Sreelatha Kumar: Principal, Junior School, The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad | Aga Khan Academies

Sreelatha Kumar: Principal, Junior School, The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad

I was appointed the Principal of the Junior School in April 2014. Originally from Kerala, India, most of my teaching experience has been in international schools in Kenya and Uganda. Now into my 25th year of teaching, I hold a Master’s degree in International Education, and I have been working with the AKDN since 2003, initially as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) educator at the Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi, Kenya. I was part of the start-up team of the Academy in Hyderabad, in the role of PYP Coordinator from 2011. The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad received its PYP authorization in January 2014, and the process was led by the pedagogical leadership team made up of the then Junior School principal and myself. Currently I am also a member of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Educator Network and trained to be a school visit team member and a workshop leader. 

The Aga Khan Academies’ vision resonates with my own teaching philosophy and aligns with the IB mission statement. This makes working at the Academy in Hyderabad a very rewarding experience, and I cherish every moment of it. Having been an integral part of the Academy right from day one of its operation in August 2011, I’ve had the good fortune to see the school growing in all kinds of ways.
 
The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad is in its fifth year of operation, and the student numbers have risen dramatically, from 70 in 2011 to almost 600. The campus, including its residential facilities, have been fully operational since 2014, and the Academy has had three cohorts of graduating Diploma students. These are no ordinary achievements for a young school, and all made possible by a team of motivated staff and inspirational leadership.

With the growth of the institution, I saw tremendous progress in my own learning. It has been an incredible journey in the past two years as a member of the school’s senior leadership team. Being a part of the decision-making process and being in a position to bring about positive change in the school are highly rewarding experiences.
 
Apart from its magnificent campus, life at the Academy is also reflective of progressive educational practices and a strong sense of service and action. These elements, along with the focus on the Aga Khan strands of pluralism, ethics and cultures, make teaching here a truly unique experience. In an attempt to develop ‘homegrown, ethical leaders’, one cannot help but be introspective and develop these qualities in oneself and strive to lead a life of inquiry and learning as a member of the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad community.

 

 

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