Army Burn Hall College

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Army Burn Hall College
The seal of Army Burn Hall College.
Motto Quo Non Ascendam (Latin)
Motto in English
To what heights can I not rise?
Established 1943
Principal Serving Brigadiers of the Pakistan Army Education Corps
Location Abbottabad, Pakistan

Army Burn Hall College (ABHC) is a school and college, formerly operating along English public school lines in Abbottabad, Pakistan, with separate sections for boys and girls; and now gradually turning into a cadet-type institution. The girls' section (originally called Junior Burn Hall) is on the Mall, a main road near the city center while the boys' branch (originally called Senior Burn Hall) is near Mandian. The school was founded by missionary Fathers in 1948 and since 1977 has been run by the Pakistan Army Education Corps.[1][2]


The school was established in Srinagar, Kashmir in 1942 by the English Mill Hill Missionary Fathers, who also ran the Mill Hill School in England. In 1948, a year after Pakistan gained independence from the British Empire, a few of the Fathers moved to Abbottabad with a handful of students[citation needed] and set up the school in a small building, at the Abbott Hotel.[citation needed] Since the British Empire was built by men who came from the English public school system, the Fathers replicated the system and promoted sports and extra-curricular activities such as music, debate, dramatics, and art as a means of character building.[3][4]

Later on, additional space was acquired and more buildings were added to accommodate an increasing number of students and the school came under the control of the Diocesan Board of Education, Rawalpindi. In 1956, a school building was constructed a few miles outside the town, on Mansehra Road. The new building complex had sports facilities and a swimming pool. Its purpose was to provide more room for the seniors and it became known as Senior Burn Hall, while the campus in the city center became known as Junior Burn Hall.

The seven sports played at the school were cricket, hockey, football, basketball, tennis, swimming, and athletics, with inter-house competitions between St Michaels and St Andrews (later renamed St Gabriel's). St Michael's was represented by a black shield with gold border, crossed white lance and sword. St Gabriel's was represented by a lion holding a fiery torch.

In 1966 and 1967, foreign experts had come to assist in building the Tarbela Dam and their families stayed in Abbottabad. Two daughters of one of the consultants joined the school and were the first foreign girls to enroll in Senior Burn Hall.. Foreign students came from Morocco, Egypt, Somalia, Laos, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Kenya, and other countries.

Sadly, in 1977, the Burn Hall School Abbottabad, was taken over from the Mill Hill Fathers and the Rawalpindi Diocese Board, by the Pakistan Army's 'Education Corps' and has since become known as the 'Army Burn Hall College and School'. Since then, especially after 1984-1985, it has turned into a military style cadets' institution, churning out students destined for army service.

Academic achievements[edit]

The college achieves outstanding results in Matriculation and F.Sc Intermediate examinations,[5] but has not produced any respectable O-level scores since the 1980s.[citation needed] There are over 2,000 students in all the branches and 200 faculty members.[citation needed] Physical training is usually provided by retired or serving instructors from the Pakistan military.

The students of Burn Hall are known as 'Hallians', and many have risen to prominence in Pakistan and overseas.


Army Burn Hall College for Boys is built in red brick and the old British architecture style dominates most of the college structures. The campus is divided into an administration block, academic blocks, Scanlon Hall and hostels. The college is located 4300 feet above sea level in natural surroundings. The college motto is 'Quo non Ascendam', which in Latin means 'To what heights can I not rise'.[citation needed]

Before 1977 (when Fathers ran the school) the houses were:

In 1977 it became a college. St Michael's House became Shah Ismail Shaheed House and St Gabriel's House was renamed as Syed Ahmad Shaheed House. Presently Senior Burn Hall has four houses. They are named after Muslim heroes of the Indian subcontinent, in keeping with the Pakistan Army's post-colonial ethos:


Academic terms

The academic year begins in the first week of March. It is divided into three terms:

  • First term — March–June
  • Second term — July–September
  • Third term — October–December
Admission in 7th Class

The induction of students into the Boys Section begins in class 7 while that for the Girls Section begins in Prep Class, for which an entry test is organized every year at Abbottabad and Lahore. The entry test is followed by an intelligence test and interview at both locations for the successful candidates. The subjects tested in the examination are English, Urdu and Mathematics. The suitability of a candidate is assessed on the basis of his or her performance in the entry and intelligence tests, and on their interview and final merit.


The Burn Hall Bell
Burn Hall
Winter view
Burn Hall 1956
Burn Hall 1977
Morning assembly
Syed Ahmed Shaheed House
Shah Ismaeel Shaheed House
Dining Hall
Scanlon hall
Administration block

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome to Army Burn Hall College". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "ARMY BURN HALL COLLEGE ABBOTTABAD". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Army Burn Hall School". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Army Burn Hall College". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°9′55″N 73°13′38″E / 34.16528°N 73.22722°E / 34.16528; 73.22722