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Dhirubhai’s Alma Mater Shuts Down Science Section

Business legend Dhirubhai Ambani would have been crying the blues had he been alive today. His alma mater in Gujarat’s Junagadh city is in shambles. The science stream of the government-run Swami Vivekananda Vinay Mandir, where not only the invincible Reliance Industries founder, son of a school teacher, but several state biggies once studied, has had to be closed down due to lack of enough students. In its halcyon days, the science stream, which was started in 1976 in the historical school (formerly Bahadur Khanji School in British India), had as many as six classes each for Class XI and Class XII. With each class comprising about a hundred students, thousands have passed out of the school with a scientific temper. But, according to Principal Pratibha Nagrecha, with the mushrooming of self-financed schools and private tuition classes, the number of students at the school started falling over the past four years with the result that the science stream had just 14 students in the latest academic term as a result of which it had to be shut down. Mayor Dhirubhai Gohil, an alumnus says that teachers of this sarkari school were so dedicated that they often even paid the fees of poor students from their pocket but insisted on a 100% attendance that perhaps did not go well with the students, he feels.