The school (up to Class 12) boasts a strength of around 2,000 and has 40-45 students per class. The monthly fees are Rs 250 or so, way below some other schools. The buildings are old-style Edwardian—spacious, with well-swept lawns, corridors and offices.
Charity is an adjunct to the activities of this school. The authorities run a subsidiary school for the less privileged children, providing two meals a week. Senior students undertake a major responsibility here. At fests and socials, students are encouraged to donate—anything from a piece of soap to newspaper, which are sent en bloc to charity.
Affiliated to the ICSE board, St Xavier’s students have consistently fared well in exams. In 1998, the topper in the secondary exams scored 727 out of 800 (90.8 per cent) while out of 34 candidates, 33 secured first divisions, with 24 distinctions. In the ICSE board exam the same year, the topper managed a 92.83 per cent of the aggregate, another scored 92.5 per cent and a third 92.17 per cent. To help hard-up students, the school has a scholarship system which aspirants can apply to in strictest confidence. Men who’ve been here before? Two chief ministers—Jyoti Basu and Siddhartha Shankar Ray—former army chief Shankar Roy Choudhury and India’s cricket captain, Saurav Ganguly.