St. Mary's High School, Peshawar

St. Mary's High School is a private Catholic primary and secondary school for boys, located in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Founded in 1957, the school has been run by the Marist Brothers since 1970.

St. Mary's High School, Peshawar
Khyber Road

Former nameSt. Mary's PAF Cambridge Schoo
TypePrivate primary and secondary school
Religious affiliation(s)Catholicism
DenominationMarist Brothers
Established1957; 64 years ago (1957)
OversightCatholic Board of Education
PrincipalAsif Nawab Gill
Age4 to 16
  •    Jahangir
  •    Babar
  •    Akbar
SportsAthletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, football,badminton gymnastics, hockey, lawn tennis, squash, table tennis,gymnasium
AffiliationsBoard of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Peshawar


The school is run by the Diocesan Board of Education of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. The Bishop of the diocese is the chairman of the board. The school is administered by the Marist Brothers, who took over the administration in 1970.


The school conducts classes from Prep to Class 10 (Secondary School Certificate of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Peshawar). The medium of instruction is English.[1]


The school was opened in 1957 in the presbytery of St. Michael's Church on Mall Road , Peshawar Cantonment with fourteen boys who had passed Standard III from Presentation Convent School located next door to St. Michael's Church. Fr. Thyssen was the founder and first principal. The other teachers were Fr. Pingstern and Fr. Heideman. All three were Dutch citizens belonging to the Catholic order of Mill Hill Fathers (London). Before his transfer to Peshawar, Fr. Thyssen was at Burn Hall, Abbottabad and before the Great Partition, he had served in Kashmir.

In 1959, the school moved to Air Force Barracks, on Roberts Road, as St. Mary's PAF Cambridge School. Classes available at the time ranged from Prep to Standard V. Fr.Joseph Beemster from Holland joined the teaching staff around this time

In 1962, the first batch of ten students sat for the Matriculation (SSC) Examination and the success rate was 100%. In the same year, five of its students qualified for GCE 'O' Level of Cambridge University (three in First Division).

The present site of St.Mary's High School was acquired for the school by Fr. Michael Grant, an Irishman and the second principal of the school and the foundation stone laid by Lt. Gen. Altaf Qadir on 29 October 1963. Many parents contributed to the construction of the school by donating a truckload of bricks. In 1970, the Marist Brothers took over the administration of St. Mary's from the Mill Hill Fathers. Br. Patrick Faulkner took over as the first Marist principal.

In 1977, Br. Francis Sales Fernando became the school's tenth principal. During his tenure as principal, many new buildings were added. The fully equipped auditorium, library, squash courts, hall for indoor games, children's park and mini zoo are some of those additions. Technical education was also introduced, with fully equipped workshops, around this time.

In 1993, Br. Charles Fernando took over as the principal. He was replaced by Br. Shanthi Liyanage who led the school until September 2005. During his tenure, a new spacious staff room was added to St. Mary's.

In 2005, students of St. Mary's secured the first position, third position and sixth position in the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education SSC examination.

Golden JubileeEdit

On 29 March 2007, the school celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation. At the time, the principal was Br. Devasiri Fernando FMS. The school had 1,302 students and 70 academic and administrative staff.[2]

Area attacksEdit


On 14 November 2009, a massive bombing targeted the offices of the Army Inter-Services Intelligence on Khyber Road. The school, situated on the corner of both Khyber Road and Warsak Road, was partially damaged in the huge explosion and was shut until 23 November for repair.[3]


On 16 December 2014, nine members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. They entered the school and opened fire on school staff and children,[4][5] killing 145 people, including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and eighteen years of age.[6][7] A rescue operation was launched by the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG) special forces, who killed all seven terrorists and rescued 960 people.[5][8][9] Chief military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said in a press conference that at least 130 people had been injured in the attack.[4]

St. Mary's High School was closed immediately while the firings and martyring was going inside Army Public School Peshawar. The school reopened on 18 January 2015.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Golden Jubilee celebrations of the St. Mary's High School Peshawar Pakistan Press International 29 March 2007". PPI — Pakistan Press International. 2007-03-29.
  2. ^ "St. Mary's High School".
  3. ^ Education News Archive 2009
  4. ^ a b "Peshawar school attack: Over 100 killed in Pakistani Taliban attack, hundreds of students hostage". DNA India. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Pakistan Taliban kill scores in Peshawar school massacre". BBC News. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  6. ^ "In Pakistan school attack, Taliban terrorists kill 145, mostly children". CNN. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Taliban Besiege Pakistan School, Leaving 145 Dead". The New York Times. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Peshawar school attack: Pakistan authorities claim all Taliban attackers are dead". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Taliban kills at least 104 people in attack on Pakistan military school". Los Angeles Times. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.