Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:52 am Post subject: Princess Zahra
AMMAN (JT) — Her Majesty Queen Rania hosted the second joint annual meeting of the World Links Arab Region (WLAR) Advisory Council and Board of Directors at the Dead Sea on Monday.
Discussions covered the regional progress of World Links, a global learning network linking teachers and students via the Internet for collaborative projects, which allows them to develop education-focused resources and share their knowledge, perspectives, hopes and dreams with their peers.
"World Links' wires currently extend across much of the region... from Jordan, Syria, and Yemen and beyond... and several more countries have expressed interest in joining our neighbourhood network of knowledge," Queen Rania said.
WLAR was launched in 2003 and is expected to extend to Palestine, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia soon.
To date, WLAR has reached 600 schools, 3,450 teachers and 440,000 students with plans to reach five million Arab youth by 2010.
The network has created a robust virtual online learning community for teachers and students communicating across borders, countries and cultures.
Commending the project, the Queen said: "I have looked at the fruits of this project at Jordan's Creativity Festival and saw how children are working together across geographical boundaries," adding that she had personally interacted with the teachers and found them enthusiastic and rejuvenated by the programme.
At the festival last month, Queen Rania visited the Let Us Celebrate Our Differences website, which was created by students and teachers from Jordan, the Dominican Republic and the United States. The Queen invited everyone to look at the site, which paints a powerful picture of intercultural tolerance and respect.
At yesterday's meeting, the Queen welcomed the latest member of the advisory council, Her Highness Princess Zahra Aga Khan, who brings with her valuable experience from the Aga Khan Development Network .
Syrian Minster of Education Ali Saad, who was representing First Lady Asma Assad, Bahia Hariri, Elaine Wolfensohn, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khalid Touqan and WLAR board members attended the meeting.
WLAR was launched in Jordan in 2003 in 120 schools, seeking to improve educational outcomes, economic opportunities and mutual global understanding for youth in developing countries through the use of technology and the Internet.
The programme provides connectivity solutions, professional development for teachers and training programmes for both policy-makers and local communities interested in launching educational technology initiatives.
WLAR has trained more than 1,500 teachers in some 550 schools across Jordan since late 2003. The courses were centred on employing technology in the teaching process.
By the end of 2007, WLAR, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, will have trained a total of 5,000 teachers.
The increased presence of World Links in the Middle East allows for more dialogue between students of different nations. This student interaction leads to more content development in Arabic as the students continuously upload and update their projects,
By forming an Arabic learning network and supporting Arab teachers and students, WLAR helps teachers acquire the needed skills and knowledge to enable them to be better educators, and for youth to be innovative and critical thinkers.
Today, World Links is recognised as one of the most innovative and successful education programmes assisting developing countries in bridging the "digital divide."
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Asiya Sasykbaeva: "Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to cooperation with the Aga Khan Development Network"
Bishkek, October 17 / Kabar /. Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to cooperation with the Aga Khan Development Network. Vice Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament Asiya Sasykbaeva met with Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
A. Sasykbaeva noted that the Aga Khan Development Network provides assistance to projects in social sector, particularly in education and health care.
In turn, Princess Zahra Aga Khan told about the purpose of her visit to Kyrgyzstan and also touched upon the ongoing projects of the Aga Khan Foundation in Kyrgyzstan, including the construction of the University of Central Asia in Naryn.
At the meeting it was noted that these days the 10th anniversary of the Aga Khan School in Osh will be celebrated. MP Kanybek Imanaliev, who attended the meeting proposed to open a similar school in Batken oblast.
The sides also exchanged views on cooperation in culture, development projects and pre-secondary education, the press service of the KR reports.
