A Brief History of D.M.School, Bhubaneswar

Author – Sri Gopinath Dash (Former Teacher, D.M.School, Bhubaneswar)

After the dawn of independence the system of education which we inherited had hardly any relevance to the needs of the life situation, then prevailing in our country. The educational system continued to drift away from the realities of life.

The colonial government had to run a ‘Police State’ and they achieved this objective by producing stiff -necked sahibs (lower level officials) and armies of clerks (babus) to run their government.

Luckily, the country has designed and accepted a replacement for this outmoded system and usher in a ‘welfare state’ where justice-social, economic and political – would be provided to every son of the soil. Such high and lofty ideals pre-suppose a very much pre-calculated and ideal type of educational system.

To transform ‘Police State’ into ‘Welfare State’ with democratic traditions several Education Commissions were constituted.

Right from Wood’s Despatch (1854) report the British government established M.E. (Middle English) and H.E. (High English) schools with stress on English Education. It is a blessing in disguise. It united the people of all the regions during struggle for Indian independence. Gradually, the H.E. schools were converted as High schools.

The Secondary Education Commission chaired by Dr. A.L. Mudaliar (1952) recommended change in curriculum and conversion of the existing High Schools into the Multi Purpose Higher Secondary Schools. The Central Advisory Board of Education accepted the recommendations in 1954.

Every scheme of education is essentially a practical philosophy and it is co-related to life. A system of education aimed at transformation of a heterogeneous section of mankind into a homogeneous nation.

The new curriculum does not mean only the academic subjects traditionally taught in schools, but it includes totality of  experiences that a pupil receives in the classroom, library, laboratory, workshop and play ground.

The Demonstration Multipurpose Higher Secondary School (popularly known as D.M.School) was established in mid-1964 as a laboratory school of Regional College of Education (at present Regional Institute of Education). R.C.E., Bhubaneswar took birth on 5th August 1963 (The 54th Foundation Day of the Institute was celebrated this year at the College Auditorium). There are three more laboratory schools in our country; i.e. at Ajmer (northern region), Mysuru (southern region) and Bhopal (western region). Besides four R.I.E.s and it’s attached D.M.Schools a fifth R.I.E was added to it’s strength at Shillong (North-East region). All these R.I.E.s are constituent units of NCERT, a wing of H.R.D. Ministry, Government of India. NCERT with its head quarters at Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi was established on 1st September 1961 (the 57th Foundation Day of NCERT – celebrated in September this year.

The D.M. School, Bhubaneswar was originally conceived and setup as a pace setting, catalytic centre of catering education for the integrated development of the child’s personality. It will demonstrate in concrete terms the concept of the multi purpose school and it’s implementation. This premier school had at that time a class apart, only one of its kind in the entire eastern region of India. It was first English medium public school in Bhubaneswar. There were only two other private English medium schools run by Christian missionaries.

Both R.I.E and its attached D.M.Schools were established at the capital city of Odisha by the initiative and determined efforts of the then Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Biju Pattnaik who is the father of the present Chief Minister, Odisha.

Various changes taking place in education system from time to time. The D.M.School, Bhubaneswar is pioneer in adopting and modifying their work and activities in line with the changes in the National policy of Education. The teachers of the school made positive contributions in molding the school.

The D.M.School, Bhubaneswar is affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E). It is a co-educational school. It is engaged in identification, analysis, research and development in major problem areas of school education and mostly serving as a major centre of training and curriculum development.

In the academic session 1964-65 it had VI, VII, VIII and IXth classes. In VI, VII and VIIIth standards there were both Odia and English medium sections. But in Class IX there was only English medium. From the very beginning one Odia medium section was introduced to help talented students from local Odia medium schools to get admission in D.M.School. The school serves the neighboring community by providing ample schooling facilities to their children.

