Karachi Grammar School

Karachi Grammar School (Urdu: کراچی گرامر اسکول) is an independent, English-medium school in Saddar, 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]

Karachi Grammar School
Karachi Grammer School crest.jpg
Logo of Karachi Grammar School (Crest)
School typeIndependent school, Day school, Selective school
MottoIndocti Discant[2]
(Let the unlearned learn)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
Church of Pakistan (formerly Church of England)
FounderThe Rev. Henry Brereton, M.A.
PrincipalMr. S. G. Glasson
Age3 to 19
Houses     Frere
  • The Grammarian
  • The Pulse
MottoLucerna Meis Pedibus[1]
AlumniOld Grammarians' Society

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 Asia,[4][5] a member of the Winchester International Symposium and a former member of the Headmaster's Conference.

Since the 1980s, Karachi Grammar 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.


1847–1854: OriginsEdit

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, Karachi 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, with the first classes taking place in his kitchen. 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 rumours of Brereton not being a "good master" and his performance as a manager unsatisfactory.

Looking into this matter, on 27 July 1854 the Commissioner Sir 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".[6]

1854–1914: Early yearsEdit

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 Honorary 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 ₨ 4,918, 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".[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Academics and curriculumEdit

Karachi Grammar School gives its students 15 years of education on its three different sites. The Kindergarten and Junior sections are accommodated in one site located in old saddar, 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 saddar site. On the senior level, KGS is geared towards preparing students for GCE Ordinary Level, Advanced Subsidiary Level, and Advanced Level examinations.[10] The College Section is also located in clifton.

Subjects taught at KGS include Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Computer Studies, Computing, Pakistan Studies, Urdu, Islamiyat, English Literature, English Language, Economics, Accounts, B World History, Art, World Geography, Psychology and Sociology.[11]

John Lennon ControversyEdit

In 2017 the school had to drop plans for children to sing John Lennon's song Imagine in a concert after two prominent columnists objected to its "atheistic lyrics". The concert was held, and the song was replaced after the idea was condemned by many people including Orya Maqbool Jan and Ansar Abbasi. “The song questions our belief in God and encourages an atheist mindset,” Jan said on the nationally televised programme. He called for the government to take strict action against the school and its management.[12] Moreover, “Students will sing John Lennon’s lyrics - no heaven, no hell, no religion too,” tweeted Ansar Abbasi, who has 500,000 followers, on Wednesday. The provincial government of Sindh “must intervene,” he added, in remarks that were seized upon by conservative anchors on local television. [13]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit

In the Junior Section, extra-curricular activities available include sports, music, swimming, a school choir, scouts and girl guides, community service, etc.[14] For the middle section, activities and events are organized through clubs and societies, such as the biology and philosophy clubs, and the Helper's Society.[15] At the college section, there are several societies and clubs, ranging from the Eastern Music Society to the Drama Council and from the Einstein Society to the Helper's Society.[16] Recently, clubs and societies in the Middle and College Sections have been made mandatory with the introduction of the Enrichment Programme.[17] Karachi Grammar School also hosts many national, inter-school competitions and events such as Karachi Grammar Science Olympiad, Karachi Grammar Entrepreneurship Summit, Grammart, and Karachi Grammar Mathematics Olympiad.

Public speaking and debatingEdit

The school has won national and international debate competitions. It maintains a Parliamentary Debate Team, several of whom have represented Pakistan in the World Schools Debating Championships.[18] It is also has a Model UN team which is notable for its repeated success in both national and international competitions.

Karachi Grammar School is also known for its Model United Nations team. It entered competitions including LUMUN (Pakistan's largest international Model United Nations conference, hosting over 1200 delegates), where the school team won in 2008, 2009, 2012 and most recently, in 2015. Karachi Grammar School also took part in Harvard Model United Nations 2012 in Beijing, China, winning the 'Best Large Delegation' award.[19] 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).[20] In the following years, KGS was once again declared the Best Large Delegation at Harvard MUN India 2013 and Harvard MUN China 2014, 2015. Recently they won Best International Delegation at HMUN Boston 2016, as well as HMUN China in 2017[21] sustaining an undefeated streak at international MUN conferences. In 2018, the schools parliamentary debating team went to Turkey for the annual EurAsian Schools debating Championship and secured first place defeating the Greece national team in the finals. This was the first Pakistani team to ever win an international Parliamentary debating championship.

