The Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) was established in India in 1986 but its precursors date back to 1905, when the first Aga Khan school was opened in Mundra, Gujarat. It now operates eight schools, two pre-primary schools, one hostel and 17 early child development (day care) centres in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana. Through these interventions, AKES provides child-centred education to 8,500 students every year. Since its establishment in India, AKES schools have educated over 65,500 children.
In response to the need to support children’s development and create awareness amongst the parents of first-generation learners, AKES started the Rural Education Advancement Programme, which runs pre-primary and upgraded rural primary education centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and uses the Shishu Pahel Paddhati (child-initiated learning) methodology developed by AKES. This methodology has been scaled up, notably in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and is now being used by AKDN as part of an Anganwadi (government child care centre) improvement programme in Gujarat.
The Aga Khan Foundation works in partnership with governments, school faculties, parents and communities to develop affordable, innovative solutions that raise the quality and accessibility of their public school systems. In India, its school improvement initiatives are reaching over 91,000 children in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Telengana (Hyderabad). Interventions include training of teachers in government schools, improving the teaching and learning environment through the adoption of child-centred learning material, strengthening school management committees to increase parental involvement in child learning and improving school management. Converging with the AKDN Comprehensive Sanitation Initiative, repair of school sanitation facilities with a specific focus on facilitating access to improved sanitation for girl students and establishing drinking water and hand-washing platforms, and targeted hygiene education within schools, are underway.
The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad was established in 2011 as the second in a planned network of 18 K-12 schools across 14 countries. It was set up with the aim of educating talented students from all backgrounds to become home-grown leaders, who can transform societies of the future. Students are selected based on merit, regardless of socioeconomic background, race, religion or culture, and financial aid is provided to ensure access. The Academy provides education of the highest quality within the framework of the International Baccalaureate curriculum to girls and boys from grades K-12, preparing them for lives characterised by leadership and service. It is both an International Baccalaureate World School and a Microsoft Showcase School.
The Academies are also committed to improving standards of education in the areas where they are situated. The campus in Hyderabad includes a Professional Development Centre that helps strengthen the quality of teaching in the region by providing professional development training for government school educators.