In its humble beginning the school has to content it self with a modest strength of staff and students. As per the provisions in Demonstration Multipurpose Higher Secondary School – Plan and courses of study, the members of school staff will be considered part of the total college faculty and the vice versa. Prof. R.C.Das, Prof. Bikram Das and Prof. Gouri Rani Ghosh were taking classes in D.M.School, Bhubaneswar teaching Physics, English and Botany classes respectively.

The D.M.S. Plan and Courses of study provides that – The School will be administered by Headmaster under authority of Principal, R.I.E.

There will be 10 periods of work daily from Monday to Friday. The duration of a period was 40 minutes. Hence, the school started  at 8.45 AM and closed at 4.20 PM with half an hour lunch period at 12.30 PM. Saturday was half day.

The school year will be 37 weeks duration. The school year will agree with college year.

From classes VI to VIII the school imparted to its students general education which comprises three Languages, Mathematics, Social Studies, General Science, Health and Physical Education (H.P.E.R) and Crafts.

In class VIII (delta class) each student has to go through an exploratory course lasting for 12 weeks to identify his latent faculty. In class IX onwards, apart from the core subjects, a student has to offer one of the streams (humanities, science or commerce) in which he is considered to do his best.

Co-curricular activities formed an integral part of education and regular periods are provided in the time table. The program comprised of Physical education, science clubs, mathematics club, social study club, film club, N.C.C., Debate and other literary activities, Music and Fine Arts.

Students get three to five periods for independent study and engage themselves in reading silently and enriching their knowledge. A teacher always accompanied them to the library to maintain silence and help students getting reference Books.

The D.M.School library has a good collection of books. It has a collection of about 30,000 books. The school library holds a large number of reference books, journals, dailies (both Odia and English) and about 20 periodicals. Every class has a library period once a week. The librarians issue books to students for a specific period of time. There are five laboratories in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science and Geography. These are the best science laboratories in the capital city well furnished by U.S.A.

There are separate workshops for S.U.P.W. classes in Commerce, Agriculture, Home Science and Fine Arts. Workshops of welding, machine, wood crafts and electronics are designed and well furnished by various educational aids from U.S.A. Dr. Boucher was the American consultant at that time advising the college administration on academic activities.

There were separate rooms for music, N.C.C., sports, counselling and guidance. A spacious room was set apart for staff common room.

The 309 Army wing N.C.C. Troop was established on 1st January 1966 with one second officer and hundred cadets. Mr. P.N.Mishra became Chief Officer subsequently after clearing the examinations. A girls Army wing N.C.C. was established later. Miss Sarala Jena became Officer I/C. In 1997-98 a senior division N.C.C. was established for +2 students. Mr. J.K. Choudhury became Officer I/C. Both boys and girls N.C.C. Troops received best contingent shields on Republic day parade.

While entering D.M.School compound one’s eyes are met with the lovely spectacle of lush green lawns and a line of fruit trees with their foliage cooling the classes and a line of Eucalyptus trees bordering the compound walls.

R.I.E has a big campus where all the facilities are available for staff and students of the school. The R.I.E. dispensary has a doctor, a nurse and a pharmacist to check the health and provide treatment whenever necessary. There is a branch post office and R.C.E campus branch of S.B.I. for all sorts of transactions. The college canteen provides tiffin and meals. The D.M.School students used to take mid-day meals paying monthly fees of Rs.15/- only. They were accompanied by a teacher to keep discipline inside the canteen.

Two big buses were provided by R.I.E for smooth conveyance of students, to and fro. The buses were plied in Khandagiri route and Old town route alternatively. There were two trips for each bus. A teacher accompanied the students in each bus. The buses were coloured so nicely that one could recognize the school bus from a distance.

There is a big play ground in the school compound. There is basket ball, Volley ball and Throw ball courts. Students also play country games like Kabadi (boys) and Khokho (girls).

Internship programs of B.Ed students of R.I.E. carried on in D.M.School. The Interns (Student Teachers) come every year. The co-operating teachers of D.M.School supervise the lessons delivered by student teachers and record their comments in lesson plans for their further improvement.

