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  • The Examination Board's assessments support active learning in the classroom.
    AKDN / Gary Otte
Broadcast high school
The Aga Khan University (AKU)’s Examination Board
Secondary school education in Pakistan is often of poor quality. Unimaginative teaching, overcrowded classrooms and a lack of basic resources prevent students from achieving their full potential, especially in rural areas. The Aga Khan University (AKU)’s Examination Board took an innovative approach to tackle this problem by broadcasting televised lessons in five Secondary School Certificate subjects: English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology. For two years starting in April 2010, the live, hour-long programme Laat: Endeavour for Change ran on Kawish Television Network every weekday afternoon. The programme offered students and teachers across Sindh, Balochistan and southern Punjab access to lessons taught by experienced teachers as well as better learning materials to enable students to actively participate in their own education. The lessons were aimed at the 35,000 students ages 14 and 15 living in the targeted districts. A viewership survey in 16 districts, 11 in Sindh and 5 in Balochistan, showed two-thirds of the respondents had watched the show and one-quarter did so every day. “We felt that we should play a role in providing access to quality education to children in remote areas, so that they too can have an equal opportunity to learn,” said Ali Qazi, Chief Executive Officer of KTN, Pakistan’s first private Sindhi television channel. Students were especially attracted by the innovative technology used in the broadcasts – an interactive whiteboard onto which the presenters projected images and information. The instructors’ use of the whiteboard also encouraged teachers in Pakistan to use diagrams, pictures, videos, multiple choice tests and a range of other tools to move beyond traditional teaching methods that emphasize rote learning and instead engage students in ways that enhance their critical thinking abilities. Today, the model lessons of Laat are available to anyone with an internet connection or a DVD player. Ninety hours of lessons per subject along with notes and practice examination questions are posted online (www.learningsupport.akueb.edu.pk) and also available on DVD. Twenty-nine hours of practical laboratory work in the sciences have been included to increase students’ ability to recognise scientific concepts in action and teachers’ ability to conduct laboratory work. The popularity of this content resulted in 39,000 visits to the Examination Board’s learning website. For countless students and teachers struggling to achieve in challenging circumstances, the Laat project has and will continue to provide the lasting benefit of an exceptional learning experience