Saint Placid's High School
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2008)|
Saint Placid's High School (SPS) was founded by the Anglo Belgian Benedictines (Congregation of Holy Cross) in Chittagong, Bangladesh, in 1853 when the country was under British occupation. The school was named after Saint Placid, a Benedictine Saint of the 6th century. It was the first school to be taken over by Religious Order of Holy Cross in 1853. St. Placid's features a high standard of education in English that is consistent with international educational standards for High School. It has been regarded as one of the top schools in the country.Its scout troop was founded in 1923 and was three times national champion. It is still regarded as one of the best troops in Bangladesh. St. Placid's basketball team was national champion in 2009.
Saint Placid's is one of many English medium schools that were started by Christian missionaries during the time of the British rule. The schools were used to educate the Christian community of the regions they served to give them the advantages of education in the British ruled Indian subcontinent. They were also used to promote the conversion of people to Christianity especially from the poor who saw the schools as an added benefit for their children. Throughout their history though, these schools also took in students who were the children of the wealthy who could afford the fees that were charged to non-Christians. These students may have formed the majority and also provided income to the schools. After independence, the schools remained and adapted to the new countries they served (India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh as it became independent of Pakistan). They catered more and more to the children of the emerging middle class and also had a secular public front that was aligned with the religious sensitivities of the local people. At St. Placid's in the 1960s for example, the day started with the national anthem at assembly and when the students reached their "home room" they recited the Lord's Prayer, which was deemed consistent with both Muslim and Christian beliefs. The school provided an excellent curriculum for education in English that allowed its alumni to go on to college and take their places in the upper eschelons of educated and affluent society. Throughout recent history, the success of such schools was due in part to what the educated classes saw as the failure of the public education system. St.Placid's as well as similar schools filled the gap between what was seen by the educated and affluent members of society as the best education for obtaining the most desirable jobs in the government and business, and what the public education offered.In recent years its result is really encouraging.