A prescribed schedule is maintained in the light of the Govt. holiday list with a view to conducting maximum number of classes round the year. The college provides maximum facilities for a tranquil educational environment in the campus. Politics of any type is strictly prohibited on campus. Smoking and taking of any sort of drugs are also strictly prohibited. Each and every student is guided and advised about everything that he is supposed to do. Also, the Director of Guidance, the Student Counselor, the Principal or Vice-Principal may call in the students or their guardians to discuss problems that may have arisen.

The students or their guardians are given opportunities to consult with the Student Counselor or the Director of Guidance any time they wish, either in person or over telephone. Much importance is given to the weekly quiz exams and the lab practicals conducted twice a week on a regular basis round the year.

Work program:
A good number of poor students who cannot pay the College fees are given a chance to join the 'Student Work Program'. The work they do may consist in keeping the campus and classrooms tidy, or assisting in some of the clerical work. A few students teach classes in the Notre Dame Night School.

Teacher-Student Relationship
A friendly relationship exists among the teachers and the students both on and off campus. Students are allowed to meet their teachers any time they wish and discuss any matter with them. All questions at Notre Dame are done on computers. Cyclostyled copies are given to the students in the examination room. Students can write some answers on the question paper itself and submit it with their name and roll number written at the top. If a script does not have the name or roll number, and the owner is found, 20% marks are deducted. The three terminal exams are each followed by a guardian's meeting.

At that time the progress reports are given to the guardians so that they can discuss their son's progress with the college authority. Library with an Audio-Visual system. Our library is one of the oldest college libraries in Dhaka. It has some valuable sets of books on various subjects. The library is enriched with a computer aided directory and Encyclopedias. Audiovisual equipment is available for learning and developing English Language skills. The library remains open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a lunch break from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. The Notre Dame administrative network and accountability system are very effective in achieving the ends for which the College was founded. The co-curricular activities at Notre Dame make up an important part of the students' formation. Eighteen clubs, covering a multitude of activities, provide students with opportunities for developing their talents.





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