The Aga Khan University Examination Board

The examination board of an educational system plays a very important role in defining the objectives of learning and in determining the quality of education imparted in schools. If the examination system is reduced to simply testing how well children reproduce a given set of information, then rote learning becomes the dominant culture of schools. Unimaginative textbooks and unimaginative teaching methods become the norm, and schooling becomes a chore. As, indeed, has been the case with many of the private sector schools and most public sector schools.

In 1995, Sami Mustafa, Chairman of the Bookgroup, initiated a proposal for the establishment of an Independent Examination Board (IEB), and got endorsement from 16 schools of Karachi. Under the chairmanship of Mrs Nasra Wazir Ali (Founder-Principal of Nasra School), Dr Shaikh Abul Kasim of the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) finalised the draft of the proposal, which was then sent to the Aga Khan University (AKU). In 2002, the government notified the Aga Khan University Examination Board Ordinance 2002. What had been initiated by the Bookgroup as a modest proposal, became a major step forward by way of introducing intellectual content, transparency and good governance in Pakistan’s public examination system.