Role of Aga Khan Examination Board (AKU-EB) in improving teaching and learning in schools: A case study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


If education is perceived as an imperative investment for any country's development then teaching and assessment are complementary processes in an effective educational system. Like any other country, Pakistan's educational system is also driven by examinations. The Aga Khan Examination Board (AKU-EB) was established in 2003 as the first private examination board under the Presidential Ordinance CXIV. It follows the National Curriculum of Pakistan and offers the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) at the end of secondary and higher secondary schooling respectively. The Board's mission was to provide high-quality SSC and HSC examinations, to develop expertise in assessment and testing in Pakistan, and to equip teachers to teach the National Curriculum in an effective way. The central research question that guided the study was: What is the role of the Aga Khan Examination (AKU-EB) in improving teaching and learning in school? The study was conducted in a private school in Karachi, Pakistan, through the case study method within the qualitative paradigm. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews of different stake holders, including the head teacher, teachers and students. Document analysis and classroom observations were also used to further triangulate the data. The findings of the study revealed that there has been a positive impact of examination on classroom teaching and learning. The study showed that the school prepares the students by using Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in the classrooms, which are designed by AKU-EB to deliver skills according to the cognitive objectives. The teachers frequently use past exam references, Constructed Response Questions (CRQs), Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and even e-marking experiences during classroom teaching. Their teaching and learning goals are testified through exams. The school's internal examinations have adapted the pattern of AKU-EB exam pattern and the curriculum is gradually moving towards SLO-based curriculum. In the light of these findings, the study suggests that there is a need to develop a system of monitoring and evaluation for teaching and learning by the AKU-EB that works in liaison with the schools. Teacher training should be the part of regular school professional development plan and for that support can be provided by the AKU-EB at initial level in order to develop in-house professional development plans. For the future research the same study can be carried out within both qualitative and quantitative paradigms with more schools; parental perspective can also be included as part of the study.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library