Developing critical thinking and analysis is therefore at the core of the school's mission. The School also encourages students to respect and appreciate other people’s cultures, social structures, values and beliefs. Taken together, these objectives are designed to help equip students with the tools they will need to make their way in school, society and an increasingly interdependent world.
Established in 1959 in Old Kampala, the Aga Khan High School's staff and students distinguished themselves under the leadership of the School's Headmaster, Mr Brendan McCourt. Many talented young men and women have since gone on to key universities and positions internationally, taking with them the skills and confidence nurtured at Uganda's first multi-cultural school.
Between 1973 and 1992, the Aga Khan schools were managed by the Government's Ministry of Education or its designates; since then the schools have begun reverting to AKES. In the past five years, four Aga Khan schools have been rehabilitated: two nursery, one primary, and one secondary. The schools have a total student population of 1500, with about 120 full-time teaching staff, supported by part-time and volunteer educators.
AKES currently operates more than 200 schools and several educational programmes that provide quality pre-school, primary, secondary and higher secondary education services to more than 75,000 students in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates and Madagascar. Schools will also be developed in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The co-educational School has approximately 550 students from 32 nations. English is the medium of instruction for the following studies: the Ugandan Ordinary Level (O-level) as part of the General Certificate of Education (UCE), S1-4 (13 - 16 years) or the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Y7-Y11 (11-16 years); followed by the Ugandan Advanced Level (A-level), S5-6 (17-18 years) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (17-18 years). The School strives to maintain ideal class sizes to enable the much needed teacher-student relations that foster learning. The Head Teacher, assisted by 43 teachers and 22 administrative support staff, leads the School.
Students participate in a strong co-curricular programme which includes athletics, visual arts and performing arts such as music and drama. As a result, students are able to develop a broad engagement with the world as we seek to educate the “whole child”.
Students are also encouraged to develop ethically and spiritually and to strive to succeed. The Aga Khan High school's ethos nurtures principled individuals who display respect towards diverse cultures and beliefs, enabling them to become responsible, compassionate global citizens.
Facilities include a well-equipped library with an audio visual centre, an ICT room with SMART-Boards, science laboratories, sports fields, art-rooms and a common room and lounge for the IB students.
Every term, the school's faculty keeps parents up-to-date on their children’s academic performance and social welfare. Form Tutors update parents of their children’s discipline, attendance and school participation. The School functions in a friendly environment that supports and encourages an ongoing partnership between the School, parents and management.
The School regularly seeks parental co-operation and assistance in promoting a closer relationship between home and school. Parents assist by reviewing the school's progress through School Development Meetings and by supporting school activities and initiatives, for example, organising social events for students, careers days and sports events.
Orientation programmes give parents and students an opportunity to interact, give feedback and exchange ideas with staff. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the social and emotional development of their child. They contribute actively to the effective functioning of the School.