“Skill Up”: AKES, India’s Annual Training Programme for teachers

01 July 2024

The Aga Khan Education Service, India hosted its Annual Training Programme, “Skill Up” at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad throughout June 2024.

“Skill Up”: AKES, India’s Annual Training Programme for teachers  “Skill Up”: AKES, India’s Annual Training Programme for teachers  “Skill Up”: AKES, India’s Annual Training Programme for teachers
Held in two phases for five days, the programme aimed to enhance teaching and learning skills, foster collaboration among educators, and provide a platform for professional development. A total of 270 participants attended the Annual Training Programme (ATP), which included teachers from eight of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), India schools in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Telangana, Aga Khan Preschools, Aga Khan Hostel, Hyderabad and AKES, India’s outreach partner, Girnar High School, Gujarat. 

The programme commenced with a welcome video by CEO of AKES, India Mr Farhad Merchant. He emphasised the significance of the ATP to the participants and encouraged them to strive for excellence both in and out of classrooms. He also stressed the importance of leveraging technology to enhance students’ learning outcomes. 

“You shoulder a great responsibility as a teacher at the Aga Khan Schools and must take this responsibility seriously,” Mr Farhad said. “Whatever you learn here and implement in your classroom will set the stage for the students who are our future generation of leaders to succeed in their roles. Make the most of this opportunity.” 

The first session of the programme was a book review of the novel “Diwasapna” led by Head of Academics for AKES, India Dr Trisha Sen. Teachers discussed and critically analysed aspects of an innovative teacher who transformed a traditional rural school. The participants then identified ways to apply these learnings to their own classrooms. 

A critical session on safeguarding was also conducted. This was led by members of AKES, India, including, Gujarat Regional Head Dr Iqbal Sama, Senior Human Resources Manager Ms Saritha Poojary and Academic Manager for Early Childhood Development (ECD) Ms Purvi Gogri. The session highlighted the importance of creating a safe and supportive learning environment and introducting the Aga Khan Schools safeguarding policy and positive discipline strategies.  

Teachers were also divided into subject-specific groups focusing on ECD, English, mathematics, science and social studies led by subject matter experts. They discussed several aspects of teaching, such as lesson planning, pedagogical practices, classroom management and assessments. For ECD, pre-primary teachers delved into vital aspects of early childhood education, including Circle Time, Small Group Time, Read-Aloud sessions, assessment techniques, music and movement, outdoor play, classroom management, and literacy. For the other subjects, Grades 1-12 teachers engaged in sessions on Bloom's Taxonomy; cognitive load theory; strategies for retrieval practice; using educational artificial intelligence tools; and much more. 

"As the academic manager leading sessions for our dedicated teachers, the journey of learning, relearning and unlearning alongside them has been profoundly enriching,” said Ms Hilda D’zouza, academic manager for AKES, India. “Together, we explored new teaching methodologies accelerating our professional growth and fostered strong bonds.” 

The final day of the programme featured a gratitude session, celebrating shared experiences, knowledge and skills. Throughout the programme, teachers had the opportunity to bond and enjoy the picturesque campus that significantly enhanced the overall experience, making the training not only educational but also rejuvenating. 

“All the sessions of the ATP were very interactive, engaging and enriching,” said Ms Tasneem Munshi, a preschool teacher at the Diamond Jubilee High School, Mumbai. “Each one of us had the opportunity to share ideas which will help us in our classroom practises. We are extremely grateful for the hospitality of the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, which made this ATP a memorable one.” 

This year’s Annual Training Programme, “Skill Up”, was a comprehensive success, ensuring participants left with enhanced skills, valuable insights and a renewed passion for teaching. The Aga Khan Education Service, India looks forward to organising more professional development opportunities, such as this programme, in the future.  

Photos (top to bottom):
  • A group picture of all the participants including AKES, India teachers, subject experts, academic managers and others.
  • Teachers presenting in a session as part of an activity. 
  • A subject expert leading a session. 
  • A subject expert assisting some teachers.