. . . . . .  
Studies without Co-Curricular activities make for dull Aitchisonians. Our boys have represented the College in Germany, in India and in Greece. Two in particular – Zeeshan Haider and Syed Feroze Shah – have brought us immense credit at the World Debating Championships in Washington DC and in Greece.
Aitchison also won the prestigious Under 19 National Debating Competition championship.
Your Excellency, I have summarised our academic achievements not because we have run out of high achievers, but because there is the more mundane danger of running out of time.
I will quickly recount the steps we have initiated recently since my taking over this term to open the school to the world outside its gates.
A programme of Thursday Speakers has begun at which prominent Pakistanis from every field – medicine, law, journalism, the TV media, architecture, the civil services, the armed forces, agriculture, livestock, engineering, and a host of other disciplines – give a talk on their professions. It is career counseling - by example. It is matching education with experience.
Internally, we have a full-time Career Counsellor to guide our boys. He himself is an ex-Aitchisonian and empathises naturally with the boys.
We are working actively with the Punjab Government to remove the discriminatory equivalence system that put our Cambridge ‘A’ level students at a disadvantage competing with F SC students for seats in medical colleges.Why should the best in Pakistan be denied places in our medical colleges on a technicality? Do we really have so many doctors in our country that we want to prevent our best from whichever school system from qualifying? Once this equivalence is rationalised, we hope to extend it to Engineering.
We are building a Science Block to upgrade the facilities we can provide to our Science students. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Rs 5 lacs made by our ACOBA. It will serve as the foundation stone of that important project.
In addition to emphasis on Science, we plan intend to offer Humanities at ‘A’ level and to broaden our ‘O’ level subject options.
Because our pupils need to be citizens of the world, we have over 440 students studying French and over 40 studying German as a second language. The next optional languages we want to introduce are Persian and Mandarin Chinese.
We have begun a recruitment drive to supplement our Faculty. We have short and long term training programmes with Beaconhouse National University and with the Ali Institute of Education, both here at Lahore.
And we have begun a system of Faculty evaluation that links class-room performance with exam grades achieved. The Salaries of our Faculty have been increased this week and brought in line with market values. They deserve every rupee we can afford to give them.
We have done much, and there is much more yet to be done. We could not have reached here without your initiative and the unanimous support of our Board of Governors. I am grateful to all of you for your sagacious advice and continuous guidance.
The starting point for me personally has been the foundation laid by my predecessor Principals, most recently Mr. Shamim Khan. He was the Principal for 15 years and made significant contributions to the College. We remember and applaud his contributions.
Someone else we remember with reverence and with affection was Mrs. Tahira Ramzan, our Controller Examinations and former Chemistry teacher. Sadly, she passed away on 15 February. She was laid to rest by her family, her colleagues and by her pupils. Your Excellency, we have instituted a medal in her honour to the best Chemistry student at O level in 2009.
Pupils would remain simply pupils without their teachers. We have 71 teachers at Junior School, 48 at Prep School, and 49 at Senior School. Out of them, three have been singled out as Teachers of the Year. I am delighted to announce that Mr. Nauman Ahmad, a member of our Board, has generously given an Award for the Best Teacher at each of the three Schools.
Because we at Aitchison strive to provide not only education but the opportunity for a student’s growth and development into a well-rounded citizen of Pakistan, four medals represent all those separate but complementary facets. The four medals are:
The Syed Ali Dayan Hasan Medal – for Co-Curricular activities.
The President’s Medal – for Academics
The Jubilee Medal to the Second Best Leaving Boy.
The Rivaz Medal – for the Best Leaving Boy.
I will announce both the Best Teachers awards and the winners of the four medals as the finale of the Prize Distribution.
Let me conclude by thanking Your Excellency once again for honoring us with your presence today.
As the Governor of our province and simultaneously Chairman of our Board of Governors, you symbolise and articulate our aspirations.As Aitchsonians, we are committed to fulfil those aspirations.
Here at Aitchison, as you can see, we live in three time zones. The past surrounds us. We live in the present. And the future is personified by our young Aitchisonians.
Your Excellency, if God had not believed in a future, he would not have created it.
If God did not believe in that future, he would not have created children.
The Aitchisonians whom you honour today are part of that future.
To the incoming new boys at Junior School, as your new Principal, I would say: Look upwards to what you can become. Your seniors who will leave Aitchison soon have already reached those heights.
To the outgoing HSC II year, I would say a fond and deeply affectionate farewell.
To you, with failing hands, we throw the torch.
It is now yours – so hold it high.
The brightness from your light will illuminate
the College you leave behind.
06 March 2009
All Speeches
Latest Books :: Latest Articles :: Latest SPEECHES :: Latest POEMS