Update from the Head of Academy - The Campus is closed but the Academy is open | Aga Khan Academies

Update from the Head of Academy - The Campus is closed but the Academy is open

30 March 2020

Dear Parents,

Over the course of the past few weeks, a team here at the Academy has been meeting regularly to monitor and plan our response to the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation. We have focused on the health and wellbeing of the school community and implemented measures to mitigate the risk of any infection.

As a residential school we are interdependent and interconnected.  For many of our students and staff, this means living in close proximity to each other. The health of each individual can affect and be affected by the health of everyone else.  When one member of the community comes down with a contagious illness, it can quickly spread to others. This is a very normal pattern in residential schools the world over!

COVID-19 is clearly different from the routine infections which come and go year by year.  It seems to be more contagious and more lethal than seasonal flu.  At the moment, humans have no immunity from it and there is not yet a vaccine for it.  Last night, the Prime Minister announced a nation-wide lockdown for 21-days.  The IB has also confirmed that this year’s Diploma Programme exams will not take place as scheduled. 

Guided by a commitment to the health and well-being of our students and staff, the campus will remain closed and the Academy will transition to a distance-learning programme for all students from Monday the 6th of April.  As we are part of an integrated network of Academies and also part of the Aga Khan Development Network(AKDN), we have benefited from the guidance of the AKDN Steering Committee and Task Force on COVID-19 in making this decision. Teachers across the Academies network have been preparing for this eventuality for several weeks.  Distance-learning has already been launched in the Mombasa and Maputo Academies and the early feedback is encouraging!  We are geared-up to provide a well-thought out programme which could run, if necessary, until the end of May. 

Should the Government decide that the situation has improved to the extent that it is safe and sensible to reopen schools and transition back to normal arrangements before the end of our school year, we would consider doing so.

We approach this transition with three aims in mind: to sustain quality learning, to maintain connections and to promote the wellbeing of the school community. We will continue to take care of residential students who have been unable to leave the campus during the mid-term break.  Once travel restrictions are lifted, and it is absolutely safe to do so, we will work with individual parents to arrange travel home.

We have not yet come to a decision about the implications for Graduation this year; it is too early to say. Several options are under consideration, including the possibility of a virtual event.  Please be assured that our actions will be motivated by what is best for the health and wellbeing of everyone.

Further details will follow shortly.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me on this email address should you have any concerns or questions. 

With all good wishes to you and your family,

Dr Long