St Joseph Higher Secondary School, Dhaka

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St. Joseph Higher Secondary School

Coordinates23°45′35″N 90°22′12″E / 23.7598°N 90.3701°E / 23.7598; 90.3701Coordinates: 23°45′35″N 90°22′12″E / 23.7598°N 90.3701°E / 23.7598; 90.3701
TypeCatholic missionary school
MottoAdvancing In Wisdom And Virtue
Religious affiliation(s)Congregation of Holy Cross, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dhaka
Established19 March 1954 (1954-03-19)
PrincipalBro. Robi Theodore Purification CSC
Campus typeUrban
SportsFootball, basketball, cricket, chess, volleyball, athletics, table tennis, handball, badminton, rugby
The school buildings

St. Joseph Higher Secondary School (সেন্ট যোসেফ উচ্চ মাধ্যমিক বিদ্যালয়) is a Catholic higher secondary school in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is a mono-ed (boys') school offering education from third grade to twelfth grade, averaging 8–18 years of age. The school is a single shift school with over 2500 students.

Established in 1954 as the "St. Joseph English Medium School" in 16 Monir Hossain Lane, Narinda in the current old part of Dhaka by the Congregation of Holy Cross missionaries, the institution had a General Certificate of Education (GCE) based education structure. The current campus is at 97, Asad Avenue, Mohammedpur, Dhaka.


On 19 March 1954, Brother Jude opened the door of 16 Monir Hossain Lane for four students to start St. Joseph High School. The classes were taught in the parlour for the first year. The following year, a single storied building was constructed by Brother Andrew at 32, Shah Shaheb Lane, Narinda. In 1960, a second roof was added as the enrolment of the school rose to 269. In 1963, nine years after opening, the school was sufficiently developed to enable to two major accomplishments to take place—both of which was to bring Brother Jude's original idea closer to realization. In October 1964, to accommodate the increasing enrollment, Brother Fulgence, Superior of the Brothers, began work on a new school complex in Mohammadpur. In November of that same year, the first class of boys from St. Joseph sat for the Cambridge Examinations. This group was the first group of many groups to bring honor to the school. In July, 1965, all the classes shifted from Narinda to the Mohammadpur compound. The new school was very modern and quite unfinished. The first classes held here were for adventuresome boys who had to climb over construction materials, bear up with construction noises and brave the elements. But the joy of having new school brought out a new spirit which grew as the school developed. In 1974, the first batch of boys took the SSC Examination and 32 of the 33 boys passed and one of them was placed ninth in the combined merit list. After the liberation and independence of Bangladesh, the school started to grow and develop with the new country. The medium of instruction changed to Bangla and the school registered with Dhaka board. In 1973 the last of the Cambridge groups took their examinations. During the ten years of Cambridge, 233 boys took the overseas examination and 98% passed with over 60% in the first division. Each year brings forth some achievement for the school but for over 59 years, St. Joseph has continued the traditions set by the first pioneers and Brother Jude, Advancing in Wisdom and virtue.[1] St Joseph celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2004 at the school campus. On 19 March 2014, St. Joseph celebrated its 60th anniversary of establishment.


Robert Boughey: An American architect born in Pennsylvania, USA. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York in 1959 and received Diploma in Tropical Studies from AA School of Architecture, London in 1967. He is a former research professor of architecture at Pratt institute.

Academic identification[edit]

Having both primary and secondary education level, this institution also offers higher secondary education from 2001. The secondary level has both science and commerce version. The higher secondary level includes humanities too. All the levels have both Bengali and English versions, each class having two Bengali and one English version sections. Besides, from the year 2017, it has restarted the English medium section of the school named St. Joseph International School following the Cambridge Curriculum


The school section admission goes through three levels; interview, written test and final selection. The principal personally interviews every single applicant. Admission into class 3 is held officially, around 2500-6000 competing for around 160-180 seats. Other classes (4-9) may offer admissions if seats are vacant.

The college section usually selects only 600-700 students out of approximately 7000 applicants through one of the most competitive written and viva exams in the country.