School Exchange Program (S.E.P.) is a UNESCO Project, for improving co-ordination and communication, for undertaking activities for international understanding, co-operation and peace. Teachers and students of D.M.School BBSR visited Norway and in turn the students and teachers of Norway visited our school.

School Sahodaya Complex is a collaboration of C.B.S.E. affiliated schools. D.M.School took an active role in participating in workshops etc. organised by this forum.

D.M.School, Bhubaneswar in 1964 had selected unique uniform for students. It was khaki shorts and white shirts for boys and maroon skirts for girls. No school in Bhubaneswar had such uniform. Gradually a number of schools imitated this uniform. As a result, perhaps, the school administration changed this uniform after half a century.

D.M.School, BBSR is a poor man’s Public School. It charges no fees upto Class VIII. From Classes IX to XII it collects minimal fees which is a meager amount compared to other public schools.

There were following significant changes in the structure of D.M.School described chronologically.

In the academic session 1965-66 Class-V was added to the school. Students were admitted after an entrance test. There were no mention of courses of study for Class-V – in D.M.S – Plan and courses of study. Mr. G.S.Amar, who joined the school on 23.7.1965 requested Dr. G.S.Hati and Mr. G.N.Dash to collect syllabus of local St.Joseph convent and Stewart school to frame a course of study for Class-V. It was duly complied.

The guidance cell was to be manned by a qualified Guidance Counselor. Since there were no counselor at that time the Headmaster requested Mr. G.N.Dash to help maintaining the cumulative records. Mr. Dash, in turn, requested the class teachers to let the cumulative records be filled up by the parents of the existing students and parents of new students be advised to do the same during admission of their wards. All the cumulative records were preserved till Miss Usha Jain joined as the counselor of D.M.School. Miss Jain was succeeded by Miss Tapati Dutta, Prof. K.B.Rath and Dr. M.C.Samal who is counselor at present.

The second major change was introduced in the session 1970-71. The school switched over to All India Higher Secondary Examination in Class IX. It was modeled along the pattern of Central Schools (K.V.S.)

The advantage of the new system was period of work changed from 10 to 8 periods. The duration of afternoon periods became 35 minutes. The designation of Gr.I and Gr.II teachers changed to P.G.T and T.G.T. respectively. The disadvantage was vacations and holidays were curtailed.

Hither to the students appeared in D.M.Higher Secondary School Examination. In 1972-73 D.M.School students had appeared at the All India Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination. In 1973-74 Craft education as a segment of liberal education was provided. Work experience was introduced for the first time for the students of Classes V to VIII. Work Experience viewed as purposive and meaningful manual work organised as an integrated part of learning process and resulting in either goods or services useful to the community was considered an essential component in all stages of education.

The craft teachers (instructors) were re-designated as Work Experience Craft Teachers (W.E.C.T). The students produced utility goods such as heater, table lamps, battery eliminators, water buckets, mugs, school boxes, hangers, racks, pointers for teachers, batic prints etc. These goods produced by the students as a part of their practical activities were sold to members of staff of the school and college or preserved for displaying in exhibitions organised by the school.

  1. The Education Commission chaired by Dr. D.S.Kothari was constituted in 1966. It recommended 10+2+3 pattern of Education. The government accepted the report in 1968. The National Policy of Education (N.P.E.) was adopted for the first time since independence.

Work experience introduced for first 10 years of schooling was divided into 3 stages.

  1. Primary – from classes I to V
  2. Middle – from Classes VI to VIII
  • Secondary – Classes IX and X.

Vocational courses introduced in higher secondary stage. Each stage of education has two major aspects. (a) Terminal – for those who want to enter into the field of work and (b) continued – for those who want to go for higher studies in under graduate colleges or professional courses.

Three language formula will be adhered to. There will be no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. Evaluation would be on the grade and credit basis.

