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The Aga Khan Foundation has been working on rural development, microfinance and education projects with non-governmental organisations and other AKDN agencies.The Aga Khan Foundation has been working on rural development, microfinance and education projects with non-governmental organisations and other AKDN agencies.

Since 1980, the Aga Khan Foundation has been working on rural development, microfinance and education projects with non-governmental organisations and other AKDN agencies in the country. These innovative partnerships have yielded a number of best practices and a great deal of knowledge about poverty reduction.

Support for BRAC
For many years, the Aga Khan Foundation supported an NGO known by the initials BRAC, which continues to be a star performer in the galaxy of rural development and non-formal education programmes in South Asia. BRAC started as an almost entirely donor funded, small-scale relief and rehabilitation project to help the country overcome the devastation and trauma of the Liberation War. Today, BRAC has emerged as an independent, virtually self-financed paradigm in sustainable human development. It is the largest in the world, employing 97,192 people, and reaches over 100 million people in all 64 districts of the country.

In 2005, the Aga Khan Foundation, through the BRAC-AKFC Learning Partnership, conducted research to extract best practices from BRAC’s innovative programme, Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction (CFPR), which targets the ultra-poor. The Partnership aimed to deepen and broaden the impact of BRAC’s CFPR project - within Bangladesh, across South Asia, and internationally - by drawing on the global best practices in poverty reduction for the ultra-poor and by sharing lessons emerging from CFPR with the broader development community. The programme, with support from the Canadian government, included research on enterprise and market development and a comparative study between CFPR and other strategies targeting the ultra-poor in Bangladesh.

Aga Khan School
Founded in 1988, the Aga Khan School Dhaka, with a teaching staff of 107, educates 1,183 students. The curriculum of the Aga Khan Education Services’ School focuses on student-centred learning, using appropriate teaching and learning strategies such as group and cooperative learning. The curriculum is designed to develop well-rounded individuals who are able to think for themselves, contribute to society and be responsible and engaged citizens of their country.

For more information please see the Aga Khan Schools website.

Aga Khan Academy
Building on the School’s experience, a new Aga Khan Academy will be created as a part of an international network of schools called Aga Khan Academies. Dedicated to an international level of excellence in education, the Academies offer a curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate. To ensure access regardless of socio-economic status or other limiting factors, admission is merit-based and means-blind. The Academies feature residential campuses with well-equipped classrooms for sciences, art and music, a library, a religion and culture room, a counselling facility and a workshop. They have student and teacher lounges, a theatre, multipurpose hall, cafeteria and dining area. Facilities for sports include swimming pools, fields for athletics and a well-equipped gymnasium. Each Academy will incorporate a Professional Development Centre, which will extend modern teaching and learning methods to government and other private schools. The network of Academies will introduce a system of international student and teacher exchanges between Academies in different countries and with allied schools.

For more information, please see the Aga Khan Academies.

The existing School and the planned Aga Khan Academy are part of an active International Academic Partnership that includes Phillips Academy, Andover (USA) and the Aga Khan University-Institute of Educational Development, Karachi (Pakistan). Both are involved in the professional development of staff.

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