Once an elite school, now in shambles

Aliya High School, which boasts of alumni like the Nizams, is today not even a shadow of its former self.

By Author   |   Published: 27th Dec 2016   1:31 am Updated: 27th Dec 2016   11:32 pm
Aliya High School
Photos Surya Sridhar.

Hyderabad: The attendance rolls of this school once boasted names which went on to acquire prefixes like Nizam. Now, there are hardly any names to write on the rolls.

From being the most elite school in Hyderabad when it was established in 1872, and going on to boast alumni like Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan and Nizam Mukarram Jah, the Aliya High School for Boys at Gunfoundry in Abids is not even a shadow of its former self now.

Crumbling roofs, swaying pillars and skeletal walls, attendance registers that struggle to put together 100 names and classes in ramshackle tin sheds make up the Aliya High School today. Still, help remains a mirage for the 144-year-old colonial-style school building. All this, despite being listed as a heritage structure.

The Madras-e-Aliya, as it was earlier known, was established during the Nizam’s regime. After the government took over the school in 1948, it was renamed as Aliya High School for Boys.

With age and lack of maintenance joining hands to spell doom for the school, a major portion of its buildings were declared unfit for running classes. Now, a portion of the ground floor in the building is used as the administration section of school while classes are run in small, tin sheds around the main building.

Once popular among parents in the city, courtesy the English medium of instruction here, and of course, alumni like the Nizams, the number of students too has gone down drastically.

Compared with years when the school had over 1,000 students from Class VI to X, the rolls now have barely 115 students, all from economically weaker sections in the city. The school has a little about 3 acres of land. This, according to the staff, is not even half of what it used to have.
According to school headmistress Hima Bindu, efforts for a new building for school were being made.

“As this is a heritage building, the school management cannot take up repair works. We have laid the foundation for a new building, but works have come to a standstill due to lack of requisite funds. We have written to Hyderabad District Educational Officer regarding the same,” she said. Repeated efforts to contact Ramesh, District Education Officer, Hyderabad, proved futile.