“When His Highness started the Aga Khan Academy network of schools, he had the vision of educating future leaders, who would later be able to drive positive development in their societies and this would only be possible if the children had a powerful grasp of their local language, which in this case is Swahili.”
– Esther Kariuki, a teacher of the dual language programme.
For the first time in Africa and indeed the world, International Baccalaureate (IB), the world’s most prestigious university entrance qualification, will be taught in Kiswahili. This feat was achieved by Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.
The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, which is one of a global network of academies dedicated to the development of leaders, became the first academic institution to offer the first ever Swahili – English version of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for the International Baccalaureate (IB) by developing and pioneering a Kenyan-relevant version of the programme at a time when all other IB schools in the country are using an English language version. This means that all subjects including mathematics and sciences will be taught in Kiswahili in the academy.
The programme which was developed in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate Organisation has been driven by the Academy’s vision of offering world class education that spans both global and local expertise.
According to a research by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, learning in two languages has additionally been proven to aid the development of children’s intelligence and thinking, with bilingual children able to solve problems that contain conflicting or misleading cues at an earlier age, and more easily, than monolingual children.
The benefits of the dual language programme extend beyond advanced cognitive abilities to include cultural and social gains, with the new IB-PYP programme encompassing the Swahili culture.
The 2013 UNDP Human Development Report states that Swahili is the most widely spoken language in Africa, with 150m speakers, and is an official national language in four countries. Such a large body of Swahili speakers gives future entrepreneurs at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa a further advantage in doing business and in playing leadership roles on the continent.
The Aga Khan Academy in Maputo is likewise pioneering a dual language English and Portuguese PYP, as the Academy in Hyderabad pioneers an English and Hindi PYP.
Published 5th September 2015 | by Busayo
Discover, Explore and Learn more via Edufrica | Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Pilots International Baccalaureate Program in Kiswahili
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