New techniques: Develop new educational practices to boost learning, say experts
If Pakistan wants to improve people’s lives and boost economic development, teachers must be prepared to develop innovative practices tailored to the needs of their learners, said experts at the 10th International Conference organised by the Aga Khan University’s institute for educational development (IED).
The three-day conference will host over 100 workshops, plenary sessions and presentations.
For quality education, a renewed focus on the three pillars of an education system – teachers, teaching quality and learning – has to be part of the education system, said experts at the conference. Only then can Pakistan take steps towards achieving the new global Sustainable Development Goals on education – to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
World leaders may have committed themselves towards ensuring that all children, regardless of their background, achieve relevant and effective learning outcomes but there is an on-going debate on what comprises relevant and effective learning and how this can be measured, said keynote speaker Dr Pauline Rose, professor and director of international education and research at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Rose suggested working towards a universal target that ensures that all children – regardless of their wealth, gender, or disability – complete primary school and achieve the basics in reading, writing and mathematics. What is important is adopting a “stepping-stones” approach to assessing progress for the most deprived, she asserted. “Where do we need to get to in the next five years and in the five years after that? If we don’t stagger our assessments, we will lose sight of the most disadvantaged,” she predicted.
The quality of teaching can be improved by incorporating the best practices from around the world but it is critically important that these practices are not transposed without understanding the students and their cultures, cautioned experts.
IED director Dr Sarfaroz Niyozov said that worldwide, education is witnessing a reinvigoration of indigenous knowledge and models, a welcome change in countries with rich historical and cultural traditions of teaching and learning such as Pakistan. Equally important is that one should not fall into the trap of romanticising the indigenous but assess “local models for their quality, equity and inclusivity”, he said.
“Teachers’ openness to and capacities for learning from multiple sources and challenging perspectives is the key to survival of teaching as a respectable profession and teachers as esteemed professionals,” he claimed.
The conference’s first day hosted several concurrent sessions covering 24 presentations and two symposia on subjects ranging from understanding teachers’ sense of self-efficacy to transforming children from passive recipients to active participants through activity-based learning in primary schools in the coastal belt of Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.
AKU Convocation 2015: graduates urged to strengthen civil society
November 28, 2015
“I know how desperate Pakistani youth is for role models and I wish they had more,” said Dr Ruth Pfau, founder of the Mary Adelaide Leprosy Centre, while addressing the 412 graduands from 36 cities in Pakistan and 4 countries being awarded degrees and diplomas at the Aga Khan University convocation in Karachi today.
She spoke of how young people respond to individuals perceived to be exemplary, whom they can admire, respect and be influenced by, if you “give them somebody who they would like to follow, they will follow.
KARACHI: Attired in green and white gowns, 412 students of Aga Khan University’s (AKU) medical college and Institute of Educational Development received their diplomas on Saturday morning.
The fresh graduates had gathered at AKU’s cricket ground, which was transformed into a convocation hall, to receive their entry pass into the real world at the varsity’s 28th convocation. The ceremony began with the academic procession led by the chief guest, social worker Dr Ruth Pfau, the deans and faculty members of various schools, followed by the graduates.
A total of 95 doctors graduated from the medical college with degrees in Bachelor’s of Medicine, Bachelor’s of Surgery (MBBS). They stood in front of the deans as they took the oath promising to serve people to the best of their abilities.
​A first in Pakistan: AKU opens Centre for Innovation in Medical Education
CIME represents an investment in academic excellence at the Aga Khan University. Pakistan’s first medical simulation centre with a range of patient manikins uses modern methods and realistic environments for intensive training to produce health professionals with excellent assessment and treatment techniques. Its opening ceremony drew acclaim from local educators and media.
A wheezing two-year-old is brought to the emergency room. Attached to a monitor, his lips are beginning to turn blue and he is having difficulty breathing. Nursing students have just four minutes to correctly diagnose and resuscitate the child simulator. Across an observation window sits a faculty member who records her observations on managing a critical patient to share with the young students at the end of the one-hour session.
In a seemingly simple room a group of 12 medical students sit and discuss their latest case scenario on sepsis. As they work through the problem, one of them writes and saves notes on a 55-inch touch screen. An examiner, on the other side of an observation window makes a record – on teamwork, problem-solving and cognitive thinking – to share with the students.
“Welcome to the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education. Thirty years ago, when I was in medical college, my training was exclusively based on on-the-job exposure. We didn’t have simulators, we didn’t have clinical case discussions, we rarely ever received feedback on how we responded to a situation,” said Dr Farhat Abbas, Dean, Medical College, Aga Khan University. He was speaking during the inaugural ceremony of CIME.
Aga Khan Hospital uses diamond drill to clear clogged arteries -
November 30, 2015 Cardiologists at the Aga Khan University Hospital have broken new ground in heart procedures by using a diamond drill to unblock a heart artery which was too hard to open with a balloon treatment alone. An elderly patient from Uganda became the first patient to undergo this procedure in the region when it was performed and remains in a good state of health after he received this treatment, the hospital says. Dr Mohamed Jeilan, a cardiologist at the hospital's heart and cancer centre, said: “Among heart attack patients with blocked coronary arteries, balloon expansion (or angioplasty) at the site of blockage has been the mainstay of treatment for more than two decades.” But in many patients, the vessel wall is hardened and the blockages are very long. In these patients, balloon inflation is unable to relieve the obstruction. -
One hundred and fifty-six students including position holders from cities across Pakistan were recognized for their outstanding performance in the Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary School Certificate examinations, held by the Aga Khan University Examination Board, at a high achievers award ceremony in Karachi today.
“These students demonstrated phenomenal performance. AKU-EB graduates have earned admission in prestigious universities in Pakistan and abroad. I am confident that they are aptly prepared for the future and will lead in their respective fields as creative thinkers, problem solvers and lifelong learners,” said Dr Shehzad Jeeva, Director, AKU-EB.
Of the SSC candidates, the overall first position was awarded to Mariam Sajjad, PECHS Girls’ School, Karachi, second position to Asifa Maqbool of the same school and third position to Uzma Dur-Re-Sameen from Maryam Siddiqa Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Chenab Nagar, Punjab.
KARACHI: The Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB) hosted the High Achievers Awards 2015 at its university auditorium on Tuesday.
One hundred and fifty-six students who were position holders from cities across Pakistan were recognised for their outstanding performance in the Secondary School Certificates (SSC) and Higher School Certificates examinations held by the AKU-EB
AKU – the unfolding vision: Dr Greg Moran, Provost, Aga Khan University
​"AKU’s greatest strengths, now as in the past, are the clarity of its mission and vision and its people.
AKU is at a critical turning point in its history. In short, we are committed to expanding dramatically the number and diversity of academic programmes and the geographic range of communities we serve. I believe we are on a path that will make us a truly unique international university offering a comprehensive range of educational programmes and engaged in first class research."
Aga Khan University Professors win Pakistan Academy of Sciences Awards
Sunday, December 06, 2015 - Karachi—Senior neurologist, Prof Mohammad Wasay has been awarded with Pakistan Academy of Science’s Gold Medal 2015 for his medical research in the field of neurology.
