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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

150th Anniversary of Karachi Grammar School (1 847-1997) (1997-16)

Flourishing institutions are undoubtedly intrinsic to a country\'s development. Karachi Grammar School is one such institution that has proved it dedication to the system of education in Pakistan through innumerable contributions.
Today, 150 years from its inception, it is a reality whose repute and prestige has spread from the borders of Pakistan onto other continents. Its students continue to keep its name alive in foreign universities across the hemispheres. If the success of an institution can be measured by the success of its students in varied walks of life, the Karachi Grammar School has certainly a lot to be proud of.
The Karachi Grammar School started in a class for the education of English and Anglo-Indian children, which was opened in 1847 by the Rev. H. Brereton, the first Chaplain of Karachi after the British occupation in Sindh in 1843.
Little could Mr. Brereton have imagined when he started this class, that it would develop into a fine school which at present exists. The first class in 1847 was conducted in the Chaplain\'s home, and in those days the Chaplain resided on the plot which is now occupied by the Methodist Church. This class soon developed into a small school, and when the church bungalow was erected in 1852, the school was held there.
This Bungalow is described in a letter of Sir Bartle Frere to the Right Honorable Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay, as a \"kind of \'pandal\' erected for public worship in Karachi by subscriptions and aided by a grant from the Government.\"
From a modest beginning as a one class school to a sprawling edifice at Saddar and a new building in Clifton, Boating Basin area, The Karachi Grammar School has come a long way.
Through its life, it has witnessed the changing trends in socio-environment, the rise and fall of respective governments, the emergence of various institutions and so on. Well-versed in the art of change, the Karachi Grammar School has never compromised on the quality of its education and set of values that it indoctrinates its recipients with.
A thorough, well trained staff supervises the student body and ensures the most fruitful results. From the beginning, an independent outlook is established in a students academic development. Innovative ideas are encouraged so that the student can learn to think for himself. Abroad, Grammarians are recognised as hardworking individuals who bring with them, a freshness of perspectives and ideas and contribute to the fabric of cross-cultural interaction.
While quality of results and exceptional academic standing remain the ideal of the Grammar School, there is an increasing emphasis on extracurricular activities over the years. In the early years, although various school events did exist, those precluded the concept of student-organised events, except for a few Societies that functioned sporadically. In the eighties, came a new realisation. To gain admission in the most prestigious colleges of America, one needed not only excellent academic results but a record of involvement in as wide a range of extracurricular activities possible. This resulted in the growth of an incredible number of societies and a constant stream of events.
Which both enlivened and informed. Apart from the Grammarian, published every year, other magazines include Pulse and Flyers that are taken out regularly and with great enthusiasm.
Theatrical ventures continue to be an enduring art form with growing student participation. The emphasis on sports has and always will be an invaluable key aspect of extracurricular activities. The confidence to compete constructively amidst erstwhile companions engenders a positive drive that shows expression at some point or the other in a students later life, be it professional, social or political.
Each successive decade of the Karachi Grammar School has seen development in some area or the other. The list of achievements would be incomplete without the mention of the new Primary school at Clifton, Boating Basin area.
A number of years ago, it was recognised that the school\'s present facilities would be inadequate to cope with the pace of educational innovation, not to mention the growing demand for admission from parents for their children. The improved facilities while enhancing the quality of educational provision to the existing students would enable the students to admit a significantly higher number of pupils and also reduce classes to optimal size.
In order to meet the above concerns, the new Primary School, which comprises of the Kindergarten and Junior sections of the Karachi Grammar School, stands as a resolute testimony to the fact that ideas if followed through can result in the completion of dreams.
150 years - Approximately 13 decades from that first class held in Rev. Brereton\'s residence, the Karachi Grammar School has evolved into one to the finest institutions in the country.
Against a backdrop of a nascent democracy, there still remains much to be accomplished. In the true spirit of the Karachi Grammar School, the outlook is optimistic. The remaining nineties and the start of the year 2000 will see a new beginning to an already flourishing institution.
Contributed by: (Old Grammarians Society)
To commemorate the 1 S0the Anniversary of Karachi Grammar School Pakistan Post Office is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 2/-denomination on December 30, 1997