Oxford Mission

Introduction

The Oxford  Mission (OM) was  founded in 1908 at  Behala,  at  the  southern  end  of  Calcutta, now  Kolkata, in  undivided  Bengal,  India then under  British  rule,  by  Father Frederick Douglass  of  the  Brotherhood  of  Epiphany (UK).  The  prime  missionary  objectives  of  the  Founder  Father  and  his  compatriots were  to  impart  basic  education, imbibe  healthy  living  conditions  and initiate  self-employed  means  of  livelihood,  amongst  the  destitute, under  privileged and forlorn  village  folks  and  their undernourished  children.

His first task was that of setting a school with Hostel facilities.  The   third “Douglass  Boarding”,  which  by  the Grace  of  the  Almighty,  has  till  date, remained  a  shining  star,  in  the  able  hands  of  the  Brotherhood  of  the  Epiphany  and  later  the  Oxford  Mission  Trust  Association.

The salient criterions for selection of Boys for the Hostel are briefly summarized below:-

Conditions for Admission to OM Boys’ Hostel:

  1. Preferable – Orphans, Semi-Orphans.
  2. Desirable – Others (with aggregate family income Rs. 1,000/- per month at present).
  3. Without any prejudice of colour, caste, language and religion.
  4. Home verification by OM team – Compulsory.
  5. Intake/ Cut off age, at present – 05 to 06 years.
  6. On an average 20 boys are admitted every academic year subject to availability of funds.
  7. A Guarantor is compulsory for all candidates seeking admission.
  8. No fees or deposits ate taken from the guardians.

Logistics provided to all boys by OM Behala – free of cost on a Uniform Scale:

  1. Aggregate strength of boys, accommodated in 05 Hostels – 125 boys (on an average) per academic year.
  2. Built up furnished dormitory accommodation complete with basic and essential amenities.
  3. Centralised cooked meals and beverages.
  4. School fees (admission, tuition), text books, exercise books, stationeries, for Primary and High School.
  5. Recreational, Sports, School Uniforms, Shoes, Scouts  and  Cubs  uniforms  and kits, readymade clothes as festival gifts.
  6. Full Medical cover, with a 10 bedded sick-bay and an ENT Clinic.
  7. Daily Coaching/ Private Tuitions class-wise.
  8. Daily training on musical instruments (stringed, wind, pipe, percussion) by experienced and accomplished teachers.
  9. Weekly Singing, Dancing, Arts-Crafts training by private tutors.
  10. Engagement of administrative, ministerial supervisory staff and executives for management and functional purposes on salary/wage basis.

Mode of Education organized by OM Behala:

  1. 74 Juniors Boys (Between 5 to 10 years of age) on an average study in classes upper KG, classes one to four, at Joseph’s Primary School (50% discount in fees is granted to OM boys).
  2. 44 (on an average) senior boys (Between 11 to 17 years of age) study at the nearby ‘Sashibhusan Janakalyan High School’ from classes five to ten.
  3. Wastage Rate by way of ‘drop-outs’ is about three to four boys per year, mostly at the middle school level.
  4. The senior boys are compulsorily required to pass the West Bengal Board of Secondary class X school examinations.
  5. After completion of class X all such boys, as are officially discharged from the Hostels.
  6. On an average, ten boys, continue Higher Secondary studies in class XI, XII (between 18 to 19 years of age) in recognised and affiliated schools of their choice. All educational costs, including text books, tuition fees are provided by OM on submission of documentary receipts.
  7. About four after completion of class XII examinations pursue three years college, graduation studies mostly in ‘Arts disciplines’.  Educational expenses for 03 years are provided by OM to all such boys.
  8. Monthly progress for students supported for class X onwards are monitored by OM management authorities.

End Results can be broadly categorized in six groups, namely:

  1. Boys with substantially low level of academic intelligence, who spend two years in every class and finally give-up studies, generally leave the Hostels without permission or refuse to return after vacations.  It is barely three percent per year and mostly in the junior classes (3 to 4 boys per year).
  2. ‘Drop-outs’ who fail to cope up with the school classes and are enticed  by their near kith and keen, friends at home, to become  self sufficient, fall into “Government barred child labour  engagements”.  This is also within five percent per year limit (3 to 4 boys per year).
  1. On an average ten Hostel Boys complete their Secondary Examinations (Class X) every year.  Amongst these  about  forty  percent (04 boys)  are compelled  and coerced by  their  family  elders,  to  take  up  jobs  such  as  Salesmen, Office  assistants, Call-Centre, B.P.O. etc. to substantiate their  family  needs.
  2. The remaining 6 boys pursue their Higher Secondary School studies, up to Class XII.  For  self  sustenance during  this  period  they  are  forced  to  take-up the  widely  acclaimed  occupation as ‘ private tutors’  of  primary  school  kids.
  3. On an average about 4 boys proceed for higher College Graduation studies.  They  also  resort  to  rendering  private  tuitions  for  self  and  family sustenance.
  4. A  large  percentage  of  the boys,  above  pursue  up-gradation  of their musical proficiencies, through recognized  music  school  examinations. They also join private music schools or render private music tuitions to augment their earnings.

Jobs generally adopted:

  1. As professional musicians in orchestras engaged by the Film  Industry, in five star hotels - owned orchestras; for back-ground music recordings, on part-time, full-time  basis.
  2. As professional music teachers in Schools, Colleges, Universities, Clubs, Hostels  within  the  country  and  abroad  on  full time  or  on  lesson  based  rates.
  3. As permanently employed musicians in Police Bands, Army and Navy Bands.
  4. As world class, high-profile internationally renowned solo musicians.
  5. Many proficient and experienced musicians open and operate their own schools of music and are very well placed in life.
  6. A marginal lot take up full time jobs in Christian Institutions/ organisations to live and serve in harmony with their Oxford Mission Christian up-bringing.
  7. A handful is successful in obtaining government jobs on competitive basis.

Conclusion:

In general, the prayers of the Brothers, past and present, the donors abroad and the continuous prayers and financial grants provided by the UK Committee have rested with the Hostel boys for the last 102 years.

Oxford Mission trusts that the precious Lord Jesus Christ will bless and sustain this institution till eternity.