According to a press release issued Saturday Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), a premier organization in the country for promotion of research culture confers awards on researchers for their work in nine different categories of science.
Gold medal in health science category was awarded to Prof Mohammad Wasay (Aga Khan University) in recognition of his work for prevention and control of Neurological diseases in Pakistan.
He is the first neurologist in the country to re-ceive PAS Gold medal. PAS Gold medals are considered most prestigious awards of the country and are conferred on scientists with exceptional contribution in the field of research.
Other recipients of PAS Award 2015 include Prof Naveed Khan (Aga Khan University - Karachi) in Biological Sciences, Shahab Memon (LUMS - Jamshoro) in Chemistry, Riffat Nasim (Quaid e Azam University-Islamabad), in Earth Sciences along-with other researchers.—APP
A local hospital has introduced a less invasive method to stop bleeding in the brain without opening the skull.
The procedure, known as coiling, allows the neurosurgeon to access the brain using a catheter inserted through a puncture in the groin or arm to stop, or prevent the bleeding.
The injury is usually caused by a brain aneurysm, the bulging of the weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi now becomes the first in East Africa to offer the procedure, which has been used in developed countries since 1991.
Coiling is a much less invasive alternative to opening of the the skull. Aga Khan said they have have now successfully treated two patients: a Kenyan nurse and a European tourist.
Dr Edwin Mogere, an endovascular and skull base specialist at the hospital is the first Kenyan doctor to perform the procedure in the country. He cautioned that brain aneurysm is not widely known yet it’s the leading cause of fatal strokes in Kenya.
“Aneurysms affect about one per cent of the population in Kenya annually (about 400,000), but because most people with the condition do not have symptoms, they usually remain unaware that they suffer from it. About 4,000 of those with larger aneurysms will have ruptures. Only 500 of these are attended to in the six major hospitals in Kenya capable of handling the condition and the remaining 3,500 stay undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed,” he said.
Dr Mogere said if a patient is referred to a neurosurgeon with sudden severe headaches, nausea, or vomiting and fainting episodes, they will be sent for a CT scan or MRI which will show some specific area of bleeding in the brain.
Aga Khan said in a statement they apply coiling through a catheter insterted through the femoral artery in the groin area.
The surgeon usually inserts a hollow plastic tube into the artery and threads it through the body to the brain.
He then uses a guide wire to push a soft platinum wire through the catheter and into the aneurysm. The wire coils up inside the aneurysm, disrupts the blood flow and causes blood to clot. This clotting essentially seals off the aneurysm from the artery.
Aga Khan University Hospital, Smile Train provide free of charge surgeries to kids | Aaj News
KARACHI: Aga Khan University Hospital in collaboration with a local NGO “Smile Train” has embarked upon a scheme to provide free-of-cost cleft lip and palate corrective surgeries to patients belonging to Balochistan.
Dr Fazulr Rehman, consultant plastic surgeon at AKUH sharing details of the initiative here Wednesday said “one hour of surgery can change the life of a cleft patient as it restores the function of the mouth and appearance, allowing a child to enjoy a normal, healthy future”.
In reply to a question, he said ideal time for surgery is 3 months for cleft lips and 6 months for cleft palates.
Mentioning that lives of 16 individuals have been turn around, the senior surgeon said cleft lips and palates are common birth defects in the country with an estimated incidence of one in every 523birth.
They have profound physical and psychological effects as drinking and feeding is difficult and ear and throat infections are common.“
Left untreated, a child with a cleft may have speech and language problems, poor growth due to poor nutrition, often be ignored and lack confidence, said Dr. Fazulr Rehman.
January 18, 2016, 9:00 am-2:15 pm | Nairobi, East African Institute
The Aga Khan University’s East African Institute will launch the Kenya Youth Survey Report at an event on January 18. The survey was commissioned by the Institute to understand aspirations, attitudes, concerns and values of Kenya’s a critical segment of the population — individuals between the ages of 18 and 35.
The purpose of the launch is to share the findings of the survey with the youth and other stakeholders, including elected representatives, civil society leaders, development partners, government, business and faith leaders to stimulate dialogue and further debate that could generate practical policy ideas and actions to help prepare the youth for the future.
AKU wins grant to study hypertension in Pakistan
January 7, 2016
The Aga Khan University’s Department of Community Health Sciences and international collaborators have received an award to study ways to lower hypertension in adults living in rural South Asia.
The study will test low-cost strategies by health workers and doctors to lower blood pressure among adults and reduce their risk of heart disease in three key countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – in South Asia where hypertension is a rapidly growing problem. The trial, called COBRA-BPS (Control of Blood Pressure and Risk Attenuation – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and led by principal investigator Professor Tazeen Jafar from the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, will study 2500 individuals in 30 rural communities in these three countries over a period of three years.
“Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has reached epidemic proportions in Pakistan, affecting one in three adults 45 years or older,” said Dr Imtiaz Jehan, the principal investigator of the study in Pakistan and an associate professor at AKU’s Department of Community Health Sciences. “ It is largely un-recognized illness and lowering blood pressure can be the single most important way to prevent the rising rates of heart disease and deaths in the country.”
“The study strategies will include providing education in patients’ homes about lowering their blood pressure through diet and exercise, improving referrals to trained doctors using simple checklists, training doctors and nurses in the management of hypertension including the use of low-cost medicines, and having special counters at health clinics to provide tailored assistance for patients with high blood pressure.
Life Lived: Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, Pakistan’s ex-Foreign Minister and AKU’s Board of Trustees founding chairman
January 26, 2016: Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, Pakistan’s former foreign minister and founding chairman of the Aga Khan University’s Board of Trustees, passed away at the age of 95. He is survived by his wife Begum Tuba Yaqub-Khan and sons Samad and Najib.
After the establishment of AKU – the first private university in Pakistan –Sahabzada became the founding chairman of its Board of Trustees and played a pioneering role in the formation of the University for 16 years until his retirement in 2001.
A child’s health holds the highest importance in a parent’s life. In a country of high infant mortality rates, the lack of awareness for proper hygiene and healthcare standards or the inadequate access to medical facilities pose a major concern to pediatric and child health.
To increase awareness about children’s health, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi is organizing a Children’s Health Festival. The event will feature free Specialty Clinics for children, fun filled activities like magic shows, photo booth, games and a lot more.
The festival will also host informative health talks by our renowned doctors. Parents and families are invited to attend. The event is free and open to all.
Click here to register online and avoid the hassle of standing in a queue. Your mobile number will be your reference number at the registration desk
Extraordinary Alumni Gift to Provide Hope for Paediatric Patients
Karachi, January 29, 2016: The Aga Khan University Medical College’s Class of 1999 has donated US$ 350,000 for an Endowment Fund for child care, which will allow the Aga Khan University Hospital to provide financial assistance and support to needy children from semi-urban and rural communities in Pakistan.
