25 years in the making
Aga Khan School, Sidhpur celebrates its Silver Jubilee
In the late 1980s, while India was ecstatic over lifting the cricket World Cup, leaders at the Aga Khan Education Board were thinking about how to match the sporting excellence in the field of education. In Sidhpur, a town that gracefully sits on the bank of the Saraswati river in northern Gujarat, they started by researching the town’s needs.
Soon the foundation was laid for the new school on a 53,000-square-foot site donated by the Aga Khan Hostel, Sidhpur. In 1993—exactly 25 years ago—The Aga Khan School, Sidhpur (AKS,S), started co-educational secondary classes in a purpose-built school building with well-equipped classrooms, an auditorium, laboratory and library. It started small, serving only standards 5 through 8 in its first year. But the idea was for each student to receive a holistic learning experience on par with global educational standards.
Over time, the school extended from primary school to Higher Secondary Certificate exams, with a success rate of 96 per cent in their first exams. In the early 2000’s, the school began converting from Gujarati to English medium instruction.
Today AKS,S sets the bar for education in the region. “We have many parents who used to be students of this school and now have their children studying here as well,” said Mr. Ranjan Goyal, CEO of the Aga Khan Education Service, India (AKES,I) during the school’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. “This is a testament to the school’s remarkable tradition of providing quality education, from one generation to the next.” Mr. Goyal said he hopes for the school to continue impacting Sidhpur and its neighbouring communities.
AKS,S is one of 28 schools run by The Aga Khan Education Service in India, and more than 200 globally. Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) is part of The Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private, non-denominational agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in the developing world.
The Jubilee celebrations in Sidhpur were inaugurated with a community marathon open to all the residents of Sidhpur. Over 550 locals participated in the marathon, including many seniors. “It was a spectacular scene to witness,” said Police Inspector Mr. Y B Jadeja who inaugurated the event.
Also as part of the celebration, AKES students worked with the Sidhpur residents to collect educational books and non-perishable food items as part of the Joy of Giving project. Together they collected and donated 500 books and 150 kilograms of grain to Viklang Vikasyagna Trust, which works for the betterment of differently abled people.
“I am both thankful and pleased with the donation and efforts of Aga Khan students who helped collect the donation,” said Ishwarbhai H Suthar, president of the Viklang Vikasyagna Trust.
The celebrations ended with a cultural event featuring spectacular dance and theatre performances by students of the school. With an enthralled audience of over 3000, the event made this Silver Jubilee an occasion to be remembered for decades to come.