A Senior Educator, Sadru Damji, has been engaged as a Consultant and Advisor with University of Central Asia (UCA), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and Aga Khan Education Board - Canada (AKEBC). He has contributed his extensive educational expertise and international experience in program design and evaluation, science curriculum, robotics/STEM, and Standards and Quality Assurance for AKES schools. Sadru’s TKN service spans over 5 years.
Key highlights of impact made by Sadru’s work
UCA: Conducted a detailed Baseline Assessment Study of 8 top schools in the region to identify gaps in students’ knowledge and skills and recommended a full-year Preparatory Program to enable students from varied academic backgrounds to overcome academic shortfalls and prepare them for UCA’s challenging curriculum. Sadru also recommended intensive English and Math language training to address specific gaps and the integration of technology and study skills into all elements of the program.
UCA: Developed a design brief for a wet and dry laboratory, made recommendations for equipment and materials, interviewed science faculty for Preparatory Program and was consultant to UCA for the design of the Preparatory Science program developed by Seneca College, Toronto.
Aga Khan School, Dhaka (AKSD), Bangladesh: In preparation for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Authorization, provided feedback and assisted in improving facilities for the IB Diploma science curricula, trained science teachers in curriculum requirements and reviewed science labs, equipment, chemicals and resources. Sadru also assisted in developing learning activities and interactions for science subjects through workshops
AKEBC: With the growing impact of Artificial Intelligence on children, Sadru piloted a Robotics program for 6 to 9 year olds in Canada. A substantial grant was received from LEGO to promote this program to girls and underprivileged children. The program is being delivered to more than 300 children annually and has now been expanded to include AKSD, Aga Khan Lycee in Khorog (Tajikistan) and Aga Khan School, Osh (Kyrgyzstan). The program will also be expanded this summer in Central Asia with the engagement of 5 TKN volunteers.
AKES: Sadru’s current TKN work involves ensuring that AKES standards for schools and related policies, procedures and implementation plans are of high quality and enable effective school reviews and improvement.
An Early Childhood Curriculum Consultant, Nishat Damji, has been engaged as a TKN curriculum consultant and advisor since 2011 in several locations including Sharjah, UAE; AKES, Dacca, Bangladesh; and AKF, Moscow, Russia.
Key highlights of impact made by Nishat’s work
Sharjah: Worked with diverse families in the Jamat where there was no access to early childhood development (ECD) programs. Partnerships with families created an awareness and appreciation of how it would enable their children to access the short and long-term benefits of ECD. A play-based curriculum was developed and delivered for children 15 to 36 months old. Volunteer mothers were trained to set up an environment and deliver a quality program with support. Spaces in Jamat Khana were transformed into areas conducive for active learning. At the end of the program, all volunteer mothers were hired in childcare centres.
AKES, Bangladesh: Evaluated the use of environment and provided feedback on better utilization of learning spaces and delivery of the IB curriculum. Through hands on training and mentoring teachers in their classrooms, effective teaching and learning practices were developed. At the end of the assignment, teachers discussed and debated the pros and cons of experiential learning for an inquiry-based curriculum. Supported setting up a nurturing space for infants and toddlers at the faculty Crèche.
AKF, Russia: Delivered intensive training to AKF ECD staff and volunteers (facilitators) with practical coaching and workshops for development of migrant children 0 to 6 years old. Interactive sessions to promote children’s holistic development, using elements of the High/Scope approach and best practices for the early years, were offered on a daily basis. Facilitators collaborated and planned active learning experiences using natural and open-ended materials. They observed children’s development and documented the learning that was displayed purposefully in the environment. Parents were invited to become partners in their children’s learning by participating in the program. Experienced facilitators presented valuable information in a casual and comfortable setting.
AKEBC: Nishat and Sadru are also jointly leading the design team for the ECD centre at the Multi-Generational Housing Project in Calgary.
Institutions where Sadru and Nishat have served are immensely grateful to them for their exemplary commitment and contributions. Both of them say that, “we are deeply grateful for our TKN opportunities and feel truly blessed to have served on such meaningful and fulfilling assignments"