"Confident attitudes to education, habits of learning, develop early in life. They are related to health and physical vitality, reinforced by steady, predictable environments of honesty, fairness and intellectual rigour."
New Edition of the Aga Khan Academies Newsletter
Elias Okwara returns to the Academy to speak to current students
Creating leaders for civil society
Aga Khan Academy to be Established in Bangladesh
Aga Khan Urges Educators to Embrace Pluralism and Diversity in Teaching: He urges intellectual humility and pluralism as essential to a 21st Century education
Aga Khan to Build Uganda's First Aga Khan Academy: Economic development must be matched by human development
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The Aga Khan Academies
In 2000, His Highness the Aga Khan initiated a programme for the establishment of an integrated network of schools, called Aga Khan Academies, dedicated to expanding access to education of an international standard of excellence. The Academies, which will educate young men and women from pre-primary through higher secondary education, are planned for key locations in Africa and Asia (See map). The first such school, the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, began operating in August of 2003.
Admission is based solely on merit. Admission is also needs blind - that is, selection is based not on the ability to pay but on merit determined by a wide range of criteria, including academic strength and overall potential. Socio-economic status will therefore no longer be a limiting factor in determining achievement.
An Emphasis On The Humanities
The Academies offer a broad, multidisciplinary education with an emphasis on the humanities. Students study a range of subjects that include, but are not limited to, history; literature; the general sciences comprising physics, biology and chemistry; philosophy and ethics; the mastery of a foreign language and the study of foreign cultures; comparative religion; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; and the social sciences, including political science, government and global economics.
The Academies offer student-centred teaching and learning environments designed to stimulate the joy of inquiry. Interactive education encourages students to ask questions, pursue independent lines of inquiry and develop interest and expertise in a broad range of knowledge.
Co-curricular subjects, such as music, art and dance, further enrich the curriculum. Extra-curricular activities, like after-school sports and clubs and programmes of community service, play an important part in extending learning to less tangible qualities, such as self-esteem, self-confidence, teamwork, self-discipline and sociability - qualities that play an important part in the development of the students' value systems. Mastery of at least two languages, with English as one of them, grants access to far wider sources of information, than proficiency in one language only. It also prepares students for opportunities in an increasingly interdependent world.
Likewise, a programme of computer literacy provides students at all levels with an appropriate amount of hands-on experience with computers. The aim is to provide the tools for progressive mastery of computer and information technologies. To provide an environment conducive to this goal, the Academies are networked so that computers become a common resource for teachers and students.
Graduates of the Academies are part of an international body of exceptional students who have studied a common curriculum recognised and accepted at schools and universities throughout the world.
They are self-reliant and confident in their abilities. They are secure in their own identities while understanding and respecting the cultures and traditions of others.
They aim to be leaders in the fields of their choice. They are equipped with the skills, qualifications and outlook necessary to take advantage of new opportunities.
They are able to think critically, to analyse and reflect. They are creative and flexible. They are curious and approach learning with a certain rigor and self discipline. They exhibit competence with technology, but also an engagement in sports and art.