Student collaboration between Hyderabad and Mombasa Academies | Aga Khan Academies

Student collaboration between Hyderabad and Mombasa Academies

19 June 2017

Grade 6 students from the sister institutions connected through video conference on Friday 26th May to discuss their English unit on Shakespeare, following the recent launch of the teacher exchange programme. Students in both Academies and their respective English faculty – Vasanthi Thandlam in Hyderabad and Johnson Monari in Mombasa – exemplified the benefits of belonging to a network of academic institutions through this first formal exercise in direct student collaboration and exchange.

“It was an exciting day for our sixth graders as they eagerly awaited meeting their Mombasa friends,” recollected Vasanthi. “Johnson and I had made prior arrangements and we started off really well with both AKA Hyderabad and Mombasa students greeting each other. In the beginning, the students introduced themselves and later we moved to a Q&A session which was followed by discussions on Shakespeare. We found that the students had researched on the given topic and had come prepared for the meeting.”

Grade 6 students had introduced themselves to each other beforehand through letters, in which they clarified what they wanted to ask or learn from their colleagues. They discussed what factors influenced Shakespeare’s writing style within the broader question of culture and context. They also reflected on why, after several centuries, Shakespeare was still considered one of the greatest writers of all time, and why students all over the world still studied his work.  

“As the unit was on Shakespeare, we asked each other questions about him and I really enjoyed the discussion since it enhanced my knowledge about the writer,” wrote Hyderabad grade 6 student Roshanuddin Khedri. “We have also gained awareness about India and Kenya, especially regarding language. This empowered me with a lot of knowledge about both countries with which I am unfamiliar since I am from Afghanistan, and promoted pluralism because we talked about similarities and differences.”

Although the discussion was centered on their current English unit, students shared information about their cultures, food, languages and schools. The video conference was a direct result of Johnson’s stay in Hyderabad in April, and arose from his discussions on curriculum exchange between the Academies. Read more about the network teacher exchange programme here