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Education Activities in India

Education Activities in IndiaAKDN's education activities encompass the activities of the Aga Khan Academies, Aga Khan Education Services and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). The first Aga Khan School was founded in Mundra (Gujarat) in 1905. Since then, the number of schools and other education institutions run by AKDN agencies has risen to over 80. The Aga Khan Academies (AKA), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) are the principal AKDN agencies working in education in India. AKF has been principally involved in raising education quality by supporting a number of innovative programmes. Other priorities have included assuring access to quality education, the adaptability of curricula to local circumstances and the anticipation of future needs. The Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh, is currently being built.

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On 22 September 2006, the foundation stone was laid for the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad. When built, it will be part of an international network of “academic centres of excellence” across Africa and Central and South Asia, including academies in India, will eventually feature a robust teacher and student exchange programme and an International Baccalaureate curriculum that emphasises the humanities. For more information, please see Aga Khan Academies.

Click on the image to download brief "Learning Support Centres (LSCs)" Introduction
The Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) activities in India date back to the beginning of the twentieth century when Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah established the first Aga Khan School in Mundra, Kutch, Gujarat in 1905. AKES currently manages 10 non-denominational schools across Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, and a hostel in Hyderabad.

It also runs an early childhood education programme. The Rural Education Advancement Programme (REAP) operates across 19 centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and assists communities in identifying and accessing quality school education.

Click on the image to download brief "Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme"Early Childhood Education
The early childhood education programme, entitled “Shishu Pahel Paddhati”, available across the AKES network, emphasises “child-initiated learning”. Children are encouraged to plan and construct their own learning, thereby retaining their natural self-confidence.

Primary and Higher Education
At the primary level, the focus is on child-centred education. This involves curriculum design, classroom interactions and the achievement of learning outcomes. The education process, using an integrated curriculum, is supplemented by a variety of co-curricular activities including sports, field trips, projects and engaging with the local community to develop a sense of social responsibility. Students learn most effectively through collective reflections shared with peers and facilitators and through group discussions.

The education of girls, whose access to formal education is still limited in many parts of the country, especially in comparison to their male siblings, is given high priority. Many AKES schools have “social workers” who interact regularly with parents and communities to ensure that their girls are sent to school.

English Development for Global Empowerment (EDGE) – a skill-based English language programme – has been initiated. The objective is to develop confidence, enhance English language and communication skills, and enable students to access quality higher education programmes that will aid them throughout life.

Trendsetters – an AKES career planning programme – gives students an opportunity to identify strengths, provides information that allows them to make judicious and informed career choices, and holds seminars and counselling sessions to provide an overview of career options.

Download brochurePlease click on the image
to view the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad brochure (English, PDF, 5MB)
Aga Khan Academy
As part of educational efforts in India and internationally, AKDN is building an Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Part of a network currently under construction, the Academies are being created out of the conviction that home-grown intellectual talent of exceptional calibre is the best driver of a society’s future, that excellence in education is a key ingredient for developing this talent, and that girls and boys who can benefit from such an education should be selected on the basis of merit alone regardless of background or ability to pay.

An International Network of Schools
Opening in 2011, the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad will prepare a graduate not only for employment, but for a life of enquiry, learning and service. The Academy will eventually be connected to a network of Aga Khan Academies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The Network will ultimately be a global learning community of 14,000 students and 2,000 educators in 18 locations across 14 countries.

At the Academy in Hyderabad, students engage in a rigorous academic experience validated by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB). Instruction is in English and Hindi with mother-tongue support. Local culture, history and geography is part of the curriculum, as well as the study of ethics, pluralism, global economics and systems of governance and world cultures, including Muslim civilisation. Through an international leadership development curriculum, students take advantage of opportunities to collaborate within and across diverse populations within an Academy, including participating in a variety of sports, school leadership, and service and internship opportunities. The aim is to develop habits of mind and values which will be important determinants of their future ability and desire to impact their communities, nations and the world at large. Teachers and students will also participate in exchange programmes with other continents, broadening their global perspective and appreciation of other cultures.

Professional Development for Teachers
Another distinguishing feature of the Academies is the Professional Development Centres (PDCs) located within each of the Academies. The PDCs are dedicated to training new teachers to the highest standards while offering veteran teachers the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of education. These best practices will then be shared across the network of academies.

State of the Art Facilities
Academy teachers and students will work and live in state-of-the art facilities that reinforce excellence, cultural rootedness and national pride. The 100-acre campus will feature exceptional sports and extra-curricular facilities.

Linking with Government
The Sishu Pahel Paddhati methodology has been proposed to be an integral component of teacher training for the Gujarat state curriculum. One member of AKES,I has been appointed on the Gujarat Government’s Core Committee that decides on various aspects of the curriculum at the ECCE levels. Due to its extensive work with the government in Andhra Pradesh, one component of the SDP technology - Reflective Practices -has been adopted as a best practice, through a government resolution. The linkages of AKES,I and its schools with various government programmes like Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), etc. and prominent NGOs such as Pratham and others are strategies adopted by AKES,I in order to upscale its interventions in the mainstream system.

International Linkages
AKES, I like other AKES units worldwide, benefits from the International Academic Partnership (IAP) which today includes AKES ; Phillips Academy, Andover, USA ; Schule Schloss Salem, Germany ; and the Institute for Educational Development of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. Linkages are being enhanced with the University of Central Asia, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, Oxford University, the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto.

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