Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History

Explore the extraordinary past of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through the pages of the book 'Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History.' Uncover political events, economic development, and cultural heritage of these Banat towns through richly documented stories. Follow the evolution from the earliest days to the present, delving into the intricate threads of political intrigues, economic transformations, and cultural ascensions. Experience the past through the eyes of the author as the pages of the book unfold before you, providing a unique perspective on the life and legacy of these significant locales.

Private Gymnasium

Private Gymnasium

In addition to the Women's Russian Gymnasium — Harkov Institute, Novi Bečej also had an eight-grade — or as it was called at the time — complete gymnasium since 1924. Its full name was: "Private Mixed Complete Real Gymnasium with Public Right in Novi Bečej." This gymnasium had the same rights as state gymnasiums, with the difference that the funding came partly from the municipality and mostly from the families of the students. The amount of tuition depended on the income tax level of the students' parents. Poor students were exempt from tuition, but there were very few of them because impoverished families were eager to have their children grow up and work for landlords, or to apprentice them and thus relieve themselves of support.

The gymnasium of Novi Bečej was actually relocated from Žombol when Yugoslavia ceded this town to Romania in exchange for Jaša Tomić and Pardanj (Među) in 1923. The director of the Gymnasium, Vladimir Zdelar, was a long-time professor at the II Male Gymnasium in Belgrade, and prior to that, he had a private school in Belgrade, so founding a private gymnasium in Novi Bečej was not something new and unknown to him.

The school was welcomed by the residents of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo, as well as by the residents of Stari Bečej because at that time Stari Bečej only had a lower — four-grade gymnasium, so thirty or more students from higher grades commuted daily by boat from Stari Bečej to Novi Bečej. Besides them, there were students from surrounding villages: Melenac, Kumane, Beodra, and Dragutinovo (Novo Miloševo), as well as from Kikinda and Bečkerek (Zrenjanin). In all eight grades, there were 260—280 students.

In the 1929—30 school year, the Gymnasium had 163 students, but that year only the higher grades, from IV to VII, were in session, as the accommodation conditions in which it operated did not ensure successful teaching for the I, II, and III grades, as it had been in previous years. Already in the following 1930/31 school year, the I and II grades were opened (presumably the necessary space was secured), as one class of 28 students had completed the VIII grade. This assumption is based on parts of the report stating: "The school continued to operate this year in a large, three-story state building, where the civil and elementary schools were also located. The allocation of rooms was not done rationally, which was quite a hindrance to teaching. For example, the elementary school and gymnasium classes were together on the top floor, while on the floor below were the classrooms of the civil and elementary schools. Moreover, the gymnasium was allocated five rooms for classrooms, two of which were exceptionally small. It is self-evident that a more feasible and rational decision for the further work and progress of the school should be made."

The Gymnasium had six permanent professors and four adjunct teachers. Unlike the Civil School, here each professor had a larger number of hours per week, which illustrates the private and rational spending of available funds.

Professors of the Private Gymnasium in Novi Bečej 1929/30:

Dragutin T. Simonović, director, with a total of 16 years of service, 3 of which were in this school. He taught Botany in the V grade, Zoology in the VI grade, and Geology in the VII grade. Total hours per week: 7; he was otherwise a retired inspector of the Ministry of Education.

Ante A. Jagić, professor, with 36 years of service, 4 of which were in this school. He taught Latin in the V, VI, VII, and VIII grades, and Serbian language in the IV, VII, and VIII grades. Class prefect of the VIII grade, total hours per week: 28; otherwise a retired professor.

Ivan L. Podgornij, assistant, with a total of 18 years of service, 6 of which were in this school. He taught Mathematics in the V, VI, VII, and VIII grades, Chemistry in the IV and VII grades, Physics in the VII and VIII grades. Class prefect of the VI grade, total hours per week: 29.

Aleksandar P. Belikov, professor, with a total of 5 years of service in the school, 2 of which were in this school. He taught German in the V, VI, VII, and VIII grades, Philosophy in the VIII grade, History in the V grade, and Geography in the IV grade. Class prefect of the VII grade, total hours per week: 24.

Olga A. Belikov, assistant, with a total of 4 years of service, 3 of which were in the school. She taught French in all grades and Serbian language in the V and VI grades. Class prefect of the V grade, total hours per week: 24.

Radomir P. Pavić, assistant, with 1 year of service, all in this school. He taught History in the IV, VI, VII, and VIII grades, Geography in the V, IV, and VIII grades. Class prefect of the IV grade, total hours per week: 17. Radomir Pavić arrived on February 15, 1930, to replace Persida Miladinović and Janja Vidaković who had left.

The school was funded in the 1929/30 school year by tuition fees. The municipality of Vranjevo provided significant assistance of 8,000 dinars.

Total school income:
Collected by June 28 - 293,550 dinars
Uncollected by June 28 - 10,350 dinars
Total - 303,900 dinars

Total expenses:
Paid by June 28 - 273,500 dinars
Unpaid by June 28 - 3,016 dinars
Total - 276,516 dinars

Therefore, the 1929/30 school year ended with a surplus.

Unfortunately, the gymnasium, partly due to poor accommodation conditions and partly due to the economic crisis and the decrease in the number of students from surrounding villages, ceased operations in 1931.

Thus, Novi Bečej was left without both gymnasiums in the same year, and the economy of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo was deprived, precisely at the most inconvenient time, of significant consumers of its products.

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