Aga Khan’s Philosophies of Education – Shenila Khoja-Moolji

Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education

Academic journal ‘Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education’ has featured Shenila Khoja-Moolji‘s paper on ‘Envisioning an alternative to the neoliberalization of education in the global south: the Aga Khan’s philosophies of education’

Paper is available at:


Aga Khan's Philosophies of Education - Shenila Khoja-MooljiStudies in education over the past decade highlight the hijacking of educational agendas by neoliberal rationalities and logics. I illustrate these processes in relation to transnational campaigns for girls’ education, where the purpose of ‘education’ is reduced to producing wage-based labor and an accumulation of skills that enhance labor flexibility. ‘Girls’ are primarily articulated as economic actors: potential consumers, labor, and/or entrepreneurs. This reduction of individuals and social projects to economic logics calls for counter-discourses. I delineate one (among many possible) alternate framing of education by foregrounding muslim epistemologies. I present the views of the Shi’i muslim leader, His Highness the Aga Khan, about education, its purpose, and its entanglement with international development. Through a close reading and coding of over 30 public speeches and interviews of the Aga Khan between 1994 and 2015, I outline three salient themes pertaining to self, community, and meaningful life that cast doubt around the reduction of education to economic logics.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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