The school follows the National Curriculum of studies along with following the Cambridge Curriculum. Upon establishment, it was an English Medium Cambridge school. Following the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the school abridged itself along with the national curriculum. In the year 2004, it introduced the English Version first in grade 6, gradually adding one English version section to each grade.

The school was initially named "St. Joseph High School". In the year 2001 Higher Secondary Education (equivalent to college) had also been introduced in Saint Joseph, changing the name of the institution to "Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School". The school is recognized by the Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The average graduating class from Saint Joseph each year has 160 to 170 students. The secondary level offers S.S.C (equivalent to O level) examinations and the higher secondary level offers H.S.C (equivalent to A level) examinations. The curriculum includes both Bengali and English versions (not to be confused with English Medium). The institution is recognized by the Board of Intermediate and Higher Secondary Educations.

Grades and classes[edit]

Instead of Section 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C etc., St. Joseph uses names for its sections of grades. There are three sections for grades 3–10, and there are six sections for grades 11–12. In the school section, each class contains 50-60 students. Below is a complete list:

Secondary section

  • Grade 3: Eagles, Hawks, Falcons.
  • Grade 4: Lions, Tigers, Mountain Lions.
  • Grade 5: Hornets, Wasps, Drones.
  • Grade 6: Bears, Wildcats, Polar Bears.
  • Grade 7: Jaguars, Leopards, Panthers.
  • Grade 8: Comets, Meteors, Asteroids.
  • Grade 9: Jets, Concords, Rockets
  • Grade 10: Stars, Giants, Titans

(bold represents English Version sections)

Higher-Secondary section

  • Grade 11: Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Vulcan, Mars.
  • Grade 12: Pluto, Phobos, Uranus, Pollux, Diebos, Neptune.


The uniform consists of white shirt, dark grey trousers and black shoes. In winter, students are allowed to wear pullovers, but the pullovers must be navy blue.

School grounds[edit]


The school has a 3.5 acre campus with many species of trees and plants.[2] The plants and trees contain nameplates with their names and scientific names. It has a play-ground for association football, basketball, cricket, volleyball and badminton. The school basketball court, built in the 60s and modified in 2008, also serves as a multipurpose auditorium.

The South Building, viewed from the school football ground.

Campus and buildings[edit]

The School Campus viewed from the first gate

A composite of two four-storied buildings with a two-storied building in the annexe for teachers and office comprise the campus. The buildings are known as north and south building. The ground floor of the south building serves as a table tennis court. The school has three main entries. One serves as the entry for students, one for official purpose. The other entry is currently unused.


One of the chemistry labs

St. Joseph has some of the best high school lab facilities in the country. The Biology labs and the chemistry labs are well-equipped and are large in size. Some schools and educational institutions as Edexcel use these facilities for their students. Facilities include two computer labs equipped with multimedia projectors, a separate internet lab, two advanced chemistry labs, two physics labs and two biology labs. Of each of the chemistry, physics and biology labs one is used by the secondary students and the other is by higher secondary students.


The library of St. Joseph Higher Secondary School is the replica of a well-furnished and resourceful library. It was founded by Brother Lorenzo, CSC in 1954. The library is situated in the far east corner of the second floor of the south building. It has approximately 10 thousand books and magazines of rare collection. Also the library stores each of the school souvenirs till date. The library incorporates with the Bishwa Sahitya Kendra and British Council to arrange book reading programs. The library is operated by two librarians and a team of student volunteers.