Subject wise achievement will be graded in a 7 point scale.

Plus two (+2) stage offers mainly two streams – academic and vocational. +2 stage provides facilities for college preparatory class or terminal class as the case may be.

Hence, the third major change took place in 1975-76. +2 pattern in the school was introduced since July 1975. First batch of students in Class IX appeared in AISSE held in March-April 1977. Last batch of Class XI of the old pattern had also appeared in All India Higher Secondary Education along with Class X students. In 1977-78 the school admitted 60 students in class XI, the first year of +2 pattern. They appeared AISSCE in 1979.

The fourth major change took place in 1976-77. R.C.E Campus Primary School started functioning as an English medium school in 1967. With due permission of NCERT the primary school was merged with D.M.School in 1976-77. A new building for primary section close to main school building was constructed and the primary section was shifted to their own building.

Plus two vocational stream was started since 1984. There were two subjects to be taught in vocational stream. They were:

  1. Structure of Fabrication Technology and
  2. Basic Electronic Technology

2 years National Diploma Course in commerce similar to vocational course was also introduced. There were 18 candidates. Among them one being placed in the 1st division.

1988.  For the first time Mrs S.Das was appointed as Assistant Headmistress in 1988. She was followed by Mrs. Aruna Chakravorty.

2005.  As per recommendation of Nehru Curriculum Frame work (2005) Peace Education was introduced in the school.

2009.  The year 2009-10 will be viewed as a year of revolution in the field of education in general and in the field of school education in particular; as continuous and comprehensive Education (C.C.E) scheme was introduced in C.B.S.E. Schools. C.C.E is a panacea in true sense which helps in de-stressing the students, to make the process of learning enjoyable and recognize the inherent potentials of the students.

All the stakeholders need to align themselves accordingly and make C.C.E happen in the right spirit rather than treating it merely as an alternate to Term end Evaluation system.

To narrate a full picture of D.M.School, BBSR I have to mention some important features of the school.

There is huge rush and heavy demand for admission in D.M.School, BBSR. Its glamour will remain forever. Admission in pre-primary (K.G.) and Class I is done by random selection (lottery). 20 students are selected for pre-primary and 50 students were selected for Class-I. Besides this, 35 students were selected for ClassVI as part of its Odia section on the basis of written test following reservation provisions.

In 1965 entrance examination was held for Class V. Students who were promoted from Class V of Odia medium schools were selected to repeat Class V in D.M.School. Parents did not mind loss of one year of their wards.

Class X pass out D.M.School students were given priority for admission in Class XI on the basis of merit.

In 1967-68 the school had 527 students on its roll out of which 432 were boys and 95 were girls. In 1993-94 there were 1395 students (maximum students up to now) including 465 girls. It is because a new section of science was added in Class XI. In 2017 there are 930 students including 387 girls.

The D.M.School faculty is selected on an All India basis. They are highly qualified and experienced. In 1967-68 there were 49 teachers. In 2000-2001 there were 77 teachers including 24 ladies (maximum number of teaching staff up to now).

In early years the teacher-student ratio was 1:10 and later it was 1:15.

From 1964 D.M.School, BBSR conducted three examinations every year. They are 1st Terminal, 2nd Terminal and Annual Examinations. The Class teacher maintains Internal assessment register and issue progress report to students regularly.

Besides there were monthly tests. In other schools they conducted only two examinations.

The D.M.School conducted Part I, (Class IX) Part II (Class X) and Part III (Class XI) Board Examinations. The class XI pass out D.M.School students were equal to Pre-University pass out in undergraduate colleges. D.M.Higher Secondary Examination of CBSE was conducted solely for D.M.Schools. after it switched over to K.V.S. pattern it conducted All India Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination under the Board’s supervision. After 10+2 pattern the CBSE conducts two separate examination; after the end of Class X AISSE and at the end of Class XII AISSCE.