House systemEdit

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: Phoenix
  •      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
  •      Papworth (for a former principal, Leonard Papworth, M.B.E.)
    Established: 1999
    Motto: Virtus Vincit Omnia (Latin)
    Motto in English: Virtue Conquers All
    Mascot: Shark
  •      Streeton (for the Rev. G. B. Streeton, M.A.)
    Established: 1930
    Motto: Excelsior (Latin)
    Motto in English: Ever Upwards
    Mascot: Dragon

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.[22]

Notable alumniEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Abdurrahman Wahid Non-graduating Former President of Indonesia [23]
Arif Alvi President of Pakistan [24]
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party son of former President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto [25]
Qazi Faez Isa Supreme Court judge [26]
Hammad Nassar Art curator, gallerist, author [27]
Sadeq Sayeed Hedge fund manager, known for his role behind Nomura's acquisition of the European, Middle Eastern and African businesses of Lehman Brothers [28]
Arif Naqvi Founder of The Abraaj Group, philanthropist [29]
Rayid Ghani Academic, Director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago
Hareem Farooq Actress
Aliza Ayaz Youth Climate Activist, House of Lords Honours [30]
Asif Ali Zardari Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party Former President of Pakistan, and husband of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto [31]
Sabeen Mahmud Humanitarian and social worker
Nadeem F. Paracha 1983 Journalist, cultural critic, satirist, short story writer [32]
Reza Ali Mirza Tennis player, first Pakistani to win a round at Wimbledon [33]
Nadia Zaffar Dawn News anchor, producer [34]
Dr. Asim Hussain H.I. Founder of Ziauddin University
Faizan S. Syed Businessman, CEO of HTV
Haroun er Rashid FRGS Geographer [35]
Sahibzada Muhammad Usman Khan Abbasi Prince, Member of the Provincial Assembly for Bahawalpur in the Punjab Provincial Assembly 1987-2002, Deputy Speaker 1993-1997 [36]
Nawabzada Muhammad Aslam Khanji Moin ud-din Khanji Babi Heir apparent to the kingdom of Bantva Manavadar, cricketer [37]
Sahibzada Muhammad Idrees Khanji Moin ud-din Khanji Babi Prince [38]
Masood Ahmed President of the Center for Global Development. Former Director of the IMF and former Vice President for World Bank. [39]
Chishty Mujahid 1962 Cricket commentator [40]
Rabiya Javeri Agha Federal Secretary [41]
Atta ur Rahman 1960 Organic chemist; Fellow Royal Society of London; Federal Minister for Science and Technology [42]
Benazir Bhutto 1969 Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and first elected female head of state of the Muslim World. [25][43]
Chaudhary Muhammad Ali Nuclear physicist; Political-defence analyst [44]
Dail Jones 1959 New Zealand politician; member of the New Zealand First party, was a former party president [45]
Princess Sarvath al-Hassan Princess, husband was once Crown Prince of Jordan [46]
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi Politician; acting Prime Minister of Pakistan [47]
Sahibzadi Bima Shri Iman Bakhte Princess [48]
Thomas W. Simons, Jr. Former ambassador, Visiting Scholar at Cornell and at Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, escorted Duke Ellington during his tour of Pakistan [49]
Arthur Edward Cumming Recipient of the Victoria Cross, the UK's highest award for valour
Navin Rizwi 2003 Producer, Emmy Nominee [50][51]
Sardar Muhammad Amin Khan Imperial prince, businessman [52]
Hameed Haroon CEO Dawn Media Group [53]
Hussain Haroon Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations [54]
Jamil Dehlavi Film director and producer [55]
Kamila Shamsie Novelist [56]
Kumail Nanjiani 1997 Comedian, actor, director [57]
Maliha Lodhi Pakistani political scientist, diplomat, columnist, and military strategist; former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom; former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States; Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, the first women to hold the position [54]
Murtaza Bhutto 1971 Politician; senior member of Pakistan Peoples Party [58]
Ameena Saiyid Publisher [59]
Sahibzada Mahfooz Mustafa Khan Prince, artist and painter
Sahibzada Sidi Taimur Muhammad Mustafa Prince, gas executive [60]
Nafisa Shah 1986 Member of National Assembly, Chair of the National Commission for Human Development, General Secretary of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus [61]
Nazia Hassan Pop singer [62]
Pervez Hoodbhoy Nuclear physicist; Political-defence analyst [44]
Tapu Javeri Radio host, photographer, jewellery designer
Sabiha Sumar Filmmaker [63]
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy 1997 Documentarian, Journalist, two time Academy Award winner, five time Emmy winner [64]
Sherry Rehman Former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, former Editor of Herald Magazine, senior member of Pakistan Peoples Party [65]
Waheed Murad 1954 Actor, producer, scriptwriter [66]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mission Statement of KGS". Archived from the original on 2010-08-23.
