Where it all started, where it is now, and where its headed
2016-Visiting the Schools
In 2016, Dasghara High School (DHS) alumni Basudev Banerjee, his daughter Devasree Mukherjee, and grandson Wayzata High School (WHS) student Neal Mukherjee visited 3 secondary schools in the Hooghly District. After meeting with students, speaking with teachers, and touring the facilities, they realized the potential for a comparative study between schools in the American state of Minnesota (one of the top states in the US for public education) and schools in Dasghara.
Guided by then-DHS Headmaster Dr. Tapan Kumar Nandi the study surveyed students on both sides observing that like their Minnesotan counterparts, Dasghara students had strong post-secondary career aspirations. However, Dasghara students struggled to achieve these dreams. To help bridge these gaps, the teaching methodologies, long-term administrative vision, and evaluation processes were compared between the US and Dasghara schools. The study then identified short-term and long-term recommendations for closing this gap and presented them to the Dasghara schools.
The poster presented at the 2018 Honors Mentor Connection Symposium can be found here.
The complete interview (2 parts) with Wayzata High School Principal Scott Gengler detailing long-term recommendations can be viewed here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
The results of the study were presented at the Seminar on Excellence in Education held at Dasghara High School on August 16th 2018. The seminar was attended by 20+ schools and inaugurated by Dhaniakali Block BDO Officer Sanchayan Pan
Seminar slideshows can be found here and here.
Dasghara High School took action on the comparative study's long term recommendation of supporting multiple pathways to success for their students. DHS converted an old library into a career center. This center featured donated career and standardized testing preparatory books as well as helpful guides for many different careers as pictured on the right.
2020 Follow-Up Study
A follow-up study was conducted by Basudev Banerjee's granddaughter and WHS student Rani Mukherjee. She evaluated the impact of the comparative study especially through the new Career Center. This study can be found here. Importantly, several students when asked about the barriers they faced to enrolling in post-higher secondary institutions cited the high initial entry fees post-admission. This hurdle meant many underprivileged yet, deserving students were unable to enroll in technical coursework. Basudev Banerjee himself faced this same challenge decades ago and only overcame it thanks to the support of his beloved uncle Arobindo Banerjee. To both honor his memory and empower future students to overcome this barrier the Arobindo Banerjee Memorial Fund's Pathways to Success Scholarship was created in 2022.
2022 Pathways to Success Scholarship
Mr. Basudev Banerjee, Fmr. DHS Headmaster Dr. Tapan Kumar Nandi, Acting Headmaster Mr. Satyanarayan Datta, Neal Mukherjee and the inaugural Selection Committee created the Pathways to Success Scholarship together. Through the scholarship, we hope to accomplish two things. First, directly empower a diligent and community-oriented DHS student to pursue post-higher secondary education every year. Second, continue to close the aspirations and achievements gap noted in the 2017 Comparative Study. We aim to illuminate Pathways to Success for all DHS students by incentivizing them to use resources like their teachers and the new Career Center to research their future careers and how they can improve their community.