The Curious Case of a Girls' School

Almost everyone who has seen my class 10th marksheet has asked me this very question "Did you appear for class 10th exam as a private student?" and they had a reason to ask, for my marksheet mentioned the school name as "St. Joseph's Convent Girls' Hr. Sec. School" and only possible reason they could think of, was that it might've been the exam centre. I no longer show the marksheet to anyone, since owing to technological advancements made in these years, people may change the question. For the record, No, I didn't convert!

Then why did the marksheet had that weird occurrence of "Girls'"? This question is what I want to address in this post once and for ever.

My father, now retired, worked for a  public sector bank and as such had a transferable job. After I had finished class 5, he had to move to this city called Saugor. I guess there were fewer schools in the city at that time (we are talking about 33 years ago). There was a state run school called "Model school" that catered only to boys. Then there was another called "Maharani Laxmi Bai school" that catered only to girls. The preferred acronym for this school was MLB but people, including the students of the school themselves, found it funnier to call it by its Hindi acronym "Malaba" which translates to "Debris" in english. My father zeroed in to St Joseph's Convent which was a co-ed school and surely did not have that "Girls'" in its name.

Things went fine for a few years and then suddenly the school management begin to realize that it was very hard to keep the adolescent boys in discipline, and the city didn't deserve a co-ed school. For record again, this decision had nothing to do with me. The school name was thus changed on papers, and new admissions for boys were stopped.

I gave my exam for 10th class and since my father had another transfer, we moved to Indore. When the results were declared, I made a short trip to Saugor to collect the marksheet and the school leaving certificate, and then realized that the  changed name had made way into our marksheets too, something that I could do nothing about.

It's not surprising that, later in Indore, I selected Tilokchand Jain school for next two years. It was a boys-only school and probably I didn't want to take another chance.

Years later, I was posted at a place called Satna and that city Saugor fell enroute. It was during one of my travels that I happened to meet few students, all boys, who claimed to be student of St. Joseph's Convent.

"But isn't that a Girls' school now?", I surprisingly asked. No it was not, and the students were not even aware of the the events that took place years ago.

What happened to the decision to make the school a girls-only school? This is a question that I don't have answer to, and I end this post without one. It's not to leave the possibility for a sequel post, but with a hope that someone, someday, would post the answer in the comments section below. Are you the one?


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