At the gift signing agreement ceremony, AKU President Firoz Rasul said that the gift comes at a particularly fitting time in the University’s history. “We have the medical professionals and facilities that allow us to treat premature babies, infants and children with very complex health problems. This contribution to our endowment will help us in treating the sickest and most fragile babies in our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the only one of its kind in Pakistan.”
He noted that since 2013, the University Hospital has provided Rs 30.5 million to over 3,200 children to access quality healthcare.
Spearheaded by the Class of 1999 representative Dr Babar Hasan and assisted by Dr Rizwan Khalid, Dr Sharmeen Feerasta, Dr Kamran Karimi and Dr Shabana Naz, and the support of 67 per cent of the class, the Paediatric Welfare Endowment will provide hope for the thousands of children in Pakistan, both as hospital patients and in the clinics. It will support children who require heart surgery at AKUH, which is the only centre performing complex surgeries using minimally invasive approaches.
Dr Hasan noted, “Paediatric care is most neglected in developing countries. This is why the Class of 1999 decided to support the Paediatric Welfare Fund. All of us feel that AKU has played a major role in shaping our present - thank you for helping us reach where are today”.
"The Medical College Class of 1999 plans to grow the fund and looks to other alumni to contribute to the fund", he added.
AKU-ISMC Presents Professor Said Arjomand: Governance in the Iranian Constitutions of the Twentieth Century
Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC)
Seminar, 25 February 2016 – ​Prof Said Arjomand
Governance in the Iranian Constitutions of the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective​
Professor Arjomand will offer an historical perspective on governance in constitutions in Muslim contexts from the Iranian perspective.
Said Arjomand is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and Director of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies. He is the founder and President of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies and founding Editor of the Journal of Persianate Studies.
Register here to attend in person.
Register here to attend online.
About the Series – Dialogues 2016
Dialogues forms part of ISMC’s Governance for the Public Good in Muslim Contexts Programme, which aims to address the deeply rooted religious and cultural sensitivities prevalent in matters of governance. By making outputs accessible to wider audiences, the programme is committed to encouraging healthy and informed debate among scholars and the public alike. The Dialogues series is a key part of this commitment.
This year the series will focus on the oft-neglected issues surrounding governance in constitutions. We will explore what specificities Muslim contexts offer on governance, given that most of the key issues in constitutional design, forms of government, or decision-making are not necessarily defined by religious beliefs. The full programme is available here.
Speaking at the Aga Khan University convocation ceremony in Kampala where he was Chief Guest, Dr Benedict Mtasiwa, Chief Principal, Exchange Programmes, Links and Partnerships, Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) urged East African universities to seize opportunities for dialogue and cooperation across the region to enable a more integrated East African community where students are able to pursue degrees and educational opportunities across borders.
A total o​f 78 students graduated in General Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees and Master of Education. Dr Mtasiwa applauded Aga Khan University as a premier supporter of the Inter-University Council for East Africa. “Indeed, AKU is one of the quality leaders in East African higher education and just as clearly, if one were to look to any university for advice on working across national borders in East Africa, AKU would be very high on the list.”
Kampala- Health and education graduates from the Aga Khan University have been told to transform their societies by applying the skills acquired form the institution.
Speaking at the 2016 convocation of the Aga Khan University (AKU) yesterday at Kampala Serena Conference Centre in Kampala, the chairman Board of Trustees of the university, Mr Firoz Rasul, said the graduates have acquired the necessary skills to uplift their societies by providing exemplary leadership.
Mr Rasul told the graduates that it will be a challenge for them to galvanise others to join them in trying to look for solutions to problems faced in leadership.
“I have every confidence in you because the education you have received here in the Aga Khan University has prepared you for leadership. I am confident because of your predecessors, there are many distinguished AKU alumni and have taken it upon themselves to bring new modes of code and action to the places that need them most and to create new knowledge and strategies for overcoming formidable obstacles ,” said Mr Rasul.
Mr Rasul asked government to recognise the contribution of the civil society to the country such as the Aga Khan Foundation.
“Rather than being discouraged, it (civil society) should be embraced as an essential contributor to the public good. It should be seen as the guarantor of good governance. We should see its diversity and peaceful disagreements as a sign of strength and maturity,” he added.
Mr Rasul also noted that the Aga Khan Foundation will improve the professionalism of health practice in the country with the construction of the new teaching hospital, whose plan is already underway.
Dr Benedict Mtasiwa, the chief principal for Exchange Programmes, Links and Partnerships, Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) presided over the convocation.
He challenged Ugandan universities graduates to turn the health problems in the country into opportunities.
Opportunity in challenges
“There are no shortage of challenges in the field of healthcare but knowledge is poor, it allows us to transform the challenges into opportunities, it enables us to see that when a health of a community is poor, that is a chance for us to take what we have learnt and lift that community up,” said Mr Mtasiwa.
Dr Mtasiwa also urged East African universities to seize opportunities for dialogue and cooperation across the region to enable a more integrated East African Community, where students can pursue degrees and educational opportunities.
A total of 78 students graduated in General Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Education. Dr Mtasiwa applauded Aga Khan University as a premier supporter of the Inter-University Council for East Africa.
“Indeed, AKU is one of the quality leaders in East African higher education and just as clearly, if one were to look to any university for advice on working across national borders in East Africa, AKU would be very high on the list.”
​The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education has challenged universities in Kenya to become research universities and to increase their funding by selling research-based products.
Speaking at the Aga Khan University convocation ceremony in Nairobi where he was Chief Guest, Hon. Dr Fred Okeng'o Matiang’i urged universities to connect with knowledge commercialisers through technology incubators, to develop entrepreneurial curricula, and to nurture government-university-industry links.
Dr Matiang’i said that the government is making several efforts through the Ministry, including enforcing existing legislation designed to ensure innovative leadership is injected into all institutions of higher learning. They are also introducing criteria for recognising universities on the basis of world class indicators of education quality.
“For us to realise Kenya Vision 2030, the country needs quality university education where the focus is empowering students for real-world challenges they will face after graduation, and not mass university education,” concluded Dr Matiang’i.
A total of 57 students graduated in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), Master of Medicine (MMed) and Master of Education (MEd).
In his welcome remarks, AKU President Mr. Firoz Rasul underscored the role of civil society organisations, saying that a vibrant civil society is a sign of national strength and maturity. He encouraged the graduates to volunteer their time, expertise and leadership as members of civil society in order to address critical challenges facing their communities and countries.
A graduand receives her degree from AKU President Firoz Rasul (photo: AKU)
He reminded the graduands to see themselves as agents of change, charged with identifying crucial problems and developing evidence-based solutions urging them to practice at the highest international standards; to think creatively and independently; and to work effectively with individuals from many different backgrounds.
He thanked donors and supporters, with a special mention to the German government, through BMZ and KfW, which are supporting the Graduate School of Media and Communications in Nairobi as well as the University’s Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in Uganda through a €31.2 million grant; the Canadian government, which is providing $31 million to improve pre-primary and primary education, including in the Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, through the Strengthening Education Systems in East Africa initiative, which involves the AKU’s Institute for Educational Development; The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and Canada’s International Development Research Centre which are helping to fund the Dialogue Series run by AKU’s East African Institute in Nairobi. The Institute recently released the results of a major survey of East Africa’s youth as part of that project.
