History Of Drieberg College
Drieberg College, Chavakachcheri, is one of the oldest schools in the Jaffna District and it is
the first school in Thenmaradchy. It is situated in the heart of Chavakachcheri town and was
founded in 1875 by American Missionaries.
Drieberg College was started in 1875 with the help of James Steward Drieberg, a
philanthropist and a Judge of the Magistrate Court of Thenmaradchy during the British
colonial period. The man behind the whole scene of this remarkable effort was the Rev. T. P.
Hunt. The historic institution was mainly funded by the Judge and therefore, it became to be
named as ‘Drieberg English School’. It was under the governance of the American Ceylon
Mission, until it was taken over by Government of Sri Lanka in 1962. To start with as a
government school, there were 77 students, two teachers and the classes were up to Grade
Five. R. S. Muthiah Nicholous was the first Head Master of the institution.
The school progressed well and in 1913, E. S. Abraham became the headmaster and
established classes up to ESLC -English School Leaving Certificate. There was a student
population of 308 out of which 36 were girls. In 1931 the Drieberg English School was
upgraded as ‘Drieberg College’ and there were classes up to senior school certificate (SSC)
and London matriculation. In the same year K. S. Saravanamuththu took over as the college
principal. He was proud to present 18 students for the London Matriculation Examination, 16
of them got through and was ranked first in the Jaffna district in the year. The College
became very popular and began to grow from strength to strength. By 1940 there were 535
students and 19 teachers. Owing to its popularity, students from Vanni, Upcountry and
Southern Province lined-up to join the College.
With the advent of Independence, the number of students went up to 1049 and 44 teachers
were employed to cater to their needs. During this period the Library and the Science
Laboratory came into existence to the benefit of students of the college as well as the other
schools in this area.
In 1956, A. K. Sabapathippiliai took charge of the college giving it a new look. Five years
later, due to the national policy on education, Drieberg College was taken over by the
Government. The former principals J.V.Thambinayagam, M.Sabanayagam, K.Balachandran
and M. Nagenthirarajah, gave their maximum efforts to lead Drieberg College towards its
In 2000, due to the civil war many were displaced from their own places and Drieberg
College was completely destroyed. In 2002 the College came back to its own premises. Since
2002 the college has gradually moved to achieve their targets.
Former principal K. Arunthavabalan dedicated himself to guide the college to achieve many
honours. Annually a certain amount of students enter higher educations such as University,
College of Education and Advanced Technical College from Maths, Science, Commerce and
Arts streams. They have secured many places at co-curricular competitions in District,
Provincial and National levels.
At present, Drieberg College has 1000 students and 50 teachers. K Jeyakumaran the present
principal dedicates himself to continue to achieve the high standards of the college
Ever since Drieberg College was established in 1875 to the present; the College has produced
several of outstanding personalities to the nation. Along with perfect discipline and ideal
guidance the journey continues unabatedly.