NORTH KARNATAKA AREA :
The first initiative for educating the Indian masses in this part of the country is traced back to as early as 1837 by the German missionaries who came to this region with the main purpose of proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the people around. They were convinced that it was by teaching 3R’ [Reading, Writing & Arithmetic] that the ignorance of the people would be removed. While imparting education, they had not only the Christian students in their mind but the whole public as .well. The first three missionaries who came to Dharwad for this purpose were Rev. Mogling, Rev. Lyer and Rev. Fry. Educational enterprise began as early as 1847, when they started a primary school in the town near Gandhi Chowk. Later, this school was shifted to Hebich house in the Mission Compound when upper Primary classes were started. in 1863 High School classes were added to this school. This school became perhaps the first full-pledged school in the Dharwad district and the second in the Bombay Karnataka. It is important to note that the authorities of British government in Dharwad gave these missionaries the responsibilities of supervising the schools of the whole district. Eminent scholars and educationists like, Rev. Ziegler and Rev. F. Kittel served in the school as principals. Not only did they give English education but learnt themselves the regional language and later contributed to the local language and literature, significantly. Due to the vision and the efforts of Rev. Ziegler, the site was secured from the government and the Basel Mission High School started functioning in the new building in the present vast campus. Some of the missionaries designed and produced text books for the school children. The Bible was an integral part of the education system. ltis said that the missionaries went from house to house to persuade the parents to send their children to the newly-started school. The present Basel Mission High school, Dharwad was considered to be the best in the Bombay State in those days. Rev. Ferdinand Kittel served in the institution when Rev. Ziegler left lndia. Rev. Risch, Bevd. Urner, Rev. K. Tanner, Rev. Meyer, Rev. A. Munch and Rev. E. Hass were the other Principals who served in this institution. It is learnt that the leaders of Karnataka like Srinivas Rao and Kadapa Raghavendra Rao studied in this school. It is also matter of pride to note that Mr.Venkannayya the guru of many a Kannada Pandit’s, served in this school as a teacher.
Another significant era started when Mr. R. S. Bangera took over the charge of the school as the Head Master in 1934. He also became the Chairman of the Basel Mission Higher Education Centre, an educational Trust founded by him. it made tremendous strides in several fields since then. A great need was felt for providing education to the girls in the area and Basel Mission Girls’ School came into existence in Dharwad in 1945. The year 1947 marks another mile-stone in the history of our B.M.H.E. Centre. It was in this year that Training College and Practising School came into existence. Mr. B. S. Bangera, Mr. CG. Ammanna, Mr. B.A. Bhasme, Prof. T. Reuben felt the need to impart higher education. As a result, the Kittel College
came into existence in 1968 with science faculty. Arts faculty was added in 1969. In the year 1988, Kittel college was bifurcated into Kittel Science and Kittel Arts College. C.S.l... College of Commerce was established in 1973. Thanks to Rev. John Sathyanathan, the second Principal of Kittel College. Thus, our Diocese has the credit of running three degree colleges. The B.M.H.E.C. continued to establish several schools in Hubli, Gadag and Guledagudda as and when the needs were felt in this direction.
The B.M.H.E. Centre keeping the motto - "Faith, Hope and Charity” - is running 22 educational institutions and 3 hostels at present. The practice of singing devotional songs, offering Christian prayers before commencement of any function has continued even today in our institutions. The institutions continue to be known for their excellence in academic fields and in discipline. The institution keeps in mind-"the modern concept of education - drawing out the best from the child to enable them to blossom into all- round personalities.
BELLARY AREA :
As early as 1815, John Hands started a Kannada Primary School at Bellary without making any difference of caste and creed. Further he started Central English Medium Primary School for Tamil and Telugu children in the year 1816. A High School for girls was started in 1826. Another important persons to be mentioned here is Rev. John Smith Wardlaw. He started English Medium High School in 1887, which was upgraded as Pre-university College in later years. The students who passed through these schools had good job opportunities. Mrs. Hands, Mrs. John Reed, Mrs. Walben and others looked after the administration. of those schools. The literature work of John Hands needs a special mention. It was he who undertook translation of New Testament in 1920. He even took up printing work of it at Madras during this time, it significant to note that he brought out English -Kannada Dictionary Grammar Book even before the time of Basel Mission Missionaries. By 1832, along with Rev. William Rieve, he was able to translate the whole Bible and print it in Bellary London Mission Press. This is considered to be the greatest contribution of John Hands. in 1830, he started a seminary for the theology students. Many evangelists and pastors got theological education and later they committed themselves to the cause of missionary. In the later, years Mr.E.D. Martin, Mr.P.L. Samuel and others were the Principals of this prestigious institutions.
Today Degrees Courses - B. Com and B C A are also added to the Wardlaw P U Collage
ANGLICAN AREA :
In 1944, Rev. B. A. Rubdi started a Kindergarten School in premises of Holy Name Church Hubli, which was first of this kind. Bev.S.l.Sadamal took initiative to start St. Andrews English Medium High School, Hubli in the premises of St. Andrews Church. In later years, it was taken over by a private group. At present St. Peter’s Telugu Primary School Hubli, St. Peter’s Telugu High School, Hubli and St. Peter’s Telugu English Medium Hubli are serving both Christian and non-christian student community.
SHIMOGA AREA :
In 1880, there were eighty girls in the school started by the Missionaries at Shimoga. The school started by the missionaries at Shimoga, Davengere and other places had to be handed over to Government in 1947. At present we have only one school in this area i.e. St.Thomas Primary School, Shimoga.