The school magazine “Udayashree” was first published in 1967-68. A school Bulletin “Jijnasa” was published during 1996-2000 under the guidance of the then Headmaster Mr. R.C.Mohapatra. In 1971-72 some class magazines were appeared like “Abhyudaya” for Class XI, “Manjusha” for          Class X A and “Sarita”  for Class X B on behalf of “Sahitya Sansad”. Mr. K.M.satpathy was adviser of “Sahitya Sansad”. A handwritten magazine of the “Peace Club” was released during the present Head master Mr. Akhileswar Mishra.

­­­In 1964-65 on working days the school started with Morning Assembly. The staff and students would stand in a line in the school corridor, right in front of the library to the foyer in front of the school. The students will sing “sarbeshan janani ………….” written in sanskrit by the famous Odia Poet Radhanath Roy. Afterwards the morning Assembly was held in the quadrangular open space inside the school. A cement platform was erected, where Headmaster and staff would stand and the teachers in rotation would speak the “thought of the day” and a student would read ‘the news of the day’. The students would stand classwise and sing national anthem.

As provided in D.M.School Plan and courses of study all members of the teaching staff shall be members of staff council. The Headmaster shall be the Chairman, Ex-officio; of the Council. The Secretary of the Council shall be elected by staff members. All meetings of the council shall be called by the Secretary in conference with the Headmaster. The Council shall limit its activities to matters concerned with academic policy and issues. It will serve (a) as a means of communication between the staff and the school administration and (b) for reviewing and advising on such policy matters as may be referred to it from time to time.

Mr. S.L.Mohan Rao, Mr. G.N.Dash and Dr. N Bharati were elected as Secretary, Staff Council in several terms till 2000 A.D.

D.M.School Teachers’ Association was formed in 1970. It had 52 members at that time. It ventilated the grievances of its members to higher authorities and was determined to bring all round development of the school. Dr. R.N.Dixit, Mr. N.Mishra, Mr. R.C.Mohapatra, Mr.G.N.Dash, Mr. K.C.Mohapatra, Dr. L.K.Bhopa, Mr. R.C.Binakar and Mr. S.G.Rao were elected as President and Secretary of the Association several times till 2000 A.D.

D.M.School, Bhubaneswar is not a Residential School. But there was a hostel for D.M.School students in a state government flat hired by R.I.E for few years. Mr. J. Panigrahi was the warden of that hostel.

I would like to mention the names of some Headmasters I/C when permanent Headmaster was not there. From college faculty Dr. G.B.Kanungo, Dr.P.S.Rao, Dr.J.N.Bajpai, Mr.P.K.Mohanty and Dr. R.N.Dixit acted as Headmaster I/C for sometime. Assistant Headmistress Mrs. S.Das, Mrs. A.Chakravorty and Miss Sarala Jena became Headmistress I/C. Mr. S.N.Sharma was the Headmaster before the present Headmaster joined the post.

Dr. R.N.Pani; who joined the school as Headmaster on 17.8.1967 had introduced the House system. The Houses were : (1) The House of Power, (2) The House of Peace, (3) The House of Progress, (4) The House of Prosperity and (5) The House of Perfection. There were intramural competitions between the Houses.

During his period exhibitions were organised in the departments of English, Guidance, Social Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Technology, Commerce, H.P.E.R, N.C.C, Home Science and Library.

There were  “Humanities Circle” and “Commerce Circle” at that time.

During present Headmaster the school conducted exhibitions of various clubs as a part of C.C.E. in February 2010 where 12 clubs, namely (1) Peace Club, (2) Disaster management club, (3) First aid club, (4) Hygiene club, (5) Eco club, (6) Mathematics club, (7) Chemistry club, (8) Physics club, (9) Biology club, (10) Carpentry club, (11) Ampi theatre club and (12) Music club participated.

