The Aga Khan University has launched a Teachers' Academy to recognise teachers serving in higher education. The inaugural call for membership at the interdisciplinary academy, first of its kind in East Africa and Pakistan, was made on Wednesday at a virtual ceremony hosted by the University's Network of Quality, Teaching and Learning (QTL-Net), which supports the professional development of faculty and seeks to raise teaching standards across AKU's six campuses around the world.
"Rewarding and recognising teachers promotes excellence in teaching, which engages students in their own learning, in pursuing creative work and innovative ideas, and in reaching their full potential. In the rapidly changing environment that we now live in, teaching excellence prepares our students to be future leaders in their communities," said Vice Provost Dr Tashmin Khamis.
"The academy will develop a community of faculty recognised for teaching excellence, who will be able to promote teaching, and inspire and mentor their peers."
Meanwhile, AKU President Firoz Rasul said that AKU is the first and only institution to be accredited by the Higher Education Academy in South Asia and East Africa.
The creation of the academy will enhance AKU's position among top universities globally, opined Dr Haile T Debas, chair of the Academy's Advisory Board. "The Academy will provide tangible recognition to AKU teachers," she said.
Provost Dr Carl Amrhein lauded the launch of the academy as well. She opined that these efforts have helped the AKU faculty transition to online teaching without compromising on quality during the Covid-19 pandemic. Teaching has gone beyond 'chalk and talk' and video lectures to involve students in active learning, she remarked.
AKU faculty and staff from Pakistan, East Africa and the UK attended the ceremony.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2020.