Aitchison College, Lahore.
June 15, 2020

Dear Parents and Prospective Parents

Update June 15. 

On behalf of all Aitchison staff, I extend my best wishes to the Aitchison family during this very difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I have received many emails and I will attempt to address the chief concerns as expressed to me and some of my senior staff.

While we plan to run Admission tests in July and open on the advertised dates in August, we naturally wait upon medical advice in the best interests of all concerned. We are already considering how we will open and how best to maintain social distancing, as well as being proactive in handling any anxiety among our youngest boys especially. Please be aware that such matters are dominating our thinking. However, it is not inconceivable that a later start than August may be required. 

In the meantime, we have opened online classes and an excellent work program for our Prep and Senior boys, pre-preparing them for the new year ahead of requirements. The Heads of School are assessing classes and ensuring that all boys are tracking well in terms of Cambridge outcomes and that classes are run effectively. What is in place I believe is excellent and balanced. We will consider an online class offering for Upper Junior School as well in July, and the Headmistress is looking into this. We are supporting our boys as best as we are able but also recognise that parents have had a lot of extra supervision too! By June 16 the senior Cambridge results will be submitted after very thorough analysis. I thank the Vice Principal, Headmistress and senior staff for their excellent leadership. It is our belief that Aitchison will maintain historically excellent outcomes. 

Prospective families and candidates continue to wait pensively for admissions. I am afraid there is not much more we can do at this stage. While we can proceed straight to shortlisting senior AS applicants on school results and general suitability, it is not that simple in the case of junior and prep applicants who have been preparing specifically for a long time and where the great majority of boys will enter the College. In this regard, we have over one thousand applications. I have been asked by some parents to accept school-based results as the basis of allocating junior and prep seats, but this is simply unacceptable given the variety of schools involved and the inconsistency of assessment from one institution and curriculum to another. We are adamant that merit has to apply. 

On the matter of fees, Aitchison College is not a private school and operates on a very different basis than any other school in Pakistan. We have previously extended a discount of 20% but now fees return to normal for the period June up to the commencement of the new school year, after which or beforehand the Board of Governors will determine what fees to charge for the 2020-2021 school year. In recent times our Board has kept increases in tuition fees well below the prevailing rate of inflation, while retaining programs and staff. Our fees are aggregated over twelve months to lessen the impact and boarding charges are extremely generous. On this basis a boy holds a seat in the College. Considering the unique campus and facilities, it is crucial that we hold our operation intact, while remaining flexible in terms of payment as recently expressed by the College Bursar in allowing a monthly payment. Notwithstanding, I acknowledge this is a challenging period. Queries and concerns about fees or charges should, in the first instance, be directed to the Bursar. The Board of Governors will deliberate on fees when it next meets. 

I am always available to assist parents with further queries or concerns. 

Warm wishes,

Michael Thomson M.A., Dip. Ed., M.A.C.E