St Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School (1847) - first Catholic and English medium school in Andhra

1847 St Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School, Vizag.

Saint Aloysius High School, Visakhapatnam,

Above image: St.  Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School, a Christian mission school in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh was founded in 1847. The East India Co was the proxy ruler at that time and they ran the govt. for the British Crown. The school was  started by  the British Indian Army  for the purpose of educating the children of  British Indian Army European Soldiers .It was not only the first English medium school in the state of Andhra and the only one between Madras and Calcutta but also  only the first Catholic institution in Visakhapatnam . 

 1847 St Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School, Vizag

The school was started by Fr. John Decompoix in 1847, when the first batch of Catholic priests from Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales had arrived in India from France.and it is located in  the  Old Town area. Located on a plot of 2 acre land in a prime area, the school had a humble beginning under a tiled house. Now it has fine building made of hard stones with spacious class rooms and lab facilities. It was also one of the oldest ICSE schools with boarding facility in the combined State of Andhra Pradesh.

 St Aloysius High School, Visakhapatnam, A

Built in Gothic style, it is a U- shaped structure with a big  courtyard at the centre, Besides the school building,  there is  the Chapel (built in 1935-36) on the premises.  To cut down radiation and heat from outside the building has a wide corridor on the ground floor with stone flooring that will resist long wear and tear  due to frequent usage. On either side of the corridor there are big semicircular arches. . The ground  and first floors have   Madras terrace roof. There is a a bridge connecting the school and the chapel. There is a rose window on the top, beautifully decorated in stained glass. There are pyramidal structures in stone highlighting the chapel’s unity

St Aloysius High School, Visakhapatnam,

Unhealthy’ competition takes a toll on the  174 -year-old school.  The school is credited with best credential such as good faculty, largest play ground, best library facilities, good boarding facilities etc, But despite all these  credentials such as a glorious past, the biggest school library, most modern labs, it is loosing out to  the corporate schools that came up in the recent past.  

This Old Town is the most neglected part of the city. With the development of a busy port air pollution is a big problem, it already went beyond the dangerous limit levels; one of the pollutants being soot from the coal handling piers.

VPT propagated the idea of shifting the school to a better location and this proposal affected the admission to school which dropped from 3000 to just 900 in the past.  The  proposal to demolish the old building was later dropped.  “It is a heritage structure and we cannot have it demolished. We have vehemently opposed it,” said Prasad of INTACH.