Karachi Grammar School

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Karachi Grammar School
Karachi Grammer School crest.jpg
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
School type Independent school, Church school, Day school
Motto Indocti Discant1
(Let The Unlearned Learn)
Religious affiliation(s) Anglican
Church of Pakistan
Founded 1847
Founder The Rev. Henry Brereton
Principal Mr. C. N. Wrigley
Head Teacher(s) Mrs. D. F. C. Mujahid
Mrs. R. J. Muncherji
Mrs. N. F. Rahman
Gender Co-educational
Age 3 to 19
Houses      Frere
  • The Grammarian
  • The Pulse
Mission Statement Lucerna Meis Pedibus2
A Lantern to my feet
Alumni Old Grammarians

Karachi Grammar School (KGS) is an independent, English-medium school in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is a highly selective, coeducational day school (formerly day/boarding school) serving approximately 2,400 students aged between three and nineteen years.3

Established in 1847 by the Reverend Henry Brereton, the first chaplain of Karachi, as a school for "English and Anglo-Indo children", it is the oldest private school in Pakistan and the second oldest in South Asia45 and a member of the Winchester International Symposium.

Over the past nineteen years,clarification needed the school has expanded from a school with a population of a few hundred students to a large institution that now occupies three sites and teaches more than two thousand students. Karachi Grammar School is well known for the academic performance of its students, who have managed to secure places in top universities around the world.6


1847–1854: Origins

Karachi Grammar School was founded as the Anglo-Indian School in 1847. It remained the only non-native school in the town until the founding of St Patrick's High School was founded in 1861, followed by St Joseph's Convent School in 1862 and Manora School in 1866. Reverend Henry Brereton, the First Chaplain of Karachi, established the school and provided the early accommodation for the school at his private residence. The class formed by the Chaplain was at first small enough to be accommodated in this modest premises, however the smooth running of this school over the next seven years was disturbed by rumors of Brereton not being a 'good master' and his performance as a manager unsatisfactory.

Looking into this matter, on 27 July 1854 the Commissioner Bartle Frere summoned a public meeting with a view of establishing an institution that provided 'good secular instruction to children of all sects'. In this meeting funds were collected through subscriptions to establish a school, a managing committee was appointed and rules were framed that later became the basis for the present Constitution of KGS. It was the newly appointed managing committee that decided to purchase the Mess House of Her Majesty's 64th Regiment at No. 24 Depot Lines, which is at the site of the present day Middle School. The reorganized school was formally opened on 1 November 1854 as "The Kurrachee European and Indo-European School".7

1854–1914: Early years

The school continued on its regular course with a small student body of around 40 children. In 1874, Reverend G B Streeton, then Chaplain of Karachi and Hon. Secretary of the School suggested a plan that included expanding the school premises and securing a title deed for the land the school was to occupy, which could only be completed by August 1890 due to complications regarding the governments rights to resumption of cantonment land.

Streeton raised Rs. 47,918, which enabled his plan to go ahead. Captain Thomas F Dowden of the Royal Bombay Engineers was commissioned to make the architectural drawings for the new building. The new school building was opened for boarders on 27 February 1875 by Sir William Merewether, Commissioner-in-Sind at that time. The roll of children was 75 in 1875 and 90 children in 1876 with six teachers, implying a pupil-teacher ratio of 15:1.

During the following years, the school flourished. It was endowed with a library in memory of a local doctor. In 1879, the school was renamed from 'The Kurrachee European and Indo-European School' to 'Karachi Grammar School'.8

During 1901 the school went through a difficult time after the headmaster, Mr. Taylor, was forced into resignation by the school's managing committee; the number of students decreased considerably over the course of the following year. Taylor opened his own school named "Taylor High School". In 1902 Taylor returned along with the pupils from his private school. During the next three years the school improved academically; however, it struggled financially, barely affording the employees. In 1910 the school received a grant of Rs.2000, which continued over the next thirty years and rescued it from financial crisis.9

In 1912, Bernard Tobin was the first pupil to take, and pass, the Cambridge School Certificate Examination. Additionally, this year marked the first scouts enrolled from the school. Towards the end of 1914, construction began on the third storey of the school, and students were temporarily taught in a building on Mereweather Road, which was given free of cost. The total count of students had reached 151.10


The school has an admissions process in place for all the levels of education it offers, including registration with the need to provide proof of identity and details of siblings or parental history in relation to the school. The school is divided between the kindergarten section, junior section, middle section, and college section, with only the start of each section being open for admissions. Furthermore, only individuals in a certain age range may be admitted to each section. The admissions process includes an interview and a test for all sections, except kindergarten. The subjects of the tests are English, mathematics, and Urdu, with general sciences being an additional subject for the college section.11121314

