56 percent high achievers in the annual examination results of Secondary and Higher Secondary School Certifications held under the Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB) were girls.

On Tuesday, the AKU-EB announced one national level overall position for SSC while provincial level overall and group-wise top three positions for both SSC and HSSC.

Maliha Zia from Mama Parsi Girls’ Secondary School (Karachi), achieved national level overall first position in SSC. She said that “I am very excited and thankful to the AKU-EB for this recognition. I did expect to be a high achiever. It is my hope that in the coming future, I pursue Medicine, specializing in the field neurosciences. Recognitions like this make our dreams come true.”

This year for HSSC, only group-wise positions for each province was, announced as the compulsory exams were not held according to the directives from the government. In pre-medical category 1st positions were secured by Tushar Subash from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Karimabad Karachi, Taloot Ahmad from Nusrat Jehan Academy Inter College Chenab Nagar Punjab, Aalia Farah Ghaffar from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Kuragh, Chitral and Sara Rashid from Elysian Higher Secondary School Gilgit-Baltistan.

While in pre-engineering category, 1st positions were secured by, Muhammad Sadiq Daudpota from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi Sindh, Anwar Ahmed from Nusrat Jehan Academy Inter College, Chenab Nagar Punjab, Owais Ullah Faiz from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Chitral KP and Sakina Bibi from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gahkuch, Ghizer GB.

The Principal of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Shahina Aliraza notes; “During these challenging times of the COVID-19, AKU-EB held various effective sessions for the students and teachers to train and enable them to achieve high”. The Principal of Nusrat Jehan Academy Inter College Chenab Nagar Syed Jaleed Ahmad endorsed the decision of the board and noted that “The board has always been fair and transparent with its affiliated schools and students. It is the trust of the board in our efforts to achieve academic excellence.”

In addition, the Director of IBA Community Colleges and Schools, Mr Noor Hussain appreciated the AKU-EB for their efficient system, conduct and assessment of examination as well as the board’s direct engagement with its schools, teachers, and students. Mr Hussain further noted that “It is a ‘journey of excellence’ which speaks to the vision of the Sukkur IBA University’s Founder and Vice Chancellor, late Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui.”

While students from schools belonging to urban cities performed well, this year’s positions in different categories were also bagged by students coming from the remote regions of KP, GB, and rural Sindh. This shows the diversity of students’ performance from various socio-economic background. To name a few, students from the Aga Khan High School, Booni, Chitral (KP); the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Sherqilla, Ghizer (GB); IBA Community College, Ubauro (Sindh); SZABIST Intermediate College, Larkana (Sindh), Public School Sukkur IBA (Sindh) were able to achieve top positions in different categories.

According to the Director of AKU-EB, Dr Shehzad Jeeva, “The Board applauds all schools, teachers and students for their hard work and dedication and parents for their support despite the unprecedented disruptions in the education systems brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was an exceptional year and students’ scores in 2021 annual examinations depicts their remarkable performance and achievement in high scoring elective subjects, including mathematics for which the examinations were conducted this year.”

To prepare schools and students for the 2021 examinations, AKU-EB worked very closely with all its affiliated schools providing training on examination and assessment through series of webinars. Moreover, AKU-EB joined hands with the Knowledge Platform to facilitate its schools and students with a robust holistic digital teaching, learning, and assessment opportunities. It also enhanced online examination preparation courses for all affiliated and non-affiliated schools across Pakistan. According to Dr Naveed Yousuf, Associate Director Assessment and Research, “The AKU-EB remained cognizant of the COVID-19 challenges and impediments of access to education; therefore, we ensured to support our teachers and students through webinars, online teaching, learning and assessment.”

Strict compliance to the COVID-19 SOPs across all examination centers was ensured which Mr Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training also acknowledged during his visit to one of the AKU-EB examination centers. Mr Hanif Shariff, Associate Director Operations, notes, “The health and safety of all students and staff was our highest priority during the conduct of examinations. I am very grateful to all stakeholders for their cooperation in following the SOPs that enabled us to smoothly complete the annual examinations.”

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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