Today, we work in 10 countries across East Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Over 75 percent of our 197 schools and pre-primary centres are located in rural and remote communities where access to quality education is limited. We offer non-formal education programmes at over a hundred centres, and undertake outreach to provide training and share best practices with other educators in the communities we serve.
Each school aspires to deliver an inclusive, academically rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that honours the context in which students live and their place as global citizens. We aim to nurture socially and environmentally conscious citizens who strive for positive change in their schools and wider community, and continue contributing to improving their communities’ quality of life beyond graduation.
Embedded in their local communities, our schools provide education for all. Families come from across the socio-economic spectrum and our students speak over 35 languages and dialects. Our schools are as diverse as their students. In Pakistan, for example, they range from a campus serving 5,000 children in Karachi to the rural schools in the Northern Areas, which teach fewer than a hundred students in multi-age classes.
Aga Khan schools and programmes are staffed by qualified teachers, dedicated to providing support for academic attainment, overall progress and wellbeing. Teachers engage in ongoing professional development through training and global professional learning communities. Almost half of our staff are female and 99 percent are local.
Operating from over 300 buildings, our infrastructure supports learning, health, safety and wellbeing while focusing on environmentally sustainable design solutions. All facilities upgrades use local human resources to provide economic benefits to their communities.
From Early Childhood to Adulthood
Research shows that high-quality experiences in the early years are linked to positive outcomes associated with health, social and economic wellbeing as adults. Our early childhood development (ECD) and pre-primary programmes train and support teachers to provide safe, stimulating, and nurturing early learning environments for children as young as 18 months. Our 259 pre-primary units, serving over 16,600 students, are mainly in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where there is little other provision.
The schools offer a thorough academic education, with co-curricular activities to enrich students’ learning. Each is affiliated to a national or international examination board, such as the Aga Khan University Examination Board and the International Baccalaureate.
Our schools offer clubs and camps and many provide additional summer and winter holiday enrichment programmes. Robotics, coding and maker spaces are part of the curriculum in some of our countries.
Community service programmes are a fundamental part of the education of an Aga Khan student. These programmes extend beyond the classroom and equip students with essential skills that cannot be measured with a grade.
Our learning centres offer non-formal programmes to supplement school-based learning and continuing education programmes for adults to support employability and access to higher education. Courses include internationally accredited ICT programmes and English programmes for students aged 16 and up.
Graduates are equipped with the knowledge they need to thrive throughout their adult lives, skills for success in an ever-changing world, and the attitudes and values they need to be ethical adults and to shape a positive future for themselves and others. In 2021, students received university places in over 30 countries.
Aga Khan schools aim to do more than prepare young people for the world of work; they aim to equip students with the skills they need to become active, responsible and engaged citizens, with a commitment to lifelong learning. The pandemic has highlighted how learning to form clear and purposeful goals, work with others with different perspectives and identify multiple solutions to big problems is becoming increasingly essential.