|Aitchison College ( Chief's College)|
"Perseverance Commands Success"
|Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan|
|School type||Independent school, Boarding school, Semi private Institution|
|Founded||3 November 1886 (Current Establishment), 1864 (Chiefs' College)|
|Founder||Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison|
|Principal||Shamim Saifullah Khan|
|Age||4 to 19|
|Area||200-acre (0.81 km2)|
|Publication||The Aitchisonian, The Newsletter|
Established in 1886, it has a public school tradition of providing an education that uses academics, sports and co-curricular activities as tools for character development. The school follows a curriculum designed to culminate in International GCE O, AS and A Level qualifications and is geared towards preparing the students for university education.
Aitchison College is a descendant of the Wards’ School at Ambala and the Chiefs’ Colleges.[need quotation to verify] The college is the only school in Pakistan that is a part of the Headmasters' Conference.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 History
- 3 Organization and curriculum
- 4 Student life
- 5 Alumni
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
The foundation stone of the main building was laid by the Viceroy, the Earl of Dufferin and Ava on 3 November 1886. Aitchison College is the lineal descendant of the Wards School at Ambala and the Chiefs Colleges.
Addressing the boys in 1888, Sir Charles Aitchison said:
...much, very much, is expected of you. I trust you will use well the opportunities here afforded of you both for your education and for the formation of your character ... This is an institution from which you will banish everything in thought and word and act that is mean, dishonorable or impure, and in which you will cultivate everything that is virtuous, true, manly and gentlemanly
Aitchison College is known for its Alumni and many of its students have gone on to study at well-known universities across the world.
Wards School at Ambala
The history of Aitchison College goes back to the Ward's School at Ambala which was envisioned in 1864 by Captain Tighe, then D.C. of Ambala. Established in 1868, it was originally intended for the education of young Sikh Sirdars of the District but on the insistence of Sir Henry Davies, it widened its scope in 1874 to cater for the education of all government wards living in other parts of Punjab. The present constitution of Aitchison College is still based on the set of rules framed for the Wards' School.
The growing interest in the college prompted efforts by Lt. Gen Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison, after whom the college is named, to expand the Government Wards School into a Chiefs College. North Mian Meer Road was initially selected as the new site for Chiefs College and collaboration between Bhai Ram Singh, Vice Principal of Mayo School of Arts and Col. S. S. Jacob, Executive Engineer at Jeypore came up with an architectural design for the college. Even at its beginning, the college was designed to have a science laboratory, library and museum besides classrooms and amenities for students. Under the auspices of the new staff, including the first Principal W. A. Robinson and the famous Urdu poet Altaf Hussain Hali, Chiefs College began educating a modest first batch of 12 boys, who were temporarily accommodated at Abbot Road while construction was in progress. The college was formally inaugurated by the Viceroy, the Earl of Dufferin and Ava on 3 November 1886.
Only a few days after the foundation stone of Chiefs College was laid down, it was renamed on 13 November 1886 as Aitchison College. A boundary wall around the entire campus was finished in 1950. Construction of the main building, now known as Old Building, began in 1887 and was finished in 1890, along with a gymnasium and a hospital. Soon after that, the main building became the center of academic life at Aitchison as previously the classes were being held in the boarding houses and some rented bungalows. Construction on other buildings continued as the school attracted more wards and visits from various princes. The Prize Distribution Day ceremony, now known as the Founders Day, held annually in May, was started in 1892. The Prize Distribution was later divided into two separate ceremonies: Founders Day Academics and Founders Day Sports.
Several efforts were made to provide facilities for physical education of the students. In 1896, a cricket pavilion was subscriped and work began on a polo ground. A year later, training in cricket, football, field hockey and tennis was started. Following Aitchison's win in local sports
competition, Aitchison Challenge Cup was established to honour the best sportsmen each year. In 1905, ACOBA (Aitchison College Old Boys Association) was established to allow the alumni of the school to compete against the current students in an event that brought together the alumni each year. In 1907, Aitchison College started sending contingents of sports teams to compete with schools outside Lahore, and was allowed to host contingents from other schools. Swimming facilities were developed in 1923 and Rani of Mandi Cup was established to honour the best swimmer of the year. The sports system soon evolved as competitions between the houses themselves began in 1928. Hockey and tennis courts were established in 1938.