Academics and curriculum

Karachi Grammar School gives its students 15 years of education on its three different sites. The Kindergarten and Junior school are accommodated in the same site located in Clifton, with students spending their Nursery, Prep, 1st and 2nd Classes in the Kindergarten Section and Classes 3–6 in its Junior Section. Children spend three years in Classes 7–9 in the Middle School located on the Old Saddar site. On the senior level, KGS is geared towards preparing students for GCE Ordinary Level, Advanced Subsidiary Level, and Advanced Level examinations.15

Subjects taught at KGS include Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Biology, Computer Studies, Computing, Pakistan Studies, Urdu, Islamic Studies, English Literature, English Language, Economics, Accounts, Business Studies, World History, Art, World Geography, French, Psychology and Sociology.16


The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School

Published in 2010, this book covers every aspect of the school's history to that date. Dr. G. C. Platts (former Principal of Karachi Grammar School) wrote it, with the intention of having a single document that presented the history and importance of Karachi Grammar School. Sources for the book include documents and photographs from the pre-partition period, the principal's logbook on school affairs from 1920–1950, books and articles, interviews and other historical material. It serves as both an interesting presentation of Pakistan's oldest school, and a very informative document that preserves the engraved identity the school has in the country.17

Extracurricular activities

In the junior section, extra-curricular activities available include sports, music, swimming, a school choir, scouts and girl guides, community service, and French lessons.18 For the middle section, activities and events are organized through clubs and societies, such as the biology and history clubs, and the Helper's Society.19 At the college section, there is a plethora of societies and clubs, ranging from the Eastern Music Society to the Drama Council and from the Einstein Society to the renowned Helper's Society. 20

Public speaking and debating

The school has an impressive history of winning national and international debate competitions. It maintains an outstanding Parliamentary Debate Team that produces prodigies, several of which have represented Pakistan in the World Schools Debating Championships.21

Karachi Grammar School is also known for its Model United Nations team, which has been deemed the best in the country by many prestigious competitions. These competitions include LUMUN (Pakistan's largest international Model United Nations conference, hosting over 1200 delegates), where the school team won in 2008 and 2009. Karachi Grammar School also took part in Harvard Model United Nations 2012 in Beijing, China, winning the coveted 'Best Large Delegation' award, an honour that is bestowed upon only one of the 120 participating delegations. 22 In August of the same year Karachi Grammar School sent a 12 member delegation to Hyderabad, India to attend the 2nd session of the Harvard Model United Nations India. Once more the delegation received the overall Best Large Delegation Award out of over 100 delegations and 800 delegates. This made the school the winner at both of Harvard's international high-school MUN conferences(China and India).23

House system

The four school houses are:

  •      Frere (for Sir Henry Bartle Frere, Bt., G.C.B.)
    Established: 1930
    Motto: Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter (Latin)
    Motto in English: Bravely, Faithfully, Happily
    Mascot: Native American
  •      Napier (for Gen. Sir Charles James Napier, G.C.B.)
    Established: 1930
    Motto: Universi Stamus (Latin)
    Motto in English: In Unity Lies Strength
    Mascot: Panther
  •      Streeton (for the Rev. G. B. Streeton, M.A.)
    Established: 1930
    Motto: Excelsior (Latin)
    Motto in English: Ever Upwards
    Mascot: Dragon
  •      Papworth (for a former principal, Leonard Papworth, M.B.E.)
    Established: 1999
    Motto: Virtus Vincit Omnia (Latin)
    Motto in English: Valor Conquers All
    Mascot: Shark

The house system was introduced in 1929 and the houses were originally known as A, B and C; the following year the house names were changed to Napier, Frere and Streeton respectively.24

