Methodist Mission School launches 200th year fete

Located in Shivajinagar, it continues to educate children from underprivileged backgrounds
Last Updated 29 September 2021, 11:54 IST

The Methodist Mission High School in Shivajinagar is turning 200 next year and is launching year-long celebrations on Thursday.

The school was founded in 1822 by Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries, and in the initial years, had a student strength of over 500.

It taught children in an area then called Blackpally, with historians speculating that the name may have been derived from the Kannada ‘Biliakkihalli’. 'Bili akki' means white rice, and the area, now a densely populated commercial hub, was once verdant with paddy fields.

Recently, an increase in the number of schools in the locality and the pandemic have had a negative impact on enrollment of students, says Emily Bai, headmistress. The school now has 110 students and 15 teachers. The medium of instruction is English and the school is administered by the Karnataka Central Diocese. It follows the Karnataka state board syllabus.

“The idea of starting a school here was to empower underprivileged children with education and that remains our goal to this day,” says Emily. She hopes the festivities, on till September 2022, will also serve to bring back children after the pandemic break.

“Online classes are not meant for schools like ours. Not all children have access to smartphones and the Internet. This posed a big challenge. I’m glad that the students are back,” she says. The festivities feature activities focusing on sports, art and culture. “We have lined up inter-school and intra-school competitions where children can show their talent,” says Emily.

Sivaram G, banker and an alumnus who studied between 1965 and 1974, has some fond memories of his years on the campus.

“Those were some of the best days of my life. I recall all the fun I had taken part in the competitions organised for our 150th year celebrations,” he says. Youngest of three siblings, Sivaram and his brothers went to school together. “I look forward to attending the bicentennial celebrations. The campus pretty much remains the same, so every time I go back, I am flooded with pleasant memories,” he adds.

Event tomorrow

The 200th anniversary celebrations will be inaugurated on September 30 at the school by Bishop Prasanna Kumar Samuel of the Church of South India. Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad, MLC Puttanna and D Krishna, block education officer, Bengaluru North, will also be present as guests of honour.

(Published 28 September 2021, 17:35 IST)

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