A mosque was constructed for religious education of Muslim students in 1900 and a Dharamsala was created in 1913. A separate Sikh mess was organised in 1907 and a separate kitchen for Halal food in 1938. A mandir was also constructed, which was later redesigned to hold the Principal's office after partition. Religious education was later made compulsory for Hindus and Sikhs. Until its abolishment in 1933, a rule existed that a separate boarding house should exist for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Ch.Rehmat Ali, famous for coining the name of Pakistan started teaching at the school in 1918. In the first half of the 20th century, several extra-curricular activities took its roots in the school including and competitions for best essay writer and best debater became one of the most coveted
honours. In 1906, one of the most famous medals, Rivaz medal for best all-round performance at Aitchison college was created. Some college publications were established: "Pioneer" in and "Aitchison" in 1936.
Following this policy, a separate house, Jubilee, was established for day boys. Classes for Grade 9–13 were shifted from main building to the new constructed Barry Block (Senior School) in 1948. Following the partition of the Indian Subcontinent, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was appointed Patron in Chief of the College in 1948. A separate building for Junior School, for Grades 1–5, was inaugurated in 1964. War between India and Pakistan in 1965 disrupted school activities for a while but normal school year resumed soon after cease fire. A number of modern buildings were constructed on the campus near the end of 20th century, including an amphitheater, a large library, computer and science laboratories, housing for staff members, a riding school, squash and basketball courts.
A separate building for Preparatory School, which now holds classes for Grades 6–8, was constructed in 1915 and the prefects system was established two years later. The school was affiliated with Cambridge University in 1933. In 1935, the policy of admission was broadened to include ordinary boys from surrounding areas. Following this policy, a separate house, Jubilee, was established for day boys. Classes for Grade 9–13 were shifted from main building to the new constructed Barry Block (Senior School) in 1948. Following the partition of the Indian Subcontinent, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was appointed Patron in Chief of the College in 1948. A separate building for Junior School, for Grades 1–5, was inaugurated in 1964. War between India and Pakistan in 1965 disrupted school activities for a while but normal school year resumed soon after cease fire. A number of modern buildings were constructed on the campus near the end of 20th century, including an amphitheater, a large library, computer and science laboratories, housing for staff members, a riding school, squash and basketball courts.
Organization and curriculum
Aitchison College is divided into three schools:
- Junior School (Grades 1–5)
- Prep School (Grades 6–8)
- Senior School (Grades 9–13)
- O Level (Grades 9–11)
- AS/A Level (Grades 12–13)
The Senior School offers preparation for General Certificate of Education (GCE) from University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), following the British Cambridge Assessment (UCLES) system. The grades 9 through 11 are prepared for International GCE Ordinary Level or O Level (equivalent to national Secondary School Certificate or SSC) and grades 12 and 13 are prepared for International GCE Advanced Subsidiary/Advanced Level or AS/A Level (equivalent to national Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSC).
The national 'Matriculation' curriculum was also until 2002 available to students of grades 9 and 10 who did not wish to pursue the international board examinations. It was cancelled by Principal Shamim Khan due to structural issues and incompatibility of O level and matric systems.
Each school is subdivided into houses that have members from each grade of that school. Houses are designed to promote inter-house competitions and mentor ship opportunities, led by prefects and house masters. The main boarding houses are the Leslie Jones House, Godley House and Kelly House. Leslie house has been re-opened in 2012, while Godley and Kelly were still functional.
The Guidance and Career Counseling Office at the College provides students with the most up to date information on universities and modern careers. Applications are sent to universities in US, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Turkey, Netherlands and Pakistan.
Prep and Senior School
Students have to opt for two sports at the beginning of each winter.In summer, one sport is chosen other than swimming which is compulsory. The choices include athletics, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, lawn tennis, water polo, riding, squash, badminton and table tennis. Senior School Students have been taking part in the NCC training or The Navy Cadet Corps training
- F. S. Aijazudin, Commanding Success: Aitchison College, Lahore: 1886–2011' ', Lahore, 2011.
- F. S. Aijazuddin, Aitchison College Lahore : 1886–1986 : The First Hundred Years, Lahore, 1986.
- L.F Loveday Prior "Punjab Prelude", London: John Murray, 1952.