Meet Smita Gangola - our new AKA Maputo MYP Coordinator | Aga Khan Academies

Meet Smita Gangola - our new AKA Maputo MYP Coordinator

29 July 2020

“Learn, unlearn and relearn.” A motto that is rather apt for a world overshadowed by the global pandemic, is also our new MYP Coordinator, Smita Gangola’s axiom for her life as a teacher. Onboarded remotely, Smita is already working with members of faculty and looking forward to start off the new academic year in August, 2020.

Having worked in education for the better part of two decades, she comes to the Academy with international experience from Kazakhstan and her homeland India. She is a specialist in the teaching of language. A main focus of her work will be to build upon the recommendations made in the IB Authorisation Report and to continue to develop the inherent strengths of the programme.

Choosing to capitalise on time by teaching while she was pursuing her teaching degree, she shares the calling to teach came rather naturally. She credits her father who taught at a leading institution in India for inspiring her to take up the profession.

“I attribute some of it to my family lineage, my father retired as a Physical Education Instructor; and some goes all the way back to school when I would peer teach my friends, particularly those who were perennially truanting from school. Along the years, my deep connect with the students and our mutual love and admiration for each other forged my resolve to stay committed as a teacher.”

After teaching the Indian National Curriculum for 10 years, she transitioned to teaching the International Baccalaureate programme for a network of international schools and has not looked back since. She lauds the IB curriculum for its conceptual approach which gives teachers and students the ability to make connections outside the classroom.

“It (IB) enables you to grasp elements and nuances in a lesson and consequently make real life connections to the world around you. So even when you teach a piece of poetry or you teach drama, then you're not just associating with the characters within a particular narrative. You start seeing those characters around and you start making associations that hit home,” she explains.

No stranger to working in new environments, testing or demanding, she regards the move to online learning more an eye-opener than a challenge. “There is always an alternative, always a solution, and always an answer to a problem. So what seemed very daunting a few months ago has gradually become the ‘new norm.’ It is amazing to see how we manoeuver through our set course in times of need and eventually emerge victorious.”

Applauding the AK Strand of Pluralism, Smita points out, “The ability to connect with one another and work towards goals for common good is extremely important and sets a leader apart from the masses. As I understand it, we at the Academy, always strive to nurture such leaders to bring better quality of life for one and all.” 

While there were a number of reasons she wanted to join the Academy, the notion of grooming young leaders beyond their cultural, social and economic differences was simple what took the cake for Smita. Eager to interact with students as well as colleagues, she said, “I look forward to not just seeing you and meeting you but also forging a bond of unique love and friendship. To new beginnings and a beautiful journey ahead, I send my best wishes and pray He keeps you all safe and healthy. Much love and laughter. Te vejo em breve!”