Purposes of the campus[edit]

The school buildings are solely dedicated for the teaching of its students. The southwest corner of the school holds a small hostel for the brothers of Holycross. Since 2004, the school has been hosting the national occurrence of Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad.[3]

Notable academic results[edit]

  • During the ten years of Cambridge, 233 boys took the overseas examination and 98% passed with over 60% in the first division.
  • Eight positions (including the first position, Khaled Sobhan) in the merit list among approximately 100 graduating students in 1980.
    A portion of the north building
  • Three positions (including the fifth position) in the merit list among approximately 100 graduating students in 1991 before MCQ system.
  • Eight positions (including the first position) in the merit list and 50 Stars among approximately 100 graduating students in 1992.
  • Five positions (including the third position) in the merit list among approximately 80 graduating students in 1995.
  • Highest percentage of GPA 5.0 in S.S.C. Examination in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (95.6%) (Including 43 Board Merit Scholarships), 2012 (97%), 2015(94.26%)


  • Formed the first High School Level Science Club (Scintilla Science Club) in Bangladesh in 1957.
  • Introduction of parliamentary format high school debate in Bangladesh.
  • Formed the first High School Level Debating Club (JDC) in Bangladesh in 1969.
  • Pioneer school in the British Council global schooling scheme partnered with the Park View School of the UK since 2006.
  • 13 UNSW medal won in 2007, 20 UNSW medal won in 2008 at International Competitions and Assessments for Schools conducted by University of New South Wales, Highest in the country.
  • Champion of Horlicks Genius Bangladesh (A Nationwide Television Quiz Competition) in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
  • Champion of First Inter-School Football Tournament.
  • Champion of U-21 Basketball Tournament 2010 and 2011.
  • Champion of I-gen ( A national school level ICT event) 2015.
  • Champion of National Creative Talent Hunt (a country wide talent hunt competition under the Ministry of Education) 2017.

Headmasters and principals[edit]

  • Brother Jude Costello, C.S.C. (1954–1962)
  • Brother Gerald Kraeger, C.S.C. (1963–1967)
  • Brother Thomas O'Linn C.S.C. (1967–1969)
  • Brother Ralph Baird, C.S.C (1969–1972 and 1979–1985)
  • Brother John Stephen, C.S.C. (1985–1987)
  • Brother Thomas Moore, C.S.C. (1973–1978 and 1987–1988)
  • Brother Nicholas Thielman, C.S.C. (1987–1989)
  • Brother John Rozario, C.S.C. (1990–2007) ( Ex-Principal Emeritus)
  • Brother Leo James Pereira, C.S.C. (2007–2011)
  • Brother Harold B. Rodrigues, C.S.C. (2011–2012)
  • Brother Robi Purification, C.S.C. (2012 – present)

Past and current faculties[edit]

Starting its journey with a handful of American Brothers from Congregation of Holy Cross, the school received the services of a large number of teachers both before and after integrating itself with the secondary education system in Bangladesh. The current faculty consists of 50 Secondary Section teachers, 25 Higher Secondary Section teachers, a counselor, two Prefects of Discipline, two librarians, office staffs, two sports instructors, and individual coaches for the soccer, basketball and cricket teams. Brother Robi Purification, CSC is the current principal and Br. Bikash Victor Rozario CSC is the current Vice-principal of the school.

Extracurricular units[edit]

To ease and remove regular class monotony, St. Joseph provides students with an array of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. Students can explore their latent talents through participating in the activities of various clubs such as the Josephite Scintilla Science Club, Josephite Debating Club, Josephite Language and Reading Club, Business Club, Josephite Chess Club, Interact Club, Cultural Forum, Drama Group, Computer Club. Each club arranges and organizes seminars, workshops, symposiums, fairs and functions all the year round.


Scouting was introduced in St. Joseph in 1964 with a view to creating among the students a sense of sensitivity, sympathy, fellow feeling, camaraderie, benevolence, generosity and rationality towards the deprived, distressed, underprivileged and the marginalized. It teaches an individual to become self-reliant by honest means. It instigates good human qualities in the individuals to make them prepared for people in their times of crying need. The scout groups of St. Joseph have participated in numerous camps, rallies, jamborees at home and abroad. Many of the scouts have camped in countries like Australia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Usually two regular camps are arranged in a year, one in the school campus and the other outside Dhaka.[4]

Literacy School[edit]

As a part of its continued strides towards humanitarian and social services, St. Joseph runs a Literacy School at its premises in the afternoon to impart free primary education to the underprivileged children of the slums and Geneva Camps around Mohammadpur area. This Literacy School was founded in 1978 by Brother Nicolas Thiemann, CSC. Students can get free education up to class-V from this school. The classes are held on every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The school starts at 2:30 p.m. and breaks at 5:00 p.m. Besides basic literacy skills, they are taught discipline, good manners, moral and social values.


