Pogose School

Pogose School was established at Dhaka in 1848 as the first private school of the country by N P Pogose, an Armenian merchant and zamindar. It was at first housed in the ground floor of Pogose's residence and was known as Pogose Anglo-Vernacular School. In 1855, it was moved from there to a rented house owned by JC Panioty of Armanitola. Five years later it was moved to a two-storied building at sadarghat, from where it was finally shifted to its present location at Chittaranjan Avenue. In 1867, the school had 500 boys on its roll and became the largest school in Bengal. The school was managed as a proprietary institution and in 1871, about a year after the death of Pogose, it was taken over by Mohini Mohan Das, a banker and zamindar. After the death of Das in 1896, his estate maintained the school. Das is remembered for his contribution to the development of the school as well as for his gesture of not associating his name with it to allow it to continue as an institution bearing the name of its original founder.

The school passed through a difficult time during the World War II. It was in a state of near closure towards 1950. Fortunately, it could recover soon to become one of the best schools of that period. Many famous people were once students of Pogose School. The list includes Sir KG Gupta ICS (first Indian Privy Councilor), Dr PK Roy (the first Indian Principal of Dhaka College and later, Professor, Calcutta Presidency College), Dr Aghornath Chatterjee (first Indian D Sc, father of Sarojini Naidu), ataur rahman khan (Chief Minister of East Pakistan, and also Prime Minister, Bangladesh), Zahirul Haque (Director of Banking Control, Karachi), and Babu Mathuramohan Chakraborty (founder, Sakti Ausadhalaya, a pioneer in manufacturing Ayurvedic medicine).

During the Pakistan and Bangladesh periods, the school continued to maintain its rich traditions, but in the mid-1980s, started gradually falling behind in competition with new government and private schools. In 1999, it offered courses in humanities, business studies and science. [S M Mahfuzur Rahman]