Karachi, June 16, 2015: Students exposed to experiential learning are more prepared for the future work environment, which is evolving at an unprecedented speed.
Recognising the importance of experiential learning, the Aga University’s Examination Board has launched its revamped Middle School Programme, a project-based learning approach for students of grades 6 to 8 that recognizes the importance of experiential learning – learning from one’s own experience provides the knowledge, skills and values that are fundamental to sustainable success.
The Programme focuses on developing essential competencies in students, such as critical thinking, communication skills and teamwork – often referred to as 21st century skills – through broad-based interdisciplinary projects.
Aisha Malik, a student from Hyderabad who participated in the Middle School Programme spoke excitedly about her experience of working with a group of students. “It was both amazing and unique. I became very excited whenever my teachers announced a new project … as they gave me an opportunity to test my skills at a whole new level. It also helped me recognize my abilities and special skills as a team worker,” she said.
“I had a great time working in teams,” said Sahil Francis, another student from Hyderabad. “These projects will play a very significant role in my practical life. The skills acquired from these projects will help me to cope with situations in my daily routine.”
“The aim is to facilitate a learning environment that prepares not only problem highlighters but problem solvers and creative thinkers. We believe that, in order to navigate and thrive in the 21st century world, Pakistan’s education system must inculcate in the students the ability to think out of the box, to be analytical, collaborative, curious, imaginative and innovative. The Middle School Programme aims to prepare the students to cope up in a world that is changing rapidly,” said Dr Shehzad Jeeva, Director, Aga Khan University Examination Board.
Each school that opts for the Programme will receive a set of six interdisciplinary projects per class based on middle school syllabi drawn from the National Curriculum of Pakistan. The projects will be across five core subjects, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Urdu and English with students working individually and in groups to complete project tasks and then compile them as one portfolio.
Schools affiliating with AKU EB will benefit from orientation sessions, annual teacher meetings and on-going teacher development support making the Middle School Programme enriching for both students and teachers.
Appreciating the Programme, the chief guest Mr Jameel Yusuf, former chief of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and President of ‘I am Karachi’ consortium said, “Today we live in a technology and media-suffused environment. To be effective in such a dynamic world, our students must be able to create, evaluate and effectively utilize the abundant information acquired through media and technology.”
“It is heartening to see how the Aga Khan University Examination Board is creating an impact in our society focusing on enhancing the thinking process of our future generation through their commitment towards quality education. The Middle School Programme will play a vital role in facilitating higher-order cognitive development in students, setting the right foundation to succeed in academic and professional journey.”
The event was attended by over 400 educationists including, school principals, teachers and academic coordinators from across Sindh.