In a partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Aga Khan Academy will help prepare young Kenyan teachers to teach the International Baccalaureate and contribute more widely to the improvement of education in Kenya. Top graduates in the field of education from Kenyan universities will be recruited for 18-month internships at the Academy in Mombasa.
This new initiative is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by UBC and the Aga Khan Academies on 20 May 2016 which lays the groundwork for collaboration on future initiatives including teacher development, curriculum enhancement and research. Working in conjunction with UBC will enable the Aga Khan Academies to pursue formal recognition of the Teacher Training Programme (TPP) under the International Baccalaureate’s Certificate in Teaching and Learning. If successful, it will be the first school-based programme in the world to be so recognised. The programme employs a problem-based learning approach, rarely used in teacher training, and inculcates best practices in international education.
“We can’t have great student leaders without having great teacher leaders,” said Salim Bhatia, Director of the Aga Khan Academies at the signing ceremony. As part of the training programme, TPP interns learn a great deal about the International Baccalaureate programmes and the pedagogical skills needed to deliver them effectively. They also develop understanding of the Aga Khan Academies context through mentorship they receive from experienced senior teachers.
This close interaction benefits both the interns and their teacher mentors by enriching the classroom with diverse perspectives. It also promotes the improvement of teaching, as both intern and teacher engage in a reflective cycle of learning and doing.
The main objectives of the TPP are to prepare young Kenyan teachers to teach the International Baccalaureate to a very high standard and enable them to contribute more widely to the improvement of education in Kenya as opportunities permit. “We commend you for your work [on TPP] and look forward to working together with you in the future,” said Professor Wendy Carr, Associate Dean for Teacher Education at UBC, who signed the MoU at the Academy in Mombasa.
This partnership with UBC marks the beginning of ongoing collaborative efforts to enhance teacher development locally through programmes like the TPP.