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Abdurrahman Wahid Non-graduating Former President of Indonesia 25
Arieb Azhar Singer 26
Afiya Shehrbano Zia Activist and author of "Sex Crime in the Islamic Context"
Nawabzada Muhammad Aslam Khanji Moin ud-din Khanji Babi Heir apparent to the kingdom of Bantva Manavadar 27
Asad Rafi Motivational Speaker 2829
Asher Hasan 1990 Social entrepreneur; TED Fellow, Founder of NAYA JEEVAN 3031
Atta ur Rahman 1960 Organic chemist; Fellow Royal Society of London; Federal Minister for Science and Technology 32
Benazir Bhutto 1969 Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and first elected female head of state of the Muslim World. 3334
Dail Jones 1959 New Zealand politician; member of the New Zealand First party, was a former party president 35
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi Politician; acting Prime Minister of Pakistan 36
Hameed Haroon CEO Dawn Media Group citation needed
Hussain Haroon Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations 37
Kamila Shamsie Novelist 38
Kumail Nanjiani 1997 Comedian, actor 39
Murtaza Bhutto 1971 Politician; senior member of Pakistan Peoples Party 40
Nadeem F. Paracha 1983 Journalist, cultural critic, satirist, short story writer 41
Nadia Zaffar Dawn News anchor, producer 42
Nafisa Shah 1986 Member of National Assembly, Chair of the National Commission for Human Development, General Secretary of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus 43
Nazia Hassan Pop singer 44
Pervez Hoodbhoy Nuclear physicist; Political-defence analyst 45
Sabiha Sumar Filmmaker 46
Sadeq Sayeed Banker, businessman
Shahryar Rashed Non-graduating Poet 47
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy 1997 Journalist, Documentarian; Emmy Award winner, Oscar winner 48
Sherry Rehman Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, former editor of Herald Magazine.
Waheed Murad 1954 Actor, producer, scriptwriter 49


  • Mr. C. N. Wrigley, B.Sc. (Dunelm.), M.Ed. (Bham.), F.Coll.T. is the Principal.
  • Mrs. Muncherji is the Headmistress of the Middle Section
  • Mrs. Durrainow Fatima Chishty Mujahid, M.A. (Cantab.) is the Headmistress of the College Section.
  • Mrs. Nigar Rehman is the Headmistress of the Kindergarten and Junior Section.


  1. ^ "History of Karachi Grammar School". 
  2. ^ "Mission Statement of KGS". 
  3. ^ Karachi Grammar School. University of Cambridge Fellowship Centres
  4. ^ "Pakistan Stamps". 
  5. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/rcps/classof99/hist.html
  6. ^ CIE Centres: Karachi Grammar School
  7. ^ "Education and the Origins of KGS", The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School (Published 2010), pages 16–19.
  8. ^ New Beginnings,1874-9, "The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School" (Published 2010) Pages 20–23
  9. ^ Karachi Grammar School 1847–1988, (Published 1988) Pages 26–29.
  10. ^ Karachi Grammar School 1847–1988 (published 1988), pages 30–32.
  11. ^ "KINDERGARTEN ADMISSION – 2012". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "JUNIOR SECTION ADMISSION – 2012". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "MIDDLE SECTION ADMISSION- 2012". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  14. ^ "COLLEGE SECTION ADMISSION - 2012". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Karachi Grammar School". 
  16. ^ Subject taught at KGS
  17. ^ Acknowledgements, The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School (Published 2010)
  18. ^ "Co-curricular". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Middle Section: Co-curricular". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Co-Curricular Activities". Karachi Grammar School. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  21. ^ World Schools Debating Championships
  22. ^ http://tribune.com.pk/story/349166/departure-lounge-tension-so-who-here-can-speak-mandarin/
  23. ^ http://tribune.com.pk/story/424210/kgs-wins-best-delegation-award-at-harvard-mun/
  24. ^ History of Karachi Grammar School
  25. ^ Barton, Greg (2002). Abdurrahman Wahid: Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-0-86840-405-9. 
  26. ^ Interview with Arieb Azhar By Anjum D. Alden
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ [3]
  30. ^ Asher Hasan Interview
  31. ^ Asher Hassan on TED
  32. ^ Profile: Atta-ur-Rehman
  33. ^ "Obituary: Benazir Bhutto, 1953–2007". The Times. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2008. 
  34. ^ Benazir Bhutto – Biography
  35. ^ "Leader's Letter", November 2002. New Zealand First.
  36. ^ "Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi". 
  37. ^ Blue Chip Magazine: Contributor Biographies
  38. ^ Kamila Shamsie
  39. ^ [4]
  40. ^ "Murtaza Bhutto". 
  41. ^ [5]
  42. ^ Feature in She Magazine Pakistan/
  43. ^ [6]
  44. ^ Nazia Hassan – The Musical Story
  45. ^ Interview with Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy Canada, February 2000
  46. ^ Pakistani Women are Progressive The Hindu 22 December 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2012
  47. ^ [7]
  48. ^ Sharing her View of Humanity The Guardian 4 June 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2012
  49. ^ "Waheed Murad". Daily Dawn. Retrieved 10 September 2008. 

External links

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