By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Aga Khan University Examination Board celebrated 172 high achievers from across Pakistan for their outstanding performance in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) examinations in Karachi on November 16.
As many as 216 awards were given out to students for high scores in individual subjects, top positions overall and in subject groups for SSC and HSSC both.
Munnawar Hamid, Board of Trustees, AKU, praised the students for their hard work and told them that they were now prepared for the challenges to come.
"As you enter a new chapter in your life, the critical thinking and problem solving skills you have learned have not only prepared you for your academic journey, but also helped you to understand how to navigate the challenges in the future," he said.
The AKU-EB conducted its annual SSC and HSSC examinations in 30 exam centers across 26 cities in Pakistan this May.
The AKU-EB exam centers across the country were monitored using state of the art technology to ensure that no cheating took place. A comprehensive e-marking process was then utilised to assess all exams fairly, with results announced on July 20.
21.5% of SSC and 17.4% of HSSC students secured an A-1 Grade, with an overall pass rate of 92.51%. For the fourth year in a row, girls topped both SSC and HSSC examinations, securing the top three positions.
“Studying under the AKU-EB system infused a sense of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. The application-based approach helped me in my everyday life,” the HSSC first position holder, Mariam Sajjad from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi, remarked.
In addition, Mariam Sajjad secured first position in Pre-Medical subject group and is also a high achiever in Biology, Physics and Urdu Compulsory, taking home five awards.
Previously she had also secured top position in SSC in 2015, as well as in Science group and obtained three subject awards. The awards also celebrated AKU-EB’s Bridge Scholars.
The scholarship, funded by the Fancy Foundation, covers two years of HSSC education for Karachi students selected on merit and need based criteria.
The chief guest, Ms Ameena Saiyid OBE, managing director Oxford University Press, Pakistan said, "The quality of education that you have been fortunate to receive is being offered in areas where it is needed most. It is helping to change the landscape of education across the country, and is one of the most impactful ways through which social transformation in Pakistan can be guaranteed."
"Regardless of whether you are a High Achiever or not, the fact that you have concluded your secondary education under a Board that emphasises fairness and transparency as part of its mandate is remarkable,” Dr Shehzad Jeeva, Director, AKU-EB, added.