School started by the Kadayanullur Tamil Muslim community as early as 1926 when they formed the Muslim Improvement Club. Pioneers in Tamil education to sustain their cultural heritage, values and traditions.

Kadayanullur Street is named after the Tamil Muslims who migrated to Singapore from Kadayanullur, a town in South India. They settled in Tanjong Pagar.

The Kadayanullur Tamil Muslims in Chinatown were interested in educating their children in their mother tongue (Tamil) as it was imperative that they promote their cultural values. Tamil education started when Tamils began to settle down and brought their families from India to Singapore.

This community was a small one. Its members were petty shopkeepers, retailers, and office peons; they were either illiterate or had only a basic education but they realized the importance of Tamil education.

Early attempts to set up a Tamil School were unsuccessful but by 1936 a class of 26 pupils was started with one teacher who taught both English and Tamil; the school was located in Tras Street in Tanjong Pagar.

In 1946 Umar Pulavar Tamil School was established in a shophouse at 72 Tanjong Pagar Road. A new building was completed in 1950 and because of increased enrolment a Building Fund was started for bigger premises. In March 1960 the new building was completed and it became known as Umar Pulavar Tamil High School. The school functioned up to 1982. It closed when enrolment dropped because Tamil students could offer Tamil as their Second Language in English Schools. To remember the School the St George's Road Tamil Language Centre was renamed Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre.

Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre now in Serangoon Road ( occupying former Beaty Secondary School) is a reminder of the keen interest shown by Kadyanallur Tamil Muslims in Tamil education in Singapore. Umar Pulavar was a famous Tamil poet who lived in the 17th century and wrote the 'Seerapuranam' and 'Madhu Mozhi Malay'. The title of 'Pulavar' is given to a famous poet.