Princess Zahra is the eldest and only daughter of His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Princess Zahra Aga Khan heads the AKDN’s Social Welfare Department with specific responsibility for health, education and built environment issues in the developing world. These include Aga Khan Education Services, an AKDN agency, which operates more than250schools and advanced educational programmes in South and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East since the 1950s
The Aga Khan School, Osh celebrates its 10th anniversary
Bishkek, October 18/ Kabar /. The Aga Khan School – the first private school in Osh - today celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the presence of Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
Established in 2002, the school is part of a network of over 250 schools managed by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) in East Africa, South Asia and Central Asia and provides close to 500 students with quality learning experiences in an environment which values diversity, and responds creatively to the educational needs of children.
The ceremony was also attended by Speaker of Osh City Kenesh, Vice Governor of Osh Oblast, Vice-Speaker Asiya Sasykbaeva, Vice Mayor of Osh City as well as 200 guests including senior government officials, heads of diplomatic missions, international organisations, parents, students and alumni.
“It is with great pride and admiration that we are here to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of this young school,” said Princess Zahra speaking at the ceremony. She went on to speak about His Highness the Aga Khan’s ambitious goal for the Aga Khan School. ‘The ability to make judgments that are grounded in solid information, and employ careful analysis should be one of the most important goals for any educational endeavour. As students develop this capacity, they can begin to grapple with the most important and difficult step: to learn to place such judgments in an ethical framework. Therein lies the formation of the kind of social consciousness that our world so desperately needs.’
The celebrations at the Aga Khan School included student performances and a special awards ceremony recognising high performing staff, and outstanding students for their community service and academic excellence.
“Building on a century of leadership in educational development, the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) established the Aga Khan School in Osh Kyrgyzstan in 2002 to offer an education for success in the modern world. Since the first graduating class in 2007, all 246 graduates have continued their education at local and international universities. This is a significant achievement,” said Nakat Abdulofizov, Head of Education, AKES, Kyrgyzstan.
For the past decade, the Aga Khan School has become an integral part of the Osh City community offering innovative education approaches to both students and teachers. The school encourages students to master multiple languages, promotes the use of communication and information technology, as well as nurtures the love of sciences by conducting annual science fairs. It challenges the students to be intellectually inquisitive and socially conscious, preparing them to become confident leaders so they may contribute their knowledge to the development of their country.
Each year the school presents several scholarships and needs-based discounts to students from different districts of Osh Oblast to pursue a high quality education.
"I love spending my free time in the Learning Resource Centre, one of the best parts of the school,” said Nurkyz Abdykerimova, a grade 11 student. “The school provides students with everything they need. My parents are very proud that I am a student here. They are always excited to tell people that their daughter attends the Aga Khan School. Before, my parents wanted me to stay here, but now they are eager for me to study abroad. Thanks to my scholarship, my parents will be able to support my pursuit of post-secondary education at an international university."
Following its mission of promoting quality education, the Aga Khan School has become the first school to be awarded a license from the Ministry of Education to offer certified professional development programmes to government school teachers impacting over 3,000 students. Developed in collaboration with the Osh Institute for Teachers Professional Development, these programmes highlight subjects such as the sciences, information technology, languages and critical thinking skills and have become models of best practice in Osh Oblast.
“As a family we have always spent a lot of time on or near the sea, and it has always been the great love of my life,” says Princess Zahra Aga Khan. “I believe that it’s too late to reverse the molecular-level pollution in all the seas and oceans of our planet, but we can do a great deal to improve human behaviour, to reduce pollution and overfishing, and therefore to improve the habitat of ocean flora and fauna around the world.” Hence her commitment to “raising awareness about these crucial issues”.
Educated at Harvard and based in Geneva, where she was born, Princess Zahra works for her father, His Highness the Aga Khan, managing the health and education services of the Aga Khan Development Network, which oversees not-for-profit health and education programmes and institutions in 12 countries. But she spends what leisure time she has by, on, or better yet in the sea (she is president of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Sardinia).
“I started diving aged 15 and became a divemaster in 1991,” she says. “I have witnessed first-hand the degradation of the ocean environment around the world, with ever increasing visible and invisible pollution, dwindling fish populations, climate-affected reefs and man-made population swings.”
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