New AKA Partnership on Teacher Development Initiatives | Aga Khan Academies

New AKA Partnership on Teacher Development Initiatives

27 May 2016

Professor Wendy Carr and Mr. Salim Bhatia after signing the MoU  The Aga Khan Academies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 20 May 2016 with the University of British Columbia (UBC) for collaboration on future initiatives including teacher development, curriculum enhancement and research. 

Director of Academies Salim Bhatia and Professor Wendy Carr, Associate Dean for Teacher Education at UBC, signed the MoU at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

TPP interns and mentors attend MoU signing ceremony in MombasaOne of the first initiatives that will benefit from this partnership is the Aga Khan Academies' Teacher Preparation Programme (TPP), which recruits top graduates in the field of education from Kenyan universities for an 18-month internship at the Academy in Mombasa.

Working in conjunction with UBC will enable the Aga Khan Academies to pursue formal recognition of the TPP under the International Baccalaureate’s Certificate in Teaching and Learning. If successful, it will be the first school-based programme in the world to be so recognised. The programme employs a problem-based learning approach, rarely used in teacher training, and inculcates best practices in international education. 

Head of Academy Bill O'Hearn speaks about the benefits of TPP“We can’t have great student leaders without having great teacher leaders,” said Salim Bhatia at the signing ceremony.

As part of the training programme, TPP interns learn a great deal about the International Baccalaureate programmes and the pedagogical skills needed to deliver them effectively. They also develop understanding of the Aga Khan Academies context through mentorship they receive from experienced senior teachers. This close interaction benefits both the interns and their teacher mentors by enriching the classroom with diverse perspectives. It also promotes the improvement of teaching, as both intern and teacher engage in a reflective cycle of learning and doing. 

The main objectives of the TPP are to prepare young Kenyan teachers to teach the International Baccalaureate to a very high standard and enable them to contribute more widely to the improvement of education in Kenya as opportunities permit.

“We commend you for your work [on TPP] and look forward to working together with you in the future,” said Professor Carr.

The MoU signing with UBC marks the beginning of ongoing collaborative efforts to enhance teacher development locally through programmes like the TPP.

By Haifa Badi-Uz-Zaman