Scintilla Science Club: The Scintilla Science Club emerged in the hands of Brother Gerald Kraeger, CSC, in 1957 by the name Space and Science. Later the name was changed into Scintilla Science Club by late Rev. Brother Robert Hughes. Since its inception, the Scintilla Science Club has been organizing a three-day-long Science Fair in the premises of the institution. The club was set up to make students think about the cutting-edge scientific and technological inventions and research. A host of events are arranged to give the students a practical idea and experience about science. The remarkable events include extempore speech competitions, quiz competitions, olympiads (science, physics, chemistry, maths and viology), Art Fair, Scrap Book Fair and Science Projects Fair. The club brings out a souvenir to keep its remarkable activities in memory.

Josephite Debating Club (JDC): Josephite Debating Club is one of the oldest clubs of St. Joseph. This club was founded in 1969 and since then the club has accumulated a good number of accolades producing for itself many national and international debaters. The main purpose of the club is to make students think clearly, logically and sensibly. This club paves various ways for developing individual leadership qualities among the students. Edification of students through logicality and perspicacity is of paramount importance of this club. The club arranges workshops and a three-day annual grand festival involving students from different renowned institutions of Dhaka City. The club brings out a souvenir to mark its remarkable occasions and it is named "The Kathik".

Josephite Chess Club: Josephite Chess Club is one of the oldest clubs of St. Joseph. This club was established in 1979 by Brother Lorenzo to create logicality, discernment and fighting spirit among the students. This club is pride of St. Joseph as it has produced great players of national and international repute like Grand Master Niaz Morshed, Grand Master Ziaur Rahman (chess player) and Grand Master Rifat Bin Sattar. The club organizes workshops and inter-class tournaments to explore the latent talents of the students. It publishes a souvenir to make its annual festival memorable.

Josephite Interact Club: ‘Interact’ is the combination of two words ‘International’ and ‘Action’. The Interact Club of St. Joseph was established in 1972 as the second Interact club of Bangladesh, the first being the Interact Club of Shegun Bagicha High School. This club is run following the guidelines of the Rotary International which involves youths to help the people in distress. This club is always ready to help the poor helpless patients, the blind, the flood-affected people, and other disaster-affected people. It also tries hard to promote literacy skills among the children of slums and shanties. The club arranges Meena Bazar every year in the institution premises, a picnic-cum-sports day for the slum-dwelling children and other competitions on a regular basis. It routinely publishes a souvenir to make its activities memorable.

Josephite Cultural Forum (JCF): The Josephite Cultural Forum is one of the well-established clubs of the institution. This club was established in 1993 by a group of cultural minded Josephites who felt the need of setting up a cultural club with the view to creating interest, enthusiasm and awareness among the students in the cultural activities. Every year the club arranges different cultural functions including seminars and cultural competitions. Competitions include recitation, solo, chorus, etc. It also brings out a souvenir to mark its most important occasion.

Josephite Drama Group (The Josephite Natya Dal): Josephite Drama Group is fairly new addition to the clubs of St. Joseph. This club was established to study and practice indigenous and modern drama forms and to form a drama group for staging drama. The drama group has performed many a time in different functions. Preparation for stage performance is an ongoing activity of the club.

Josephite Language and Reading Club (JLRC): Josephite Language and Reading Club was launched in 2001. The main purpose of this club is to motivate the students to use English in different circumstances both inside and outside the classroom. To promote English learning, this club arranges innovative and interesting programs such as Grammar Olympiad, book-based quiz competitions, extempore speech competition in English, spelling competition and many more. The club organizes its annual festival and brings out a souvenir to mark the occasion. In the year 2013 the club arranged "10th Language & Reading Festival".