Bernadatte Mwikali Ngumi delivers the valedictory speech (photo: AKU)
On AKU expansion, Mr Rasul said that the University plans to construct a new Aga Khan University Hospital in Kampala that will in addition to providing world class healthcare, train specialist doctors, nurses and other health professionals. New medical and nursing education programmes will also be created in Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.
The university will also construct a modern multi-storey tower on Peponi Road Nairobi that will house the Graduate School of Media and Communications as well as the planned Graduate School of Leadership and Management.
The Aga Khan University, which spans three countries in East Africa alone, has announced plans to invest more than US$ 1 billion in the region over the next 15 years, the largest private investment in higher education in the history of the region
With summer fast approaching, the residents of Karachi are likely to suffer hours of load-shedding in coming months. While many will painstakingly wait for power supply to resume, others will turn on their generators and continue with their life.
The convenience that comes with having a generator makes it easier to ignore how running them even for a few hours makes the air we breathe harmful. Emitting toxic gases such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur among other dangerous compounds, generators are a threat to the health of everyone around them.
Faulty generator leaves tourists hanging
“Running a generator regularly in a house is not only harmful to the family but anyone who is nearby including the neighbours because fumes travel freely,” says Dr Zafar Fatmi, associate professor at Aga Khan University.
Fatmi, who heads the research group for environmental health at the university, says people who stay at home such as housewives and young children are mainly at risk. “There are chances of having lung and cardiovascular diseases,” he states.
The threat to health, Fatmi says, depends on the level of exposure. “The placement of the generator is very important; putting it in an enclosed space leads to high level of exposure and increases the risk,” he says.
The future of AKU’s nursing programme in East Africa
The Faculty of Health Sciences will be located in a new building next to the Aga Khan University hospital in Nairobi.
To meet the needs of the growing population, AKU is expanding its existing, and developing new, academic programmes for its Faculty of Health Sciences for East Africa. Anchored in Nairobi, Kenya, the faculty will prepare doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to address East Africa’s specific health needs while leading the transformation of its health care systems. The new faculty building opens in 2016 and there are plans to open new campuses in Rwanda and Burundi soon after.
The Aga Khan University will host a golf tournament for a cause – inviting individuals and corporates to sponsor congenital heart disease (CHD) surgeries of indigent patients – at the Karachi Golf Club. In Pakistan, more than 50,000 infants are born with CHD every year and 15,000 of them are critical cases that require immediate treatment. Funds raised through the tournament will go to the Hospital’s Patient Welfare Programme that has assisted over 1.58 million patient visits with Rs 6.68 billion since its inception in 1986.
Aga Khan University Karachi hosts golf tournament for healing kids’ hearts
Karachi, March 20, 2016: The Aga Khan University (www.aku.edu) hosted a golf tournament on Sunday at the Karachi Golf Club to raise awareness of paediatric congenital heart disease (CHD).
The tournament raised over Rs 25 million to support families in Pakistan without the financial means to afford the cost of outstanding surgical and medical care.
Zahir Janmohamed, Director General, Resource Development, AKU, and Organiser, AKU Golf Tournament
“This is a part of the Aga Khan University Hospital’s larger Patient Welfare Programme that has assisted over 1.58 million patients with Rs 6.68 billion since its inception in 1986. Seventy per cent of CHD patients at AKUH – some as little as 2.4 kgs – are supported by the programme,” said Zahir Janmohamed, Director General, Resource Development, AKU, and the organiser of the tournament.
Each year, some 50,000 infants in Pakistan are born with CHD. If the disease remains undetected, most children do not survive beyond the first few years of their life.
“At AKUH, however, CHD patients can find hope. Each year, the paediatric cardiac services team performs more than 250 paediatric cardiac surgeries,” said Dr Babar Hasan, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. “It is the only programme in Pakistan to be both accredited by Joint Commission International [JCI] and recognised by the International Quality Improvement Collaborative [IQIC].”
Dr Farhat Abbas, Dean, Medical College, welcomed the guests to the tournament. “We are grateful for the support of our partners who are helping us to expand our paediatric cardiac services with an additional 100 CHD corrective surgeries in 2016”.
Several socially responsible corporations and individuals came forward to support this cause. A total of 25 teams played the tournament in a Texas Scramble offering a combination of strategy, skill and camaraderie.
Neglected public libraries a worrying sign of society’s ills
Experts call for setting up of Sindh Library Foundation to address issues faced by public libraries
Stefan Winkler, Director, Goethe Institu, Pakistan speaking at the seminarMarch 19, 2016
“In a public library you’ll find Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Akbar Allahbadi, Marx, Manto and Rabindranath Tagore next to one another. All of their wisdom has been preserved and is waiting to be discovered,” said Khawaja Mustafa, President, Pakistan Library Association (PLA), Sindh chapter, and Head Librarian, Faculty of Health Sciences Library, Aga Khan University.
Mustafa was addressing a seminar entitled “Public Libraries in Sindh: Importance, Current Status and Challenges” at the Aga Khan University on Saturday which was attended by leading figures from Sindh’s public libraries, representatives from NGOs and Sindh government officials. The seminar was jointly organised by the Aga Khan University and the Goethe Institut.
Khawaja Mustafa of AKU during the session
During the seminar, speakers emphasised the important role played by public libraries in providing the common man with access to knowledge. They commented that outside of public libraries, there was no space that gave citizens the opportunity to acquire knowledge without any barriers of class, religion or qualifications. In a society that is becoming increasingly fragmented on the basis of ethnicity and religion, public libraries are one of the few remaining places where one can engage with differing beliefs, senior librarians stated.
Commenting on the steps needed to improve the state of public libraries, Riaz Ali Khaskheli, Secretary, PLA, Sindh chapter, said: “Our public libraries have been abandoned. We need support to develop a healthy reading culture for our children, youth, women, adults and the elderly.
“Libraries act as the memory bank for our culture and history. These precious ideas need to be honoured and preserved as they are part of our identity as a civilisation. The municipal corporations and provincial government should pay attention to improving these libraries,” he added.
Panelists at the session
During the event, speakers added that there are over a 100 public libraries in Karachi alone but most of them are in a poor state. They also warned that the declining state of public libraries pointed to worrying social trends.
Ayesha Choudhary, Secretary, Defence Central Library, said: “Libraries and information centers in Pakistan need to be on the frontline to contribute meaningfully in combating extremism and promoting awareness of the importance of peace. By using libraries as a platform for exploring the causes and effects of extremism, we can bring about positive change in societal thinking and attitudes.
“Besides academic libraries in educational institutions, community libraries and public libraries are a rare commodity in Sindh. Libraries currently lack the funds to purchase books and are poorly maintained. As a result people find no attraction in coming to libraries in our province. This is especially true in rural parts of the province.”
