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Insan School Kishanganj weeping over its lost glory
Already India has a low literacy rate and to top that schools such as Insan School that was once considered the top most school in Bihar, is losing its credibility. This certainly is a big concern and serious steps need to be taken to amend it.
INSAAN BANENGE hum Insaan banayenge, Jeene ke tarkeeb ab seekhenge sikhanyenge, Insaan banenge hum Insaan banayenge (We will become humans and will spread the message of mankind, learn the way of living and spread the same lesson among others), the couplet belongs to the anthem of, once a famous school, Insan School or the temple of humanity.

Situated in the Kishanganj district of Bihar, the school is now going through a very bad phase. During its golden period that is 1970 to1995 the school had produced thousands of brilliant students, who have made their special mark in India and abroad as well. Luckily, I was one of the students of Insan School and have an emotional touch with the school.

Being a part of this great school, is a matter of pride for me and what I have achieved till date, Insan School has been a reason behind it. But today, when I see only a few buildings, teachers and a few hundred students studying in the school it really saddens me. Hence, being an alumni of Insan school it is my duty to bring the present dismal state of this school before the government and the people.

Kishanganj, one of the most backward districts in India is known for the least female literacy rate, all over India. At the same time, the district is famous for peace loving people, god gifted, pleasant climate and lush green environment. Ironically, since the country’s independence the area has its special place in the country’s map due to its closeness to international boundaries of Bangladesh and Nepal. But sadly, despite its important position in geographical and political maps of India, the area never got proper attention from the state or the central government.

For last few years, the district has seen some developments in areas like education, road communication, electrification etc, but the seeds of development were sown by the great thinker, Padmashree Dr Hasan. It was in the year 1951 when Syed Hasan, a young teacher from New Delhi visited the backward area of Kishanganj. At that time, education in Kishanganj and nearby areas were almost nil. Female education was a taboo in the society and socio-economic conditions of the area was very bad. As Hasan was still a young man and needed time to establish himself, so he came back to Delhi.

In the year 1955, Hasan left for America on a fellowship by Lincoln University, Pennsylvania and was later transferred to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Hasan stayed in America for 10 years and completed his Phd in education from the university. After spending 10 years in America, Hasan returned to India and headed towards Kishanganj to carry on his mission.

Though, Hasan was not a native of Kishanganj, but due to his broad vision he opted  to make the region prosperous, in the field of education. Hasan started his mission with 36 students on November 14, 1966 on the premises of National High School. As his motive was fair and for the welfare of the people of Kishanganj, it took little time to get land for the establishment of a school. From few ’gaj’ (metres) land in the early days, the school gradually spread over a hundred acres of land in a few years time. Due to bamboo huts being used as classroom and residence, the school was nicknamed as ’Jhonpron Ka Sahar’, (Town of Huts).

Later a college named as Insan College was also started. Thousands of boys and girls from Bihar and other states of India were studying in Insan school and college, who were competing neck-to-neck with students of other top schools and colleges of the country. Like students, the teachers of the school were well-qualified and they had mastery over their particular subject. In fact, it became a dream for students to study in Insan School and teachers to teach there.

Discipline was one of the key to the success of the school. Hasan emphasised to bridge the teacher and student gap. Instead of the usual trend, of calling the teachers ’sir’, he told the students to call the male teachers ‘bhai’ (brother)and female teacher ‘baji’(sister), that worked and gave fruitful results. Students addressed their seniors as ‘bade bhai’ (big brother).

Every aspect of curriculum in Insan school was special. For instance, after the school prayer, a news reading session was scheduled. At the news reading session, the assigned two or three students were required to gather the latest news from the radio and newspapers and read it loudly before the who;e assembly. From this example, you can understand how far-sightedness Hasan was. He had the motive to keep the students updated with the latest happenings around the world.

From the 1970s, the school was reaching to newer heights and everything was going fine, till the end of 1990s. However, we can’t deny the fact that ‘every top position has its bottom position as well’, or ‘good and bad phases are two sides of coins’ and applies for every thing. The same fact applied to Insan School which suddenly started declining. A fight between Hasan and some teachers started due to some reasons; irregularity in payments to teachers was one of them. The intensity of fight between Hasan and the faculty increased day-by-day, at the cost of growth and education of the students. From 1995 onwards, the environment of school started to change, the healthy relation between students and teachers and Hasan itself soured. Dozens of teachers left the school, new enrollments of students also dropped and the future of Insan School became dark.

With few teachers, Hasan and his son tried to re-establish the school again, but they were not successful. Presently, there’s only the head office and hundreds of brick hut of the school is left. But, even with that it is still possible to make it one of the prosperous schools of Bihar, if it gets proper attention. According to national statistics, Kishanganj is lagging behind in the field of education from other districts of the country. Hence, Kishanganj needs more and more good schools and colleges for making the people of the district literate.

Personally I think, instead of spending millions of rupees in the opening of new schools, the government should give some attention to Insan School. If the local people and the state government make any proper strategy for Insan School, surely the school can again gain its lost glory, that would be beneficial for the development of the Kishanganj, Bihar and the country alike.
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Dr. Shamim Akhter
Insan School has become the part of the past. It is no worth wasting much of the intellectuals' mind over a dead story. Particularly at the time when the successors of Director, Dr. Syed Hasan have invested all their interest in pocketing money from the school''s property which is not less than 75 to 100 crores. Dr. Syed has got not less than 400 acres of land in the name of establishing and enlarging the school @ not more than 500 rupees acres. He did so by holding hundreds of talented teachers' salaries, poorly feeding the boarding students. He had a passion of buying plots after plots. As a result, he became incomparable landlord of Kishanganj District.Now the cat has come out of the bag. His hidden agenda open to all now. Now his sons are setting up a Mall at Lahra Chowk, Kishanganj_____ Nigar De Mall in the name of his second wife who is also a co- sharer in the loot of the School property.His intention was never good. Schools a many other people have made them a source of turning black money into white, was the source of establishing an empire for him and which he did. Yes, no doubt Insan school has given the society a lot of talented students. But he started the concept of a paid school in Kishanganj when no one thought that education could be had in that manner also. Children of prosperous families, the talented teachers, the sympathy of the entire community and society were also some of the few great factors for its shining results. One point to be noted, above eighty percent of the boarding students belonged to different districts of undivided Bihar, West Bengal etc. Copies of matriculation examinations would go to most students home towns where they or their parents would chase for higher marks in their concerning answer books and which was an established custom in Bihar then and to great extent now also . That process has also played a role in showing 100% first division results. There are a lot of schools working at the height of their capacity and doing good also. But as they have no access to the electronic media, they are far below the height of accessibility to the intellectuals like you.
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