Our Brief History/Profile
While concentrating on the educational development of the people of Orissa, the missionaries also put special emphasis on female education, for the upliftment of the status of women. O’Malley, has correctly observed that “Female education in the first half of nineteenth century was the child of no one but the missionaries”. The missionaries established some lower primary, upper primary and middle vernacular schools for girls.
One of those efforts of missionaries was the establishment of the orphanage and the Wigner Primary School, Cuttack in Orissa in 1837. Rev. A Sutton started this school by gathering some orphan girls. With the care and concern of missionaries, especially of Mrs. and Rev. John Buckley this lower primary school developed to be an upper primary school and a middle vernacular school, named Buckley Girls’ school in 1946. In 1892, there were 5 teachers and 3 monitors (Senior students to assist the teachers) for 6 classes in this school, as the number of students increased day by day ‘8’ more monitors were appointed as “Teacher Trainees” to help the teachers. This concept of appointment of teacher-trainees to help the teachers gave birth to the idea of establishment of a teacher training Institute.
The vision of the missionaries had been incarnated in the “Baptist Mission Training Class for Girls” in 1902 with the aim of preparing more and more lady teachers in enlarge the scope of female education in Orissa. This school was established 67 years before the “Orissa Education Act, 1969” came in to force. The school was established during the British rule in India by B.M.S. (Baptist Missionary Society, London). The Baptist missionaries established this school not only to develop educational status of women but also to elevate the social status of women by making them self-sufficient. The school is presently managed by the Diocese of Cuttack, Church of North India.
The Baptist Mission Training Class facilitated Junior and senior teacher training for girls. The eligibility criteria for junior training was class 7 whereas class 9 and more for the senior training. In 1902 there were altogether 10 students for junior training. In 1903 there were 17 students both in senior and junior training. Miss. Thompson, Miss Wigner, miss. Leh, Miss. Case, Miss Web, Miss Pecker were Lady missionaries at that time with whose earnest effort and care this school started to impart training to the increasing number of girls year after year.
In November 1954, it was suggested by the Managing Committee of the Baptist Mission Training Class to change the name of this institution., On the 1st of February 1955 the Utkal Christian Church Central Council decided to rename of the schools as Thompson Women’s Training Institute, The school was thus renamed to remember to noble work and dedication of Miss. Thompson for this school.
In 1902, the school was started in the name of “Baptist Mission Training Class” imparting junior and senior training for lady candidates. In 1962 the junior training was abolished and in 1965 the senior training was replaced by “Certified Teachers” Training Course”.
This school had got efficiency grant from the Govt. of Orissa, during the fifties, and the students of senior training also entitled for stipend. In 1965 the Govt. of Orissa agreed to bear hundred percent recurring costs on appointment of teacher. In 1992 this school got Direct Payment facilities from the Government.
This school has got permanent recognition from the Eastern Regional Committee of the National Council for Teacher Education to carry on the course of “Certified Teachers’ Training Course in the academic session 2001-2002. It functions under the management of the Diocese of Cuttack, Church of North India.
This school has celebrated its centenary on 25th March, 2002.
Since, 1902 this institution has been imparting teacher training successfully to the girls from all over Orissa irrespective of caste, creed, and religion. The contribution of this school towards women education, in general and teacher training of lady teachers in particular, is well known. In the last hundred years this school was produced some exemplary teachers who have received accolades from the people and Government. The sense of commitment and sacrifice that has been passed on to the teacher-trainees is well reflected in teachers trained from this school. Now for decades this teachers have been teaching in all parts of Orissa. Being the only school of its kind the Thompson Women’s Secondary Training School stands as a witness of the effort of the missionaries for the upliftment of the status of women in society, which started in the early 20th Century. This long journey of hundred and five years old school has many ups and downs. It has achieved many milestones and braved the difficult times by the grace of God, Almighty. It is the lengthened shadow of its founder and its pilgrimage towards perfection is on and on…..