At the seminar, the AKU’s Khawaja Mustafa unveiled the Sindh Public Libraries Association’s set of proposals to the government to support the province’s public libraries prepared by the PLA Public Libraries Committee, which is chaired by Mr Bashir Ahmed Abro, Director, Liaquat Memorial Library.
The Pakistan Library Association called on the Sindh government to establish a Sindh Library Foundation with an annual budget of Rupees one billion to fund and promote public libraries in Sindh. They stated that the Punjab government was taking a number of steps to further the development of public libraries and encouraged the Sindh government to learn from the progress made by Punjab.
Audience at seminar on Public Libraries in Sindh: Importance, Current Status and Challenges at AKU
The Pakistan Library Association also urged the Sindh government to pass legislation making it mandatory for municipal institutions to allocate two per cent of their annual budgets for libraries in their respective localities.
Commenting on the present state of libraries in Sindh, participants at the seminar mentioned that many public libraries don’t even have a washroom; others don’t have an area for refreshments. This means that patrons cannot stay at the library for a lengthy period of time and have to leave before they complete their research. More funds are also needed to improve the accessibility of information.
Ahmed Ali Shah, Reference Librarian at the Aga Khan University, said: “The best libraries make information easy to access. It is important for libraries to digitise their collections and thereby preserve rare books. By doing this we pass on the gift of reading to future generations.”
Many of the province’s libraries have precious manuscripts that were published before the advent of the digital age. Outside of these libraries it is difficult to access these works and the poor state of libraries means that this knowledge is at a risk of being lost, according to speakers at the seminar. Speakers also stated that problems in accessing materials and the poor state of facilities at libraries caused great inconvenience to scholars.
The seminar was attended by officials from USAID, Goethe Institut and Pakistan Library Association.
Aga Khan University Hospital becomes the first to introduce advanced equipment for brain surgeries in Pakistan
Advanced equipment for brain surgeries comes to Pakistan
AKUH is the only hospital outside North America with this system
Karachi, April 11, 2016: The Aga Khan University Hospital has become the first to introduce new extraordinarily advanced brain surgery technology to Pakistan – and the only hospital outside North America with this equipment.
The revolutionary technology – with its highly detailed 3D imaging and robotic positioning system – will transform the way surgeons operate on delicate areas of the brain and radically alter treatment options for patients.
Mehfil-e-Mushaira (Urdu Poetry-telling) at Aga Khan University, Karachi
It was a one-of-its-kind occasion held on March 25, 2016 as the poets who gathered for the programme were some of the brightest names in Urdu literature, and a few of them are seldom seen participating in mushairas (poetry symposia).
Aga Khan University introduces real-time monitoring of vaccination in collaboration with the Government of Sindh, Pakistan
Karachi, May 9, 2016: Routine immunization rates have been falling in Sindh from 37 per cent in 2006-07 to 29 per cent in 2012-13. This is one of the reasons behind polio endemicity and is leading to outbreaks of deadly preventable childhood diseases such as measles. Other diseases covered by routine immunization are hepatitis B, pneumococcal infections, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
What is wrong with routine immunization and how can it be improved?
A pilot project in District Tando Muhammad Khan (TMK) implemented by Aga Khan University and supported by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations assessed the barriers and strengthened government Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) services through game changers. The result was a jump in routine immunization from 15-19 per cent surveyed for different vaccines–to 49-84 per cent as reported by independent monitoring.
According to the project lead for this component Dr Shehla Zaidi, Associate Professor, Women and Child Health Division, Aga Khan University, the main bottlenecks were low accountability of routine immunization, children often getting missed for vaccination at health facilities, insufficient visits to villages by vaccinators, and little efforts at routine immunization awareness even by the health workforce on ground. Above all, the vaccination reporting is unverified, the numbers reported by government’s EPI are much higher than that by the national Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys, showing the gap in performance accountability
So the project used strategies that can be sustained by the government, involve little cost and do not involve additional manpower.
The breakthrough came by focusing on performance accountability of vaccination, monitored independently through a smart phone android application. Named Teeko, the app was designed with the Aga Khan Development Network e-Health Resource Centre in Karachi. It monitors the number of children being immunized, vaccinators’ movement, vaccine stock available at union council with real data instantly available for checking at district and provincial level. And the district took action by suspending low performing vaccinators and publically appreciating well performing ones.
Fuel support for visiting villages was provided to vaccinators based on immunization performance provided to vaccinators– and a detailed district micro-plan developed
A team approach to vaccination was brought in bringing the Department of Health staff and People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative staff together as a single team to reduce children missed for vaccination. Single window system was put in place at basic health units and rural health centers so that every child who comes in is screened for vaccination status, at colorful child friendly EPI rooms. All frontline health staff from doctors to dispensers to lady health workers were trained to actively counsel and refer children for immunization. The team also plans together for monthly achievement of union council targets.
Communication to community was improved through one time, sustainable measures. Demand generation messages were sent to all mobile phone users for children registration, and local FM radio broadcasted jingles.
The innovations were designed in close collaboration with Sindh EPI, implemented through the district government and with input from UN agencies.
“At the same time, we had a high number of vaccinations reported that didn’t match the actual disease outbreak numbers. As the three month roll-out results show, there is instant online reporting of children under one-year-old vaccinated against targets, static and outreach performance, as well as details of underperforming and over-performing union councils,” she added.
District officials and legislators have welcomed the new planning and monitoring systems and are aware of the efforts that have been invested in the project.
“A major challenge for the district administration will be to sustain the progress we have made after the project is over,” said Agha Abdul Raheem, Deputy Commissioner, TMK.
“The real-time performance monitoring has been the major driver and can be taken over by EPI Sindh at very little additional cost and incorporated in its upcoming expanded EPI support,” said Dr Zaidi.
Aga Khan University Hospital Student Financial Assistance Report for 2015
Karachi, Aga Khan University (AKU), May 05, 2016: AKU announces the release of 2015 Student Financial Assistance Report.
Through generosity of donors, Aga Khan University has developed leaders, problem-solvers and care-givers who are committed to the regions and communities they serve. AKU develops global ‘agents of change’, whose skills have been nurtured by using the latest technology and by creating a truly multi-cultural learning environment. In 2015, 345 students received assistance worth PKRs210 million (US$2.1 million) from AKU. Many of these students would not have been able to pursue a quality education without assistance.
This report captures the zeal and determination of Nooreen Maqsood and Saad Ali. Many other students such as Nooreen and Saad have benefited from the generosity of AKU’s donors.
Click here to download (PDF): AKU Student Financial Assistance Report for 2015.
Aga Khan University and partners launch landmark study to help Kenya meet maternal and child health goals
April 28, 2016
​Aga Khan University, Kenya’s Ministry of Health and a group of partners launched the Kenya Countdown to 2015 Country Case Study on April 28, one of the most detailed analyses to date of Kenya’s progress in reducing maternal and child deaths.
