ISLAMABAD - Pakistani students have yet again proved their mettle at the international level with their superlative performance at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad 2013 (IChO2013), held in Moscow, Russia.

The team was comprised of four students and their participation at the International Chemistry Olympiad was sponsored by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The team secured three bronze medals, with which Pakistan recorded its best performance since 2005 when it first took part in the competition.

Pakistani students were competing with the best students from other countries, and in spite of stiff competition, they did well. A total of 291 of the brightest students from 77 countries participated in the Olympiad. Ms. Huda Zahid of Beacon House School Faisalabad, Muhammad Zain Raza of City School Islamabad and  Muhammad Khan of Lahore Grammar School, Lahore secured bronze medals. Commenting on this achievement, HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Laghari, in a statement, has congratulated all the medalists and their parents for winning laurels to Pakistan.

He remarked that finally Pakistan's education sector was beginning to shine globally, first at the World Economic Forum at Davos, then with QS Rankings, and now the Science Olympiad. He assured that the HEC would continue to support such initiatives in future as well.

The International Chemistry Olympiad is a unique competition to discover, encourage and Challenge gifted young students all over the world. Conducted since 1968, the IChO boosts the level of chemistry education in the participating countries. It helps develop friendly relations between the young people from different countries.

Under joint working mechanism between HEC and Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) Islamabad, selection process of Pakistan Olympiads teams commences in September each year with posting an announcement on STEM Careers Programme, HEC website, publishing advertisement in major national dailies and sending introductory packages to about 4000 colleges throughout the country.

This is followed by a screening test, usually held on the first or second Sunday of the New Year in the major cities all over the country.  Every year more than 6000 student who must have scored a minimum of 70 % or more marks in their SSC or O-level exams take part in the contest.

Fifty of the top scorers in each subject of NSTC are selected on the basis of their performance in the Screening Test. Further grooming and screening through a series of training camps at the home institutes of each subject leads to the selection of a 4-6 member student teams for the Olympiads. The annual International Olympiads provide pre-university science students from around the world an opportunity to compete in solving challenging theoretical and experimental science problems that only the most talented youth of their age can answer. 

Most of the Pakistani students invariably get scholarship for their higher studies in leading universities of the world such as Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech and Oxford.