Aga Khan Academy Dhaka welcomes its first batch of students | Aga Khan Academies

Aga Khan Academy Dhaka welcomes its first batch of students

21 August 2022

The Aga Khan Academy Dhaka, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)opened its doors for the first time today to 575 students. The long-awaited moment was met with anticipation, excitement and joy as students explored their new 17-acre, state-of-the-art, award-winning campus. 

“I am feeling so ecstatic right now for the first day of classes, and to learn here and dive deep into various topics and use them in my daily life,” said Grade 6 student Dootee Oronna. 

Located in Bashundhara, the Academy is the fourth in an integrated global network of non-profit, non-denominational, residential schools. The Aga Khan Academies is dedicated to expanding access to education of an international standard of excellence to exceptional girls and boys regardless of their ability to pay. Currently, 50 percent of students across the Academies receive some level of financial aid through scholarship funding. 

The Academy in Dhaka follows the highly successful models established by the Academies in Mombasa, Kenya, Hyderabad, India and Maputo, Mozambique. In addition, the Academy carries forward the legacy of The Aga Khan School, Dhaka – which has been providing high quality education to students in Dhaka for over 30 years – with more than 90 percent of students from the school transitioning to the Academy. 

Welcoming students, staff and parents gathering on the grounds on the momentous opening day, AKDN Diplomatic Representative for Bangladesh His Excellency Munir M Merali spoke about His Highness the Aga Khan’s vision for the Academies and the impact that its future leaders would have in the decades to come. 

“Education remains a key area of interest for AKDN in Bangladesh,” HE Munir M Merali remarked. “With around 40 million young students in the primary and secondary education system in the country, the quality of education and teaching is most important. For this and other reasons, AKDN is committed to helping improve the education sector by developing models of excellence in education, such as the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka.” 

AKDN has been active in Bangladesh for nearly seven decades, working in areas of early childhood development, pre-tertiary education and financial services within the country. In 2013, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and AKDN signed a Protocol of Cooperation – building off an earlier protocol signed in 1993 – to enhance the collaboration between the country and AKDN in areas of economic, cultural and social development.  

In addition to providing excellence in education, this Academy will also be rooted in the local contexts of Bangladesh, with the aim of developing well-rounded, ethical homegrown leaders who will use the knowledge they have gained to enhance the quality of life in their home country. 

Similar to its sister Academies, the Academy in Dhaka is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The curriculum is designed to be inquiry-based and holistic, which is complemented by the Academy’s co-curricular, arts, athletic and community service initiatives. This will be further enhanced through the Academy’s residential programme, which once established in the near future – will bring students and staff from around the world to the Academy to provide a broad selection of activities and leadership opportunities. 

Parents equally shared the excitement of students, who were eager to get to their classrooms. 

“We’ve been waiting for the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka to open, and we really wanted our daughter to go to a school that provides all the facilities from arts, to academics, to sports and everything else,” said Nehal Ahamad, a parent of a Grade 3 student, who attended the parents’ morning coffee event at the Academy“We’re very excited to be here and to meet the parents, the staff and the teachers. It’s a wonderful campus – well done to the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka.” 

For the teachers at the Academy, not only are they looking forward to beginning this academic year at a new campus with state-of-the-art facilities, but also to the professional development opportunities they will be exposed to through the Academy’s Professional Development Centre.  

"I’m excited to be here at the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka because we’re making history here – we have a wonderful campus that caters to our students’ needs and we have an incredible curriculum,” English teacher Tahmina Begum said. “I’m happy to be a part of this history here that is also allowing me to become a better teacher for my students through the professional development workshops the Academy will provide.”  

The establishment of the new Academy has been made possible by the continued support of the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladeshwhose vision for excellence in education has closely aligned with that of AKDN, as well as the dedicated staff and parents, all of whom have contributed to ensure that the students have access to the very best standards of education at the Academy.