  2. ^ "History of the School". KGS.
  3. ^ "About us". www.cambridgeinternational.org.
  4. ^ "Pakistan Stamps". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Education and the Origins of KGS", The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School (Published 2010), pages 16–19.
  7. ^ New Beginnings,1874-9, "The Life and Times of Karachi Grammar School" (Published 2010) Pages 20–23
  8. ^ Karachi Grammar School 1847–1988, (Published 1988) Pages 26–29.
  9. ^ Karachi Grammar School 1847–1988 (published 1988), pages 30–32.
  10. ^ "Karachi Grammar School". Archived from the original on 1999-02-09.
  11. ^ Subject taught at KGS
  12. ^ "Fearing violent backlash, school in Karachi cancels plans to sing John Lennon's song 'Imagine'". Daily Pakistan Global. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  13. ^ Barker, Memphis (2017-08-25). "Pakistani school drops plans to sing John Lennon's Imagine after accusations it encourages atheism". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  14. ^ "Co-curricular". Karachi Grammar School. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Middle Section: Co-curricular". Karachi Grammar School. Archived from the original on 9 December 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Co-Curricular Activities". Karachi Grammar School. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  17. ^ "The Enrichment Programme". KGS.
  18. ^ "About WSDC". WSDC.
  19. ^ "Departure lounge tension: "So who here can speak Mandarin?"". The Express Tribune. March 13, 2012.
  20. ^ "KGS wins best delegation award at Harvard MUN". The Express Tribune. August 19, 2012.
  21. ^ "Pakistan's KGS wins laurels at Harvard Model United Nations". DAWN.COM. April 3, 2014.
  22. ^ History of Karachi Grammar School
  23. ^ Barton, Greg (2002). Abdurrahman Wahid: Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-0-86840-405-9.
  24. ^ "Dr Arif Alvi: A sneak peek into the life of a modest president". The Express Tribune. December 23, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Obituary: Benazir Bhutto, 1953–2007". The Times. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  26. ^ "High Court of Balochistan > Justice Qazi Faez Isa". bhc.gov.pk.
  27. ^ "Encore, NOS, The News International". jang.com.pk.
  28. ^ Turner, Matt. "A biography of Sadeq Sayeed". www.fnlondon.com.
  29. ^ "Arif Masood Naqvi | Pride of Pakistan | CEO Abraaj Group | PrideOfPakistan.com". prideofpakistan.com.
  30. ^ geo.COM. January 13, 2011 https://www.geo.tv/latest/236165-pakistani-student-campaigns-for-climate-change-in-uk-universities. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Asif Ali Zardari". DAWN.COM. January 13, 2011.
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ "Founders". www.superkidsweb.com.
  34. ^ "Feature in She Magazine Pakistan/". Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  35. ^ "Haroun er Rashid | The University Press Limited". www.uplbooks.com.
  36. ^ "bahawal5". www.royalark.net.
  37. ^ "MANAVA3". www.royalark.net.
  38. ^ "MANAVA3". www.royalark.net.
  39. ^ https://www.cgdev.org/expert/masood-ahmed. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ "Chishty Mujahid completes half a century of broadcasting and telecasting cricket commentary".
  41. ^ "On a new mission; Rabiya Javeri-Agha continues to inspire working women". Daily Times. December 23, 2016.
  42. ^ "Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman". Pakistan Herald.
  43. ^ "Benazir Bhutto". IMDb.
  44. ^ a b Interview with Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy Canada, February 2000
  45. ^ "Leader's Letter", November 2002. New Zealand First.
  46. ^ "Begum Shaista Ikramullah with her children". December 16, 2015 – via Flickr.
  47. ^ "Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi". Archived from the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  48. ^ "junagad3". www.royalark.net.
  49. ^ http://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Simons-Thomas-W1.pdf
  50. ^ "Navin Rizwi". IMDb.
  51. ^ "Emmy Awards Almanac 2016 Edition". fxm-group.com.
  52. ^ "HERAT2". www.royalark.net.
  53. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com.
  54. ^ a b Blue Chip Magazine: Contributor Biographies
  55. ^ "Jamil Dehlavi". Habib University. Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2015-05-07.
  56. ^ "Kamila Shamsie". Archived from the original on February 13, 2012.
  57. ^ "Pakistani actors are now appearing in Hollywood films". The Express Tribune. July 13, 2011.
  58. ^ "Murtaza Bhutto". Pakistan Herald.
  59. ^ "Inspiring Interview of Ameena Saiyid MD Oxford Press in Book 100".
  60. ^ "sachin2". www.royalark.net.
  61. ^ [3]
  62. ^ Nazia Hassan – The Musical Story
  63. ^ Pakistani Women are Progressive The Hindu 22 December 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2012
  64. ^ Sharing her View of Humanity The Guardian 4 June 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2012
  65. ^ "Sherry Rehman". DAWN.COM. April 24, 2013.
  66. ^ "Waheed Murad". Daily Dawn. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2008.

External linksEdit