The study provides policymakers, health care providers and the public with a roadmap that can guide efforts to accelerate improvements in maternal and child health and achieve the new targets in the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The launch was attended by the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
The East African Institute of Aga Khan University in partnership with Korogocho-based and youth-led K-Youth Media are deploying video and photography in a social purpose storytelling campaign to raise awareness and motivate public dialogue, consensus and action on open, child-friendly spaces in densely populated neighbourhoods of Nairobi’s Eastlands. Although these neighbourhoods are bustling with enterprise and ingenuity we could do better for our children.
These neighbourhoods are home to the majority of Kenya’s urban children. Hence, the long-term implication for our society is grave especially because our urban population is growing rapidly. We say the children are the future. Because we have them here now we must act decisively to provide spaces that will enable their development and flourishing.
Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Fate holds talks with AKDN’s Amin Kurji & AKU’s Firoz Rasul and Al-Karim Haji
May 19, 2016, Dodoma, Tanzania: Tanzania’s Prime Minister, Kassim Fate together with Tanzania’s Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, hosted AKDN’s leaders Amin Kurji (AKDN Resident Representative for Tanzania), Firoz Rasul (AKU President) and Al-Karim Haji (AKU’s Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer) to talk about the progress and scaling up of various AKDN initiatives in Tanzania and the East African Community region.
From L-R: Al-Karim Haji (AKU’s Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer); AKU’s President, Firoz Rasul; AKDN Resident Representative for Tanzania, Amin Kurji; Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Fate; Tanzania’s Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training, Professor Joyce Ndalichako; Dr. Joe L. Lugallo (Tanzanian born Health and International Development Consultant) pose for picture at the Prime Minister's Office. (Image credit: Mkluu/ Prime Minister's Office).
From L-R: Al-Karim Haji (AKU’s Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer); AKU’s President, Firoz Rasul; AKDN Resident Representative for Tanzania, Amin Kurji; Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Fate; Tanzania’s Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training, Professor Joyce Ndalichako; Dr. Joe L. Lugallo (Tanzanian born Health and International Development Consultant) pose for picture at the Prime Minister’s Office. (Image credit: Mkluu/ Prime Minister’s Office).
Aga Khan University (AKU) is in the process of building the Faculty of Arts and Science in Arusha, Tanzania which will be the epicenter of AKU’s presence in the East African region, serving a regional population of over 150 million people.
AKDN’s University Network: aku.edu’s refreshed website launched
AKDN's University Network: aku.edu's refreshed website launchedAga Khan University (aku.edu) is a unique hybrid: an institution of academic excellence that is also an agent for social development. A leading source of medical, nursing and teacher education, research and public service in the developing world, the University prepares men and women to lead change in their societies and to thrive in the global economy. AKU’s faculty, students and graduates go where the need is greatest, working in informal urban settlements, remote villages and regions where conflict or neglect has decimated basic services. Indeed, in many cases, such communities are their homes.
AKDN's University Network: aku.edu's refreshed website launchedGuided by the principles of impact, quality, relevance and access, the University has campuses and programmes in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.
Visit aku.edu to browse their refreshed website.
Aga Khan University Network’s official social media links:
Launch of new intensive care facility for children
Karachi, May 23, 2016: A brand new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was inaugurated at the Aga Khan University Hospital on Monday.
Specially designed to treat children fighting life-threatening diseases, the new 5,500 square foot, Rs 200 million, eight-bed facility will facilitate many more infants, toddlers and pre-teens whose fragile health requires special attention.
A quick glance at Pakistan’s child mortality rates highlights the urgent need for dedicated facilities to treat children facing complicated diseases. One in 11 children die before their fifth birthday and one in 66 infants lose their lives before the age of one, according to Unicef’s State of Children in Pakistan report.
Over the past five years, the University’s teaching hospital at Stadium Road, Karachi, has noticed a three-fold increase in children requiring intensive care. The new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) will provide personalised care to around 400 at-risk children every year thereby helping address the shortage of intensive care facilities for children.
Outlining the need for a PICU, Interim Head of the Division for Women and Child Health Professor Iqtidar Ahmad Khan said: “At present many critically ill children continue to receive treatment alongside adults in intensive care units even though a child’s needs are different to that of an adult.”
“A dedicated facility will improve the availability of specialists for ailing children and also create a more comfortable environment for parents seeking the best treatment for their child,” he added.
The new facility has eight large rooms whose open spaces have been designed to enable a variety of specialists to collaborate in treating the child. A dedicated waiting area is present for families and a parent can be with the child in the room whenever s/he is awake.
Every room is equipped with state-of-the-art ventilators and advanced syringe pumps to administer essential medicines. Monitoring systems constantly track breathing, heart function and electrical activity in the brain. The PICU also houses two negative pressure isolation rooms to provide special care to children with contagious diseases.
The advanced systems available in each room are used by skilled paediatricians supported by a team of nurses – one nurse to each patient ensuring that no child in intensive care is left alone. Each nurse is trained to identify signs of worsening health in young babies and is aware of how to calm the fears of children and parents in the unfamiliar environment of a hospital.
The opening of the PICU follows the January 2015 doubling in the capacity of the University Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to a 24-bedded unit, which cares for babies under 28 days of age.
Commenting on the impact of the PICU, AKU President Firoz Rasul said:
“The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is an integral part of the University’s commitment to Women and Child Health. This focus on children’s health through the provision of intensive care for neonates, babies and adolescents is a key part of our services and education as well as research.”
The benefits of the PICU will extend beyond the boundaries of the AKUH and its patients. During treatment, AKUH’s specialists are constantly sharing their expertise in paediatric critical care with young doctors through the University’s fellowship programme. Upon the completion of their education and training, fellow will be able to apply their skills at any hospital, inside or outside Pakistan.
At the ceremony, one of the PICU donors said: “There is nothing worse for a parent than seeing their child suffer from a life-threatening disease. The uncertainty and helplessness of such difficult times is eased when you know that there is a specially designed facility that can bring them back to health.”
“We know that there is a shortage of high quality facilities to treat critically ill children. By helping the AKUH set up such a facility, we are confident that we can save the lives of many young kids,” he added.
About Aga Khan University
Chartered in 1983, the Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service initiatives. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the university has campuses and programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan; activities in Syria and Egypt have been suspended. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Faculties of Health Sciences with Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and Medical Colleges, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. A Graduate School of Media and Communications, an East African Institute and an Institute for Human Development are under development while Faculties of Arts and Sciences are to be set up in Pakistan and East Africa. Through its needs-blind admissions policy, the University imbues the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow with an ethic of service and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges.
The Aga Khan University is one of nine agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private development agencies with mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.
Mother-child health: AKU opens research and training centre in Matiari
The Aga Khan University (AKU) inaugurated a research and training centre in Matiari district on Friday.
The centre, equipped with a laboratory, training spaces, data centres and office space, will conduct research and capacity buildings programmes on mother and child healthcare.
