St Thomas School, Kolkata

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St. Thomas' School
STS lion.jpg
Nisi Dominus Frustra - Except the Lord, effort in Vain
4, Diamond Harbour Road Kidderpore
Kolkata, India
Type Primary, secondary and Higher secondary
Established 1789
Principal Mr. John A. K. Ghosh (Boys)
Mrs. Pauline Mukherjee (Girls)
Faculty 100 +
Number of students 8000 +
Color(s) Blue and White
Foundation DayNICK NAME -BUBAI 17 December

St Thomas' School is a kindergarten to higher secondary school for boys and girls located at Kidderpore, in Kolkata, India. It is the second oldest school in India and has the largest campus areas in the city of Kolkata comprising three football size fields, two basketball courts and children's playgrounds. The campus also houses the St. Thomas' College of Engineering and Technology and has a church called the St. Stephen's Church.

The school has two adjacent divisions St. Thomas' Boys' School (STBS) and St. Thomas' Girls' School (STGS). The students of this school are nicknamed as Thomasites (boys) and Thomasinas (girls).

St. Thomas School was established in 1789 in Kolkata, India. It is named after St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles, who visited Kochi, India in 52 A.D. The school motto is 'Nisi Dominus Frusta' which stands for "Except the Lord, Effort in Vain". The school celebrates the foundation day on 17 December.

The school is associated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts the ICSE (Grade 10) and ISC (Grade 12) examinations over the country.

The school has two boardings divided into three dormitories in both St Thomas Boy's and St Thomas Girl's School. Students of the school are often differentiated as "Boarders" and "Day scholars". The boarders attend regular studies in "Prepe" where school teachers have rotational duties. An annual "Social" is organized where the boys and girls (boarders) meet each other amidst music and dance.


The school began life as the School, on a site on which today stands the Scottish Church, in Dalhousie square, Calcutta, adjacent to Writer's Buildings. Later on the school premises moved to Free School Street. That site was sold and on the land stand the Food Department and the Free School St. Post Office and other buildings. A part of the St. Thomas' School still exists at the same site and is called St. Thomas Day School, as legally it is a branch of the main St. Thomas' School.

The Charity School and later, its successor, the "Free School" was founded for the children of Europeans and Anglo-Indians. The same objectives were embedded in the St. Thomas' School Society which succeeded the Free School. In 1923 the Bengal Legislative Assembly enacted the St. Thomas School Act of 1923 and the purposes of St. Thomas School were as follows, and no other : The education of European and Anglo-Indian children. The lease deed of the property known as "Kidderpore House" was signed between the Govt. of India and the St. Thomas' School Society the lease states that the property was given on lease in perpetuity for the purposes of St. Thomas' School land no other. The Governors had no power in the said lease to sub-let or dispose of the property to any person or body. In the years 1990-1991, the then nominated MLA of the Anglo-Indian community in West Bengal moved an amendment to the St. Thomas School Act 1923, which made certain changes in the act, and also gave power to the Governors to "sub-lease" the property, which they could not do and which would violate the terms and conditions of the original lease.

Taking advantage of the "amended" St. Thomas School Act 1923, the then Bishop of Calcutta, Revd. P.S.P. Raju went ahead to sub-lease 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of land to an "St. Thomas Engineering College" of which he was the Chairman too and which was his own pet project. Knowledgeable Anglo-Indians petitioned the West Bengal Minority Commission against this illegality and the transfer of the property was held up. Later on the Secretary of the St. Thomas Engineering College filed a police complaint against the Bishop Revd. P.S.P. Raju and the Bishop was arrested by the Shakespeare Sarani Police Station of Calcutta Police on fraud charges.

In the year 1984 the Board of Governors of St. Thomas School, were considering appointing a non-Anglo-Indian as Principal of the Boys' School. A large public body of Anglo-Indians protested against this appointment citing violation of Article 30 of the Constitution of India. The High Court of Calcutta accepted the case, with the observation that it appeared that there was substantial violations of the fundamental rights of the Anglo-Indian community. The Governors withdrew their project to install a non-Anglo-Indian as Principal. In subsequent years, because the Anglo-Indian community is getting weaker, the Principal of the Boys' School is Mr.John Ghosh who is a non-Anglo-Indian.

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