Hawa Sabriye: Dedication to high-quality and inclusive education | Aga Khan Academies

Hawa Sabriye: Dedication to high-quality and inclusive education

Hawa Sabriye is a Kindergarten 3 and Grade 1 teacher at the Aga Khan Academy in Maputo, Mozambique.  Originally from Toronto, Canada – one of the most multicultural cities in the world – she knew that the Academy would easily feel like home. “The richness of diversity attracted me to the Academy, but it was the diversity of the curriculum that the Academy developed according to the principles of International Baccalaureate [IB], that really pulled me into accepting this position.” 

Hawa Sabriye
Having enjoyed the time she spent during high school and post-secondary studies working with children in community centres, Hawa was inspired to pursue teaching. She also realized that she was very passionate about the accessibility of education, “particularly quality education that serves purpose and provides students with skills and knowledge to support their communities and improve their future.” Majoring in English literature and minoring in both Human Geography and Education & Society, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto followed by a Bachelor of Education in 2015. She then went on to complete a Master of Education from York University while simultaneously working as an Occasional Teacher within the Toronto District School Board. 

Her journey to the Academy began when she was selected as the 2017/2018 Outreach Programme Support Fellow under the International Development Management stream of the International Youth Fellowship Program offered by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and funded by Global Affairs Canada. In addition to her regular teaching duties, she also does community outreach work through the Academy’s Professional Development Centre (PDC), where she works as a teacher educator in public schools with which the Academy has partnered. “I spend half of my week working in public schools modeling English teaching techniques and sharing practices in teaching and learning within larger classrooms.”

Hawa Sabriye
Hawa’s dedication to the profession is shown in this willingness to share best practices, in her transparency with parents about both her lesson planning and her students’ learning progress, as well as in her stance that trust and communication are the most important aspects of the teacher-student relationship. “It is vital that teachers and students are responsive and respectful to one another. Teachers need to be cognizant about the knowledge and skills of their students, through actively learning about their backgrounds, interests in and out of school, and their emotional and academic strengths.”

The Academy teaches its students to be inquisitive and to not only be strong academically but also socially and emotionally. Hawa enjoys working in such environments and finds that the most rewarding aspect of teaching at the Academy is being a part of a dedicated team that is committed to providing students with high quality education. She believes that “the Academy’s educational vision prepares students to develop ethical and public-minded skills, knowledge and experiences that are needed for them to support positive development in their communities and around the world.” The Academy has helped Hawa become a more effective teacher by encouraging various teaching strategies such as student-led exploration, co-teaching, and more. “In the few months that I have been working at the Academy in Maputo, I have gained a number of new pedagogical skills that have assisted my teaching within the IB programme. The Academy has also offered me the prospect of learning how to teach using translanguaging through promoting both English and Portuguese in our classes.”

Hawa Sabriye
“The Academy is an institution that is built on practices that promote diversity, inclusion and developing future leaders,” says Hawa. It sets itself apart from other educational institutions by using its diversity to enhance the learning and experiences of both the students and the teachers. “At the Academy in Maputo we ensure a climate of pluralism on campus through incorporating and promoting students’ backgrounds and interests, and through celebrating differences. Students from different racial, ethnic and faith backgrounds are continuously encouraged to learn together and work with each other in and out of classes. As we continue to build this healthy inclusive environment, the vision of the Academies developing students with values and attitudes that will turn them into ethical leaders is being established.”

By Ceisin Popat