Aga Khan Preschools: Exemplifying early childhood education excellence in India

06 November 2023

In a resounding testament to their commitment of nurturing young minds and fostering excellence in early childhood education, the Aga Khan Preschools emerged as the winner of the “Early Childhood Education Chain” at the India Didactics Association (IDA) Education Awards 2023.

Aga Khan Preschools: Exemplifying early childhood education excellence in India Aga Khan Preschools: Exemplifying early childhood education excellence in India Aga Khan Preschools: Exemplifying early childhood education excellence in India
The IDA Education Award also recognised the Aga Khan Education Service, India and the Diamond Jubilee High School, Mumbai as the “Torchbearers” under the K12 Education Category, and the Aga Khan School, Chitravad and Little Star High School, Adilabad as the “Torchbearers” under the Early Learning Category with all schools receiving special certificates. The award carries significant weight in the educational landscape, known for its promotion and acknowledgement of educational excellence through a rigorous evaluation process.  

The journey of the Aga Khan Preschools in becoming the country's leading “Early Childhood Education Chain” is a testament to their relentless pursuit of excellence. The Aga Khan Preschools were founded in 1978 and have evolved into a celebrated institution with 19 preschools spread across Gujarat and Maharashtra. Their path to becoming the nation's premier preschool chain is a remarkable tale of dedication and innovation. 

The Aga Khan Preschools have an exceptionally strong academic component, which has garnered recognition from some of the world's finest organisations and institutes. The preschools’ dedication to nurturing young minds goes beyond the classroom, following the “Shishu Pahel Paddhati” of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), India, which translates to "child-initiated approach". This philosophy places the child's well-being, growth and development at the forefront of all their efforts. The preschools’ curriculum extends beyond the academics, including a rich array of co-curricular activities throughout the year, ensuring that children develop skills, creativity and a love for learning. 

At the core of the preschools’ success is a unique model run by volunteers. The Local Management Committee appointed by AKES, India manages day-to-day operations and various events, including annual day, sports day, field trips, educational trips, medical check-ups and parent meetings, to provide a well-rounded educational experience for children. 

Additionally, parents are not passive observers but active partners in their child's developmental journey.  Parents are invited to participate in the preschool events and celebrations, and volunteer in planning and executing events by helping with the decorations, arranging snacks, making props, and takeaways. Parents also generously sponsor Preschool events and celebrations. 

The Aga Khan Preschools journey from its humble beginnings to its recognition as the nation's premier preschool chain is an inspiring tale of community-driven education, and AKES, India is looking forward to continuing to demonstrate the transformative potential of service and volunteerism, showcasing what can be achieved when a dedicated community comes together for the greater good in an ever-changing world. 

“My heartfelt gratitude to the entire AKES, India family for their commitment to excellence in education,” said the CEO of AKES, India, Mr Farhad Merchant. “I would also like to thank our extended family of friends and well-wishers, supporting and cheering us along our journey. The IDA awards and recognition received by the Aga Khan Education Service, India are a testimony of our endeavour towards providing the best learning experiences to our students, across all our schools and preschools.” 

Photos (top to bottom): 
  • Teachers accepting the award
  • Various accolades won by the Aga Khan Preschools