The centre has been constructed at an over 11,000 square-feet plot at a cost of Rs68.4 million, funded by United Energy Pakistan. According to Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, founding director of AKU’s Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health, “The centre will become the hub of the university’s research and training into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of some of today’s major mother and child healthcare problems in the country.” Matiari, with a population of around 500,000 scattered over 1,400 villages and three semi-urban underdeveloped talukas, is around 30 kilometres away from Hyderabad. According to the AKU, more than half of the total births in the district take place at home, attended by unskilled birth attendants.
AKU president Firoz Rasul said the university is working to improve the lives of women, newborns, infants and children in the regions it serves, including Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Afghanistan.
“Last year, AKU pledged to support the global strategy’s ambitious yet achievable targets — which are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals — with an investment of over $85 million to improve capacity and develop programmes that will reach over 15 million women and children in South-Central Asia and East Africa, and potentially save a million lives,” he said.
Sindh health director-general Dr Hassan Murad Shah said despite ups and downs in cooperation since 1999, the health department and AKU have been working hand-in-hand to meet local needs and international commitments.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2016.
Murang’a county government has partnered with Agha Khan University to streamline health services.
The deal was signed by Governor Mwangi Wairia and Aga Khan CEO Shawn Bolouki. Medical students from the institution will also undergo medical training in health facilities in Murang’a county. Wairia said the partnership will improve health services and help the county set standards equivalent to the ones in Aga Khan hospitals.
“Medical students from the university will practice in our hospitals and in turn, we will have an exchange of ideas and expertise,” Wairia said. He said the county will send a team of doctors to Agha Khan hospitals to gain specialised skills and get exposure on medical services.
Representatives agreed to form a 10-member committee to draw a plan of action into the execution of the agreement.
The governor said Aga Khan offers quality medical services but is inaccessible to the poor due to the high charges. The agreement will help to decentralise services to the rural areas at an affordable price.
“Our aim as a county government is to offer the best health services to the poor and this partnership will make that possible,” Wairia said. He said the county will explore other areas of skills development for health workers on cancer treatment.
Levelling the playing field: AKU-EB — a game-changer for transparent exam marking
To change the conventional methods of the examination system, Aga Khan University -Examination Board (AKU-EB) has created an e-marking system, hoping to put an end to corruption and copy culture in examinations.
AKU-EB is committed to maintaining transparency and confidentiality and to sustain this they have ensured that their assessment and results are reliable and match with international standards. “We aim to provide opportunities for students by being assessed through a fair and transparent system,” said AKU-EB director Dr Shehzad Jeeva.
To make the system more reliable, he said that they have installed CCTV cameras in most of their examination centres and the rest will be completed by May 2017. “Seventy-five per cent of our centres have been covered through CCTV cameras and this will be completed by next year’s examinations,” said Dr Jeeva, adding that currently the e-marking is used to mark Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary School Certificate annual exam papers.
Explaining the marking software and process of e-marking at the AKU-EB, the senior examiner for chemistry, environmental studies and home economics, Afreen Kanwal told The Express Tribune that the marking teams comprise fixe examiners and one senior examiner, all of whom are supervised by subject specialists. Each examiner has a separate ID and password to log in to the system for marking the papers.
When students complete their exams, their papers are scanned by the operation team and are then entered into the system. The examiners are then assigned questions, explained the operations department manager Aqeel Farooq. Scanning all the answer sheets takes around 15 days but the e-markers do not wait for all the papers to be scanned before beginning the e-marking, he said, adding that AKU-EB uses scanning machines, which have the capacity to scan 50 papers per minute.
Kanwal explained that each examiner only checks a single question on each paper. The e-marking software has eight options for examiners to choose – marked, parked, remarked, rescan, reviewed, unmarked, verified and escalate. The examiner can check and verify the answers via the answer key saved in the software, she explained.
After marking the question, the examiner will save it as ‘marked’ but if there is any confusion and the examiner needs more time to check the answer they can ‘park’ the question. If the examiner has any conceptual confusion and is having problems in marking the question, they can ‘escalate’ it to the senior examiner and can also add comments in the message box. Likewise, other options include rescan, in which the answer sheet can be sent to the operations department if the scanned picture is not clear enough.
Associate assessment director Dr Naveed Yousuf explained that the examiner cannot be involved in any biased checking. Each paper is checked by 10 different teachers, as each examiner just marks one question. “The e-marking team is divided into groups; five people are assigned to only check question number one, while another five are assigned for question number two,” he explained.
“We mostly invite teachers for e-marking who are associated with the schools affiliated with us, however, there are also some who are not affiliated with us but have vast experience in the field of teaching,” said Dr Yousuf.
AKU-EB provides good quality and transparency at subsidised rates for students so that they do not have to bear the cost of ‘good examination systems’. “Students have access to an international-level facility at subsidised rates, while we bear around 66% of the cost,” shared Jeeva.
On whether AKU-EB can accommodate the students of Karachi board, Dr Jeeva said they will need more e-markers, more stations and bigger servers to make this happen. Their system is only enough for the 9,000 students they are currently serving.
Dr Yousuf said they will be launching self-assessment software from next year, where students will be given log in IDs and passwords and can assess their own answers for particular chapters, topics and subjects. “Students can get an idea of how prepared they are for examinations using this programme,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.
Why Female Education Matters: Girls Consistently Make Pakistan Proud!
July 13, 2016
​The Aga Khan University Examination Board has announced results for its Secondary and Higher Secondary School Certifications for the May 2016 examination session. This year, the Examination Board assessed students in 95 subjects across 23 cities in Pakistan.
“The AKU-EB team congratulates all candidates for their hard work. We at AKU-EB strive to develop higher order cognitive skills such as critical thinking in our students and firmly believe that, assessment is a driving force for new ways of learning. We strive to provide access to a qualification of the highest quality to the remotest parts of the country and to marginalized groups, and we are honored to say that our hard work pays off when our students make us proud through their performance. Congratulations to all once again!” – Dr. Shehzad Jeeva (Director, AKU-EB)
The overall passing rate for SSC Part I has been 85.5% with 46.7% of candidates scoring ‘A’ grade and above. Meanwhile, the overall passing rate for SSC Part II was 88.8% with 55.6% of candidates obtaining ‘A’ grade and above.
Alina Fatima from the Al-Murtaza School, Karachi and Hira Naz from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Kuragh (Chitral, KPK) scored 93.36% and secured the first position for the Secondary School Certification (SSC). Alina also gained the second position in the elective subjects of the Science Group along with Ali Mehdi from IBA Community College, Khairpur.
