Good Housekeeping: The New Year’s Resolutions (2022) | Aga Khan Academies

Good Housekeeping: The New Year’s Resolutions (2022)

11 January 2022

The setting of resolutions has long been the tradition of people around the world and we at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa are no different. Students, teachers and organisational leaders alike have gotten the opportunity to reflect on the past year and set out a path for the next. A path guided by purpose and discipline.

In keeping with the organisation’s principles, philosophy and His Highness the Aga Khan’s vision, the Academy continues to embark on its mission to instil its students with an education that will prepare them for life after school, enabling them to lead and enact positive change within the world they occupy. This is purposefully done through its people at its best, the community – students, teachers and support staff alike, are complimentary through the series of projects set to be enacted within the calendar year 2022.

Contemplating the new year, Head of Academy Alison Hampshire outlines her hopes for the Academy in 2022. Highlighting the significant efforts last year that the school community undertook to return to the essence of normalcy, she reiterates the importance to continue with that progression. 

“My first priority is making sure everybody is back safe,” Alison said. “Secondly, is to keep moving forward from where we were last semester when we were bringing back more normality and trying to manage that safe forward progression even with the new circumstances and developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to keep trying to make life as impactful and rich as it was pre-COVID.”

Notably too this year is the reaccreditation process with the International Baccalaureate that occurs every five years to recertify a school as an IB World School, which will involve teacher development and everyone within the Academy community. 

“This involves everybody reflecting on what we are doing well and how we know we are doing it well,” Alison said. “This is a period of time dedicated to introspection on what we hope to achieve and how it aligns with our expectations – looking for areas to improve and areas to celebrate.”

For students, this has been the opportune time to set out goals and expectations for themselves and their academic journeys for the upcoming year. With the help of their mentors, who in turn act as their accountability partners, students have outlined different individualistic approaches to help them progress down the path of each of their own identified resolutions.

Reflecting on the previous year, Nalani Mungai, a Diploma Programme 1 student, hopes to focus on growth, balance and being more outgoing. Her approach to school life this year is to find stability between her academics and extracurriculars, giving a bit more attention to the DP1 school play, which she is the director of, as well as the Academy’s girls’  football team.

“A lot of my energy last year was concentrated on school, which was a good thing because I was able to improve in lots of areas,” Nalani said. “Where I was academically in June is not where I was in December. However, there were areas I realised I was not able to work on. This stems into my resolution for this year, which is growth, balance and being more outgoing. I want to grow and find balance in all aspects of my life. Academically, I have set a timetable and goals which I hope to achieve. A mentor also recommended the Wysa app which helps a lot with recognising how and why I am feeling what I am feeling, giving me more power to be intentional in managing and committing to the different spheres of my life be it friends, football, the play and school.”

Ayman Ladha, a Grade 7 student, who had great success with his Model United Nations (MUN) enrichment and was called upon to attend the National MUN conference as the ambassador of his delegation, aims to cut more screen time and work more on his assessment revising techniques this year.

“In 2022 I would love to take up a new interest and a new sport,” Ayman said. “I would also like to participate more in class – revising for assessments has always been a challenge for me in the past years. This year I want to try my best to revise more by setting intentional schedules to help me focus during these times. I would also prefer to limit my screen time so I can maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Teachers, in turn, have had a similar responsibility. Within their respective fields, subjects, or departments, they too have set out expectations and approaches to the new year after the evaluation of the year passed.

Kauthar Mohamed, the Academy’s service-learning and student leadership coordinator envisions the future to include a multidimensional approach to the Aga Khan Academies’ mission. Having oversight in the leadership, service-learning and internship aspects of the academy, she put forth a blueprint to further achieve this.

“My main vision for service learning this year is to critically align the subject units inside the classroom to the Academy’s service-learning and come up with yearly projects,” Kauthar said. “I also aim to fully support the mentors and indoctrinate them into service-learning to ensure we are being as impactful as we can be in instilling these ethical values in students.” 

Kauthar aims to introduce leadership into the younger years’ curriculum by slowly incorporating aspects of leadership into their core time. As is, leadership is mostly focused on the Grade 9-DP2 students. By introducing concepts such as mental health and critical thinking in their younger years, students will better acclimate to the leadership programme when the time comes. With internships, Kauthar hopes to expand the networks for the student internships to include non-Aga Khan Development Network organisations as well as improve the cross-network internships to further enrich the students' experience.

Apart from the various individual or department resolutions set for the coming year, the school has a number of general projects it hopes to have completed within the year. From the completion of the MPH renovation, the creation of a new sports area, installing floodlights on the existing football pitch to give way to more sporting activities to occur in the evening, improving the school’s water infrastructure and opening up the school to more inter-school competitions, what’s evident is that the year 2022 shows a lot of promise for the entire Aga Khan Academy Mombasa Community.