Student topping exam from same school as 2012 Olympic torch bearer

Girls bag top-three positions, secure higher mean score than boys.

Noman Ahmed July 16, 2013
Rutaba Nadeem of ETN High School, Karachi topped this year’s examination. Second and third positions were secured by Marium Zehra and Khizra Fatima of Al Murtaza School. PHOTO: EXAMINATIONBOARD.AKU.EDU

KARACHI: Rutaba Nadeem of ETN High School in Malir topped this year’s Aga Khan University examination by securing 93.8 per cent marks. She shares her school with the 15-year-old Zainab Imran, who was selected to be an Olympic torch bearer at the London 2012 Games.

When The Express Tribune contacted her for her comments on topping the exams, Rutaba’s reaction was that of disbelief. “You can’t be serious, I can’t believe you.” It turns out the call was a ‘breaking news’ for the family.

Finding it hard to speak her mind from excitement, Rutaba said that she did not take tuitions during her two years in the SSC. “Reference books and guidance of teachers was more than enough in the presence of a clearly-defined syllabus prepared by the AKU-EB,” she said. “The whole system of examinations is enacted such that it thoroughly rejects rote-learning.”

ETN High School principal Naheed Noor admitted that she had observed a tremendous change in students’ aptitudes since the school joined the AKU-EB. “They have become creative, critical thinkers and their ethical values have groomed a lot.”

The best part for Noor is that her Intermediate level students clear the university admission tests without any professional help. “One of our students made us proud by obtaining fourth position in the aptitude test for electrical engineering at NED University last year,” she said. “I feel compelled to say that our students enjoy learning with the AKU-EB. The parents are happy with the learning progress of their children, and our teachers are also improving their skills through professional development programs at the AKU-EB,” said Noor.

Nadeem was followed by by Marium Zehra and Khizra Fatima, students of alMurtaza School, with 92.9 per cent and 92.7 per cent marks respectively.

Girls outperform boys

With the top three positions to their credit, girls outperformed boys in the Aga Khan University Examination Board’s (AKU-EB) annual examination results for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Parts I and II announced on Monday.

In May, earlier this year, the AKU-EB held exams at 32 examination centres in 28 cities across the country. With the announcement of the results, the board has continued with its tradition of releasing the results within six-weeks of the examinations.

Female students not only bagged the top three positions but also had a higher mean score compared to the boys. While the number of students who passed the exams was a healthy 81 per cent, around 57 per cent girls got through with flying colours, scoring an ‘A’ grade or above in SSC Part I as compared to only 22 per cent of the boys.

In SSC Part II, where around 39 per cent of the girls scored ‘A’ grade or above, the boys also managed to fare well with 37% of them getting through with a similar performance.

AKU-EB associate director Karima Kara expressed her belief that secondary school graduation was a special time in a student’s academic career and, as an examination board, the AKU-EB made sure that their learning experience was both memorable and enjoyable. “We ensure that students are ready for the next step in their educational life with the right skills needed in higher secondary school and then further in universities.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.