Osh, Kyrgyzstan, 18 October 2012 – The Aga Khan School – the first private school in Osh – today celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the presence of Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
Established in 2002, the School is part of a network of over 250 schools managed by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) in East Africa, South Asia and Central Asia. It provides close to 500 students with quality learning experiences in an environment which values diversity and responds creatively to the educational needs of children.
The ceremony was also attended by Vice Speaker of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic Asiya Sasykbaeva, Speaker of Osh City Council Taaliabek Sabirov, Vice Governor of Osh Oblast Ahmatjan Mahamedov, Vice Mayor of Osh City Dastan Hodjaev as well as 200 guests, including senior government officials, heads of diplomatic missions, international organisations, parents, students and alumni.
“It is with great pride and admiration that we are here to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of this young school,” said Princess Zahra speaking at the ceremony. She went on to recall the words of His Highness the Aga Khan when he spoke at the opening of the School, in 2002, about his ambitious goals for the Aga Khan School: “The ability to make judgments that are grounded in solid information, and employ careful analysis should be one of the most important goals for any educational endeavour. As students develop this capacity, they can begin to grapple with the most important and difficult step: to learn to place such judgments in an ethical framework. Therein lies the formation of the kind of social consciousness that our world so desperately needs.”
The celebrations at the Aga Khan School included student performances and a special awards ceremony recognising high performing staff, and outstanding students for their community service and academic excellence.
“Building on a century of leadership in educational development, the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) established the Aga Khan School in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in 2002, to offer an education for success in the modern world. Since the first graduating class in 2007, all 246 graduates have continued their education at local and international universities. This is a significant achievement,” said Nakhat Abdulofizov, Head of Education, AKES, Kyrgyzstan.
For the past decade, the Aga Khan School has become an integral part of the Osh City community offering innovative education approaches to both students and teachers. The school encourages students to master multiple languages, promotes the use of communication and information technology, as well as nurtures the love of sciences by conducting annual science fairs. It challenges the students to be intellectually inquisitive and socially conscious, preparing them to become confident leaders so they may contribute their knowledge to the development of their country.
Each year the School presents several scholarships and needs-based discounts to students from different districts of Osh Oblast to pursue a high quality education.
"I love spending my free time in the Learning Resource Centre, one of the best parts of the school,” said Nurkyz Abdykerimova, a grade 11 student. “The school provides students with everything they need. My parents are very proud that I am a student here. They are always excited to tell people that their daughter attends the Aga Khan School. Before, my parents wanted me to stay here, but now they are eager for me to study abroad. Thanks to my scholarship, my parents will be able to support my pursuit of post-secondary education at an international university."
In keeping with its mission of promoting quality education, the Aga Khan School has become the first school to be awarded a license from the Ministry of Education to offer certified professional development programmes to government school teachers. The programmes are expected to impact over 3,000 students. Developed in collaboration with the Osh Institute for Teachers Professional Development, these programmes highlight subjects such as the sciences, information technology, languages and critical thinking skills and have become models of best practice in Osh Oblast.
For more information, please contact:
Aga Khan Development Network Representation
for the Kyrgyz Republic
80, Tynystanov Street
Tel: +996 312 696024 ; +996 0772 533726
His Highness the Aga Khan is founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The Network engagement has ranged from early childhood development to university and adult education, from micro-credit to banking and financial services, from supporting tradition-bearers in music and oral recitation to building capacity of civil society institutions, from tourism to infrastructure development. Its annual budget for non-profit development is over US$625 million. In Kyrgyzstan, close to 1,000 people most of who are local citizens are directly employed by AKDN and its various agencies.
The Aga Khan School
Aga Khan School strives to create a harmonious balance between academic demands, sporting and cultural activities and community life. The school offers instruction in both English and Russian to 550 students from grades 5 to 11. In 2008, German language has been integrated into the curriculum with the support of German Embassy and a French Language Club was opened in the School with the support of French Embassy in 2009. The School supports in-house professional development for government school teachers, extends access of its Learning Resource Center to the public, and annually awards 10 students from remote areas with full scholarships to pursue education at AKS. In the past three years, 100% of graduates of the AKS have received admission to local and international universities.