Josephite Business Club (JBC): This club was established in 2004 under the patronage of the present Principal, Brother Leo James Pereira, CSC, to make the students aware of the National economy, Banking system, Administrative system, Insurance policies and some business-related topics. The club arranges seminars including debate competition, quiz competition on general knowledge. To give practical experience to the students, the club goes on a picnic to a commercial and industrial establishment and brings out a souvenir BIZ to mark the occasion.

Josephite Computer Club: Josephite Computer Club was launched in 2008. The main aim of the club is to promote computer knowledge among the students. Last year the club organised workshop in the institution premises involving students from many good institutions of Dhaka City.

Josephite Eco Earth Club(JEEC): Josephite Eco Earth Club is the newest addition to the clubs of St. Joseph. This club was established in 2012. The main aim of the club is to aware students about the environmental change. The club organizes various environment related festivals and competitions throughout the year.

Josephite Math Club(JMC): Josephite Math Club started its journey in 2015 with an aim to spread Mathematics with a greater momentum on a club level for the first time in Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School. Each year we organise an annual Math Festival named Josephite Math Mania. We also publish a yearly souvenir known as 'Summation'. Our motto is "Let infinity be your limit".


The Josephite is the yearbook of St. Joseph published annually to record the activities of the institution all the year round. The contents of the yearly magazine include massages from the Archbishop, Principal, Vice-Principal, Counselor and Students’ Guidance, editor and student editor, photographs of the teachers, photographs of all students (III-XII), photographs of the activities of the students, events and programs, individual writings of the students in both Bengali and English and so on. The Josephite is thought to have been first published in 1967 and since then it has been published every year to display the activities and performance of the students.

Sports and games[edit]

Sports and games are indispensable part of life as they contribute a lot towards the solid growth of a physical and mental health. They remove the tedium and fatigue emanated from the monotonous scheduled class life. They also help the formation of character by teaching the virtue of discipline and punctuality. They pave the way for developing some other human qualities such as quick decision-making, firmness of mind, teamwork, cooperative spirit, preferring collective interest to personal one, which are extremely necessary in every walk of life.

Football, cricket, basketball, volleyball, table tennis (ping-pong), badminton, chess are the most common sports and games held almost regularly on the ground. St. Joseph teams routinely take part in national and international sporting events and thus producing great players like Shahriar Nafees (cricketer), Grand Master Niaz Morshed, Grand Master Ziaur Rahman and International Master Riffat Bin Sattar.

The most important of all the events held on the campus is the Annual Sports. On the annual sports day, a number of traditional track and field events are organised for both the students and teachers. These include long jump, high jump, triple jump, shot put, discus throwing, relay race, 100-metre sprint, 200-metre sprint, 400-metre sprint, 800-metre sprint, 1500-metre sprint, dress as you like, tug-of war and what not. A lot of prizes are given away to the winners in different events.


St. Joseph always looks to ways of improving students physically, mentally and socially. With this view in mind, St. Joseph allows and encourages students to go on picnics, study tours or excursions either on campus or out of campus or even outside the country. Each class (classes-III to X) arranges picnic or study tour either on campus or out of campus. This gives students an opportunity to get close to their teachers and discover them more outside the class.

A four-day-long study tour to Chittagong-Cox's Bazar-St. Martin for the students of class-XI is the most exciting and enjoyable event. From this tour students can gain a good deal of practical knowledge, life-time experience and unforgettable pleasure. They have opportunities to learn a lot besides merely sight-seeing, wallowing in the seawater or enjoying different foods.

Certificate awarding ceremony[edit]

St. Joseph recognizes the real talents and therefore arranges an annual function to award the students who stand out with their outstanding performance in SSC and HSC. A certificate and a crest as a memorabilia is given out to each student to mark the institutional recognition.

Notable alumni[edit]




Alumni association[edit]

The alumni of the school have formed the Saint Joseph Old Boys Foundation (SJOBF), which organizes events and programs.[5]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
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External links[edit]