KARACHI - In one of the most significant gifts to the Aga Khan University Examination Board, the Fancy Foundation announced a multi-million rupee gift to an endowment enabling deserving students to receive scholarships towards completion of their Higher Secondary School Certificate (Intermediate) at AKU-EB.

Commenting on the gift and its importance to AKU-EB, Firoz Rasul, President AKU, highlighted the factors necessary to prepare a generation of thinkers who can address the challenges facing Pakistan. “It takes providing the right conditions, continuous investment in teachers and other resources associated with learning; it takes building bridges between the problems and qualified human resource who can find creative solutions to these problems.”

Announcement of the gift was made at the serene campus of the Aga Khan University in Karachi, to recognise the outstanding performance of this year’s secondary and higher secondary students. The lead gift makes examinations of reputable standard more accessible to Pakistani students. It will provide scholarships to cover tuition fees and book allowances for students enrolled in Class XI and Class XII.

Students who have successfully completed the HSSC examinations, have gone on to leading institutions of higher learning such as Aga Khan University Medical College, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan and Mount Holyoke College, USA. At its 10th Anniversary, AKU-EB has already served approximately 50,000 students. Fancy Foundation’s gift provides significant support toward AKU-EB’s efforts.

Commending this year’s high achievers, Dr Thomas Christie, Director AKU-EB said, “The Examination Board started with a mission to prepare its candidates for higher education through quality assessment of their understanding and thinking abilities rather than how accurately they can reproduce textbook materials. And it has continued to accomplish this goal year after year.” He went on to applaud AKU-EB’s HSSC graduates who have earned admissions to around 180 universities in Pakistan and almost 50 institutions of higher learning abroad. Established in response to the deteriorating examination standards of secondary education in Pakistan, AKU-EB is a national board of intermediate and secondary education that offers qualifications in both English and Urdu for Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary School Certificate. AKU-EB qualifications are increasingly valued by leading higher education institutions in Pakistan and abroad.

“My experience with AKU-EB has been exceptionally wonderful as it inculcated within me the habit of exploring ideas and pondering over concepts,” said Mehdia Nadeem of Al-Murtaza School, Karachi - overall second position holder in SSC in May 2013 Examinations.

Tasneem Shabbar, Principal of Al-Murtaza School whose students are assessed through AKU-EB, said, “One of the best features of AKU-EB is its accessibility; it is a Board that talks, listens and engages with its affiliated schools”.