Aga Khan Foundation also works to improve conditions in an area where
illiteracy is high: 75 percent for the general population and 93 percent
for women.Literacy Programmes
In education, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) works to improve literacy in an area where illiteracy is high: 75 percent for the general population and 93 percent for women. Special emphasis is placed on identifying and training teachers, improving the quality of primary education and student retention, particularly for girls; promoting overall adult literacy and in particular female literacy; and refurbishing existing facilities, such as re-covering of chalk boards and stocking libraries. Another key programme is the provision of in-service teacher training and development of regional resource centres.
The programmes have already had a significant impact. Education activities saw a 400 percent increase in the number of students attending literacy classes and a 360 percent increase in the number of children attending.
An Aga Khan Academy is also being built in Maputo as part of a network of 18 academic centres of excellence being established by the Aga Khan Development Network across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.
A major goal of the Academies is to restore the public standing of the teaching profession so that future generations of educated men and women come to see in teaching a great, valid and rewarding opportunity in life. The Academy will incorporate a Professional Development Centre for teacher training and curricular innovation which will function not only for the benefit of the Academy but for the purposes of extending modern teaching and learning methods to government and private schools locally and regionally (Find out more on Aga Khan Academies).
The Aga Khan Academies will feature a curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate (IB). It will be merit-based and means-blind. English will be the medium of instruction, but the curriculum will include mastery in more than one language to encourage students to be bilingual, and even trilingual. In addition, students would specialise in the fields of knowledge most required for the development of their societies, including sciences, humanities, music, art, history and world civilisations.
The first of the Academies was opened in Mombasa, Kenya; others are planned for Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mali, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Syria.