NCERT felt that for greater co-ordination between four D.M.Schools some kind of forum should be there. This feeling took a concrete shape in the early 80’s when the NCERT conceived the idea of INDEM to be held in rotation in these schools. The 1st meet of INDEM was held in 1982 in D.M.S. Mysuru. The 2nd meet was held in 1985 in D.M.S. Bhubaneswar.

Besides practical activities in Technology Dept, the other dept. like Agriculture and commerce carried on certain activities.

Agriculture dept. under work experience facilitated for field work in vegetable & flower culture. They collected seeds and preserved it in bottles. In commerce department Typewriting was introduced as work experience.

The NCERT in pursuance of its objective of revitalizing secondary education permits and affords plenty of opportunities for its staff for professional growth and for widening its mental horizon.

Members of staff attended summer institutes, workshops, seminars, orientation program of various kinds. They had also attended workshops for revision of NCERT text books.

Every year our students receive National Talent Search (N.T.S) scholarships. They receive awards for National Science Talent search, National Maths Olympiad, Science Olympiad, Regional mathematical Olympiad, National cyber Olympiad etc.

There is no scope for describing students activities and their scholarships, prizes etc., or that of  in-service training and awards received by Headmaster and all members of staff in this write up. A separate article on these two aspects can be written in future.

But I have to write a few words about D.M.S Alumni. D.M.School, Bhubaneswar had glorious and historic achievements producing students of rich calibre. Many successful students spread on all across the world are excelling in their respective fields. They are placed in various high capacities in life. Most of the D.M.School students are working in reputed positions such as I.A.S, I.P.S., I.R.S., Architects, Scientists, Doctors, Engineers, Chartered Accountants, Officers in Army, Navy and Air Wings, Journalists, Industrialists, Social Activists, Versatile Artists, Cricketers and Business tycoons.

Though the school was only seven years old in 1971 the Ex-students Association of the school had come into being in the name of “D.M.S.Alumni”. Dr. R.N.Pani was Headmaster at that time. It came into effect on the very day Prof. P.D.Sharma assumed the office as Principal, R.C.E.

It is a matter of happiness to note that this body had taken interest in conducting a test in General Knowledge for the students of the school and contributed a rolling cup which is being awarded in the Annual Function of 1970-71. They have contributed a rolling shield in memory of late Mr. S.A.Hanan, H.P.E.R. teacher. D.M.S. Alumni had organised cricket match and foot ball match when Mrs. S.Y.Vidyarthi was HeadMistress. They are in touch with their alma mater since long. They provided aquaguard water for students and staff.

For last 5 years, before the celebration of golden jubilee the activities of  D.M.S. Alumni gathered momentum and a series of activities marked the active interest taken by Ex-students. The Silver Jubilee was celebrated by Headmistress and staff in 1989, but golden jubilee was organised solely by D.M.S. Alumni in 2014.

They arranged blood donation camp, health camps, sharbat distribution camp, plantation and children park for primary students. They intend to create ‘corpus’ of Rs 10 lakhs for needy students on behalf of D.M.S.Alumni. Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan Union Minister, laid the foundation stone to construct an auditorium for the school.

D.M.School, Bhubaneswar is well administered by successive Headmasters right from Mr. G.S.Amar to Akhileswar Mishra. The Principals of R.I.E. right from Dr. J.N.Kaul to Prof. P.C. Agarwal extended their ungrudging help and guidance in every sphere of activities of the school.

I wish D.M.School, Bhubaneswar along with D.M.S.Alumni to grow from strength to strength.


2 thoughts on “A Brief History of D.M.School, Bhubaneswar

  1. D. M. School is an amazing institution, and has had top-notch teachers over the years. I graduated from D. M. School in 1980, subsequently received a Bachelors degree from IIT-BHU, and a PhD from the University of Delaware. I have been working in the medical device industry in the US for 28 years now, the last 6 years at the Vice President level, developing products that save lives. Many of my successes in life can be attributed to the strong foundation that was built for me at D. M. School. I salute the school and its teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

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