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The Aga Khan Schools were the first to open their doors to students of all cultures.The Aga Khan Schools were the first to open their doors to students of all cultures.AKDN’s education efforts in Eastern Africa have largely been the work of the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), arising out a response to unmet educational needs during the colonial era. Independence in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in the 1960s increased educational opportunities but also presented challenges. In Tanzania, all aspects of educational activities of non-Governmental schools, other than their land and buildings, were nationalised in 1967. Private Aga Khan Schools opened in the late 1960s in Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Mombasa and Nairobi to cater to students who could not get into nationalised or government schools. The first Aga Khan Education Service Companies, incorporated in 1986 in Tanzania, introduced improved resource management, better co-ordination and professionalisation of the academic and educational policies.Today, AKES operates three schools in Dar es Salaam (Nursery, Primary and Secondary) and a Nursery School in Mwanza.

But other AKDN institutions have important programmes in place in Tanzania. With its primary focus on education, the Foundation has worked with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to implement whole school improvement programmes that focus on teacher training and quality teaching-learning methods. Programmes to date have benefited over 100,000 students and more than 1000 teachers. In addition, the Foundation has supported communities in Zanzibar to establish and manage pre-schools that promote early childhood development. Currently, a total of over 100 such “madrasa early childhood development schools” are spread across Zanzibar, benefiting more than 5,000 children, over 50 percent of whom are girls.

The Madrasa Early Childhood Development Programme
The Aga Khan Foundation is supporting the creation of locally owned early childhood centres in Tanzania, as well as Uganda.Aga Khan Foundation is supporting the creation of locally owned early childhood centres in Tanzania, as well as Uganda.Helping parents and communities to provide a positive and early start for their children is a major concern of the AKDN. Through its Madrasa Pre-School Programme, the Aga Khan Foundation is supporting the creation of locally owned early childhood centres in Tanzania, as well as Uganda.

The Programme was first implemented in 1986 after Muslim leaders from Kenya’s coastal region requested assistance in improving the overall level of educational achievement of their children. A study commissioned by His Highness the Aga Khan revealed that the limited access to early childhood education in predominantly coastal Muslim communities could be linked back to the early years. The Aga Khan Foundation concluded early childhood education was the key, and worked with local educators, community leaders and parents to create four pilot Madrasa pre-schools in Mombasa, Kenya. These would later specialise in a holistic approach to early childhood development guided by a curriculum that integrated key religious values and teachings. It was a model that would later be replicated throughout other schools in East Africa to benefit tens of thousands of students, teachers and community members -- Muslims as well as an increasing number of children and adults from other faiths.

Since its inception, the Programme, anchored by Madrasa Resource Centres (MRC), including one in Zanzibar, has assisted poor communities to establish, manage and support sustainable quality pre-schools offering holistic development opportunities to young children. The Centres train teachers and school management committee members, delivers continuous on-site support and builds community awareness on the importance of Early Childhood Development. It also engages actively with Government and relevant civil society organisations in the creation of policies and sharing of good practices regarding young children’s education and development. It has gone on to support over 500 such schools in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

For more information, please see the brief on the Madrasa programme (108KB, PDF format).

School Improvement Programmes (SIP), launched by AKES during the 1990s, are strengthening the quality of teaching and resources in Tanzania, as well as Kenya and Uganda. Teachers from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) benefit from the training workshops and resource centres set up under these programmes. SIPs are helping teachers to teach more creatively and children to learn faster through the introduction
of child-centred activities. They involve working hand in hand with governments while involving parents and communities in management in order to make schools more efficient, effective and sustainable.

Aga Khan Academy in Dar es Salaam
In 2005, His Highness the Aga Khan joined President Mkapa in laying the foundation stone for the construction of a new Aga Khan Academy in Dar es Salaam. The Academy will be a residential school offering pre-primary to higher secondary education benchmarked against world-class standards. A scholarship programme will support entry by top-ranked students of limited means. The Dar es Salaam Academy will be the third in a planned international network of Academies being established by the AKDN across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. The Academies will embrace a student-centred learning approach that will develop critical thinking skills. Students will be exposed to a rich and varied curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate (IB).

For more information, please see the Academy pages.

Aga Khan University in East Africa
Professional Development of Teachers
The Aga Khan University has been operating a US$ 20 million long-term initiative to address the quality of teaching and learning in Eastern Africa through the establishment of an Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), based in Dar es Salaam, as well as a sister programme in Mombasa, Kenya.

Founded in 1993 in Karachi, Pakistan, AKU-IED has promoted activity-based learning and reflective practice - as opposed to the existing norm of rote learning - as a way of preparing students and their teachers for the knowledge-based societies of the 21st century. By working closely with governments and local institutions, and with participation from teachers and administrators in government and private schools, the initiative works to help practising teachers and education administrators upgrade their skills and acquire new knowledge on how to teach and what to teach. It works to empower school heads, as well as officials in government departments, to change, enrich and make curricula more relevant so that school leavers will be better prepared.

When these teachers return to their villages and towns, many of them in remote areas of the country, they carry with them innovative methods for raising quality in classrooms, improving school management, and introducing relevant pedagogy, curricula and assessment. Through a “multiplier effect”, these graduates have had an impact well beyond their numbers. This component of the Aga Khan University is responsible not only for the professional development of teachers in Dar es Salaam and Tanzania but within the region.

In Tanzania, AKU offers a Master of Education (MEd) in Teacher Education and a Certificate in Education (formerly known as Visiting Teacher Programme) in five curriculum areas. The eight-week Certificate in Education programmes are aimed at enhancing the quality of classroom teaching and learning. In addition, a School-Based Visiting Teacher Programme aims to increase the application, and thereby the impact, of the methods of the visiting teacher programmes, which have been offered in Tanzania since 2000. The initiative focuses on improving the teaching of English, mathematics, science, social studies and primary education.

New Arusha Campus
On 19 August 2007, His Highness the Aga Khan announced plans to build a major new university campus in Arusha, in north-eastern Tanzania. The US$ 450-million complex will be developed over the coming 15 years. In developing the multiple campuses and new programmes in Arusha and Nairobi Africa, AKU will invest over $700 million in the region over the next fifteen years, providing direct employment to approximately 4,000 people on an ongoing basis.

Already, fully one third of the students attending AKU campuses are from East Africa; at full capacity, the new East Africa campuses will educate 3000 students.

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