Kinnaird Academy is located in the city of Lahore, commonly referred to as the cultural heart of Pakistan. Lahore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world with a population of about 6.5 million people. It is an economic, political, transportation, entertainment and educational hub.
Originally established in 1864 by several Christian businessmen from India and named in honor of Lady Mary Kinnaird, the school was supported by American Presbyterian mission and the Kinnaird family. Many missionary principals served the school, each with a vision for the future of the school.
The first Pakistani principal, Ms. Zeb Khan Zaman, came to Kinnaird High School in 1970. Shortly thereafter, the school was nationalized along with many other schools across the country. There was a noticeable decrease in resources and quality of academics, all while enrollment was increasing. Starting in 1994, Ms. Zeb shared with like-minded people her vision of reviving the institution. An independent board was organized including members Rev. David Hudson, Mr. David Francis, Mrs. Audrey Carlson, Mrs. Veeda Javaid, Ms. Lynn Masterson, and Mr. Pervaiz Rehmat Ullah.
New light for the school was realized in 1997. Rooms in the dormitory that had been closed since 1972 were renovated and classes began again on April 7, 1997. Mrs. Carlson and Rev. Sue Hudson graciously provided training for teachers. However, the light was dimmed again on October 20, 1999, when the school was evacuated by the government and the academy lost its spacious decorated rooms, a newly renovated all-purpose hall, and much more. The occupation on lasted for 10 days, after which classes were resumed at 2 Empress Road in Lahore instead of 5 Empress Road. Just a few days earlier, the independent board had been dissolved and Kinnaird Academy was placed under the control of Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan. During this difficult time, the support of Presbyterian Church USA and Presbyterian Church of Pakistan was vital in reestablishing the school.
Next, plans for this purpose-built school were created and Phase I of the building became functional in April 2004, achieved in large part through donations from friends and churches abroad. Phase 2, ready in October 2008, was built with a generous gift from Amy, Ed, Johnny, and Ned Laderer of First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida.
Today, under the leadership of Mrs. Veeda Javaid, the school is providing quality education to students in Nursery through Grade 10. Boys also study at the school through grade 3. Girls are only offered science education.
In 2014 there are more than 520 students in 22 class sections. About 16% of the students are Christian, and many students receive scholarships that are generously funded by individuals and churches in the USA and elsewhere. The vision of double sections for each grade will require more classrooms. Accommodations are currently being made by installing temporary walls and using special rooms (labs, library, music room, etc.) as classrooms.
In 2013 the Waterford Early Program of interactive learning was introduced in three PEB schools, including Kinnaird Academy. This program focuses on Language Arts, Math, and Science for students in Pre-K through Grade 2. Learning proceeds at a rapid rate because it is so interactive and motivating to the students. Students take state-mandated board examinations each year. Results from Kinnaird students are always at the highest level and this is a source of pride for the PEB family.
The academic curriculum is supplemented by co-curricular activities. These include morning assembly (values education), inter-class competitions (science, debate, math, spelling), Peace Day, Founders’ Day, Discovery Day, Naat Competition, Earth Day, sports activities, and awareness training for girls. Child safety also focuses on child protection inside and outside of school.
Kinnaird Academy is making continuous progress, but it faces many challenges. Additional facilities are needed to accommodate current and potential students. It is difficult to find and retain qualified teachers. And both teachers and students could benefit from exposure to native speakers of English to improve their fluency in the language. Volunteers from outside Pakistan are encouraged to spend time at PEB to help with this need.
Ms. Reeba Gill
2 Empress Road
Thank you to the many friends who have helped Kinnaird Academy over the years to become the top-notch institution that it is today.