The School, with support from the Aga Khan Education Services, is strongly committed to promoting and enhancing quality education. Better trained and skilled teachers provide a more varied, interesting and enriched learning experience for students.
Teachers are recruited through a rigorous selection process. Candidates present a demonstration lesson, which is used to assess their teaching skills. They also undergo a written and oral interview by the School administration. The teacher selection criteria include: competence and experience in the subject area, understanding of modern teaching methods and commitment to broad-based learning, motivation towards the teaching-learning process and openness to change.
Teachers are mainly Ugandan professionals with representation from other cultural backgrounds who are dedicated to the Aga Khan Schools' educational philosophy and to bringing out the best from each child. Many have Masters degrees; some are distinguished authors, examiners, researchers or curriculum developers.
A unique feature of Aga Khan Schools is the emphasis on ongoing staff professional development. The High School is part of the International Academic Partnership, which promotes global education and student-centred teaching at participating schools.
The School regularly organises workshops and seminars for management and teaching staff. In-house implementation of best practice methodology is overseen by senior staff, some of whom have postgraduate qualifications in education from the Aga Khan University. This is part of the Aga Khan Education Service’s policy to constantly improve educational standards.
Teachers keep abreast of pedagogical research, incorporating effective and diverse teaching techniques into the classroom. Faculty regularly discusses and shares books, materials and teaching techniques, promoting a learning culture amongst teachers.
The AKU-IED also offers short courses by extension in Uganda to upgrade classroom skills, classroom management and use of information technology in teaching. Specialised exposure to international curricula is undertaken regionally and overseas and by distance learning.
Day to day professional staff development takes place in the classroom rather than in workshops. Ultimately, the processes of professional development and appraisal must benefit students, who deserve the very best the School can offer.
The effectiveness of any school is clearly linked to the attitudes, qualities and skills of its teaching staff and an intensive appraisal process is necessary to stimulate exemplary performance.
Faculty and non-teaching staff appraisal takes place periodically through the year and a formal evaluation takes place at year-end. Department heads, professional development trainers, deputy head teachers and the head teachers observe classes. It is normal practice for staff to appraise one another collegially through class visits or team teaching and reflect on teaching practices.
Syllabus coverage is monitored every term by the Academic Team, who appraises work schemes, records and student exercise books.