The conviction that home-grown intellectual leadership of exceptional calibre is the best driver of society’s future development, and that many developing country education systems are too engulfed by poverty and numbers to develop their talented young people, led His Highness the Aga Khan to found a network of catalytic centres of educational excellence in Asia and Africa, known as the Aga Khan Academies.
The aim of the Academies is to educate boys and girls of great integrity, understanding and generosity of spirit so that they will become the men and women who build and lead the institutions of government, the private sector and civil society. Selection is based on merit, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
The Academies’ education is built on the framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. The IB is highly respected for its emphasis on critical thinking, active learning and creative problem solving. Within this framework, the Academies offer a broad, multidisciplinary education with an emphasis on the humanities. Subjects include, but are not limited to, history; literature; the general sciences comprising physics, biology and chemistry; philosophy and ethics; the mastery of a foreign language and the study of foreign cultures; comparative religion; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; and the social sciences, including comparative government and global economics. All students are required to perform community service as part of the programme.
Each Academy features a residential campus, where learning and growth are stimulated by the constant interaction among peers of great talent, character, and leadership. Sports and other extra-curricular activities help foster leadership, team spirit, self-esteem and self-discipline.