“Although I was expecting good grades but it is really exciting to be an AKU-EB position holder from a remote area like Lutkoh, Chitral. I am aware that it is a challenge for females to get good education but I would like to thank my parents for their support and efforts. In the AKU-EB system we learn how to apply our learning in daily life which makes us confident about our knowledge. In the future I want to be a Neurologist. I am also eager to do philanthropic work in under privileged areas of country.” – Hira Naz
“The performance of my student Ms. Hira Naz has doubled my self-confidence, confidence on my team, students and parents. We highly appreciate the support and coordination from AKU-EB in every aspect. The trainings provided by AKU-EB are of high quality and prepare teachers for a higher level of teaching and learning.”- Bibi Sultana (Principal, Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Kuragh (Chitral))
“AKU-EB has made wonderful efforts in raising the quality of education and assessment across the country. Getting the overall first position in SSC at the country level is a great achievement by Hira Naz which has made the Chitral proud. This is a great milestone achieved by a talented student form the remote area of Lutkoh, Chitral.” - Dr. Inayatullah Faizi (Educationist and Writer)
Ruhaina Nadeem from Nasra School (Malir Campus) secured the second position for SSC with a score of 93.18%. Shehla Tanveer from Maryam Siddiqa Girls Higher Secondary School, Chenab Nagar (Punjab) and Maryam Ihsan from Nusrat Jahan Academy Girls High School, Chanab Nagar (Pubjab), scored the third position in SSC with a score of 92.6%. Maryam also gained first position in the elective subjects of the Science Group.
Komal Fatima from Habib Girls’ School, Karachi, secured the first position in elective subjects of the Humanities Group secured first position in the electives of the SSC Science Group.
“I congratulate the entire AKU-EB team for their efforts in preparing our youth for a better tomorrow. The guidance and professional support provided by them to the teachers across disciplines is promoting a focused and meaningful teaching learning context. I would also like to congratulate the Class of 2016, their parents and teachers on the outstanding performance in AKU-EB’s SSC 2016 Examinations.” - Tasneem Shabbar Zaidi (Director, Al Murtaza School Network, Karachi)
The first position in the Higher Secondary School Certification (HSSC) has been secured by Areej Al Medinah from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Karimabad, Karachi. She did not only achieve the overall first position in HSSC with 91.63% but also gained second position in the elective subjects of the Pre-Engineering group.
“Gaining an education as a part of AKU-EB was a challenge in itself, but never a difficulty. With AKUEB's application, understanding and knowledge scheme discouraging the rote system, we have been successfully instilled with the ability to comprehend and tackle real life problems and issues. I am delighted to see females dominating the positions this year as well. We are definitely well prepared for higher education and for the betterment of Pakistan” - Areej Al Medinah
The second position holder for HSSC, Areeba Muhammad scored 91.36%. She also gained the first position in the elective subjects of the Pre-Engineering Group. Fatima Muhammad Asad from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Karimabad, Karachi secured the overall third position in HSSC with a score of 91.27%. She also stood third in the Pre-Medical elective subjects.
HSSC group-wise position holders for elective subjects include Duaa Ahmed from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Karimabad, Karachi and Mohammad Ghazanfar Sakrani from Habib Public School (Commerce), Areeba Altaf from Habib Girls School (Humanities), Abdul Manan from Nasir Higher Secondary School, Chenab Nagar (General Science) and Simran Kumari from Habib Girls School (Pre-Medical).
“Establishment of Higher Secondary Schools and introduction of AKU-EB has set a new milestone in the AKES,P journey. The quality of secondary school graduates from AKU-EB has been a real source of satisfaction and confidence for communities across Pakistan.” – Aien Shah (Head of Academics, Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan)
This year the passing rate for HSSC Part I is 86.6% with 45.1% candidates scoring ‘A’ grade and above. The passing rate for HSSC Part II is 84.5% with 47.5% candidates obtaining ‘A’ Grade and above.
“It is a well-known fact that assessment drives learning. The desired goal of education globally is the development of learners’ knowledge and skills to prepare them for the future and make them effective members of their society. Assessment practices introduced by AKU-EB aims to re-frame the current scenario that also contributes to the development of global citizens for Pakistan.” - Dr Naveed Yusuf (Associate Director Assessments, AKU-EB)
USAID, Aga Khan University join hands to fight malnutrition
July 26, 2016
By: Samaa Web Desk
Published in Pakistan
ARACHI: American Ambassador David Hale witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP) and Aga Khan University’s Human Development Program.
According to a press release issued by US Consulate Karachi, the effort will support nutrition-related activities for children ages 5-9 in CMP schools in seven northern districts in Sindh and five towns in Karachi.
“Education plays a vital role in improving children’s health and nutrition,” said Ambassador Hale. “No nation can reach its full potential if its people are not healthy and educated,” he said.
As part of the USAID-funded Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) — in partnership with the Sindh Education and Literacy Department — CMP is linking schools and health facilities to fight malnutrition.
CMP also screens children and creates awareness among parents regarding the benefits of improved nutrition. Malnutrition affects children’s ability to learn. In Sindh, the situation is most severe in districts affected by the 2010 floods.
USAID also awarded a grant to Aga Khan University to mainstream education for children with special needs and increase enrollment for girls in government and private schools. The effort is part of the “Let Girls Learn” initiative in Pakistan to ensure girls receive the education they deserve, announced by Michelle Obama and Maryam Nawaz Sharif at the White House in October 2015.
US Consul General Brian Heath, Sindh Health Director-General Hassan Murad Shah, Education and Literacy Department Curriculum Wing head Fouzia Khan, Aga Khan University Hospital CEO Hans Kedzierski, and AKU Medical College Dean Farhat Abbas attended. –Samaa
eCommons@AKU is a digital archive offering access to the research, scholarly output and publications of the Aga Khan University community. The objective is to preserve, promote and provide access to the University's research and publications under one umbrella, in full text wherever possible. eCommons@AKU is a service of the Aga Khan University Libraries.
"Health Sciences Research Assembly (HSRA) plays a significant role in dissemination and promotion of research within the AKU community. This avenue provides opportunity to researchers at AKU to showcase their research work that they have undertaken in the last one year. This is the 10th consecutive research assembly with emphasis on compliance on ethics in research; therefore this year only those research studies which had appropriate ethics clearance and those that ​were exempted from ethical clearance were allowed for submission..." Continue reading
Sitara-i-Imtiaz conferred on Professor Ather Enam
Professor Syed Ather Enam, Chair of the Department of Surgery, at the Aga Khan University, was conferred the Sitara-i-Imtiaz – the third highest civilian award by the Government of Pakistan – for his achievements in the field of medicine by President Mamnoon Hussain.
President of Pakistan honours Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta
President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has conferred the Pride of Performance Award on Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, in recognition of his major contributions in the field of healthcare education.
First global analysis assesses United Nations’ SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) related to health
Expanded health coverage, greater access to family planning, and fewer deaths of newborns and children under the age of five are among several health improvements contributing to progress toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. However, hepatitis B, childhood obesity, violence and alcohol consumption have worsened, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study launched at a special event at the UN General Assembly in New York and published in The Lancet.
It is the first global analysis that assesses health-related SDGs in 188 countries by creating an overall index score on a scale of zero to 100. As a result, Iceland ranks the first at 85 with the United Kingdom and Canada among the top 10 at 82 and 81 respectively. Kenya scored 40, Tanzania 36 and Uganda 31. With a score of 26, Afghanistan is among the bottom 10; the Central African Republic being the lowest at 20.
Ranked at 149, Pakistan shares the score of 38 with Bangladesh and Mauritania – six places behind India and way behind Iran.
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