Education - AKDN
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Aga Khan Academy Mombasa students come on a voluntary basis throughout the year to share their love of scienc...

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM), East Africa has been in existence since 2...

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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Students at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa finish a game of pick-up soccer.

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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In Kilifi County, about 50 kilometres from Mombasa, Kenya, the AQCESS Project (funded by the Aga Khan Foundati...

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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Kenya | Education


We work with over 49,000 learners in Kenya

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Primary School in Mukuru, Kenya.  

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

Primary and Secondary Schools

Aga Khan Education Services

The origins of the Aga Khan schools in East Africa go back to the girls' school started in 1905 in Zanzibar by Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan III. This was one of the first Aga Khan schools globally. During pre-independence East Africa, they were the first to admit students of all faiths, ethnicities and origins. Today, their commitment to pluralism is still at the heart of the services on offer.

The Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), Kenya opened its first school in Mombasa, Kenya in 1918. Today, AKES operates five schools across Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. They serve over 4,000 students from pre-primary to higher secondary, offering both the Kenyan national curriculum and international curriculum (International Baccalaureate and IGCSE). Ninety-seven percent of staff are local and 55 percent are female. About 75 percent of school graduates advance to higher education at universities in East Africa and internationally, joining professions including law, banking, medicine and nursing, finance and the NGO sector.

AKES has been implementing Kenya’s Competency Based Curriculum in its national curriculum schools, training AKES and government school teachers in new teaching methods. The curriculum was developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development as part of the country’s curriculum reform which aims to equip learners with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the 21st century.

The Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has implemented programmes which ensure access to quality education for marginalised children. It has supported 995 public primary schools, benefitting over 370,000 pupils and 5,700 teachers and educators in some of the most remote and marginalised parts of the country.

AKF provides professional development courses and modules to teachers in order to enable them to develop the knowledge, skills and values needed to deliver inclusive, gender-responsive, high-quality, child-centred and playful teaching and learning in age-appropriate environments.

AKF is also developing long-term, strategic partnerships with relevant government and civil society education partners. This is to improve the institutional and technical capacities needed to lead and support the delivery of inclusive, gender-responsive, quality holistic learning for all.


AKF is leading Schools2030, a global, 10-year participatory action research and learning improvement programme based in 1,000 government schools across 10 countries, including Kenya. Using the principles of human-centred design and focusing on the key transition years of ages five, 10 and 15, Schools2030 seeks to annually generate 1,000 locally-rooted education solutions that can inform and transform systems-level approaches for improving holistic learning outcomes for all learners. The initiative also includes early childhood development through a pre-primary cohort and interventions to equip young people with employable skills. Find out more

Aga Khan Academy Mombasa

His Highness the Aga Khan opened the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa in 2003. It was the first of a network of Academies offering the highest international standards of pre-primary, primary and secondary education. Three further Academies have opened, with more planned across Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East.

The Aga Khan Academies aim to support long-term national and regional development via two main avenues. First, they provide an international standard of education and leadership opportunities to talented students, to develop homegrown, global-quality leaders. Second, they strengthen national education systems by providing professional development to educators in the region.

They select students based on merit, regardless of socio-economic background, race, religion or culture. Financial assistance is available to ensure that lack of means does not limit access.

Through the globally recognised International Baccalaureate programme, experience in working with others from different backgrounds and a focus on community service, the Academies produce graduates who have developed not only a strong capacity and desire to learn, but a pluralistic outlook and understanding of the world around them. They hope to nurture lifelong learners, with the knowledge and strength of character to face the myriad obstacles and issues facing the world today with informed judgement and compassionate leadership.

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Nursing training at the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery campus in Nairobi, Kenya.

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

University Education

AKU educates nurses, specialist physicians, educators, journalists and communicators in Kenya, nurturing in them a sense of social responsibility and a commitment to serving their communities.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery

The School of Nursing and Midwifery offers working nurses a Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Post-RM Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, allowing them to continue working while pursuing professional development. It also offers a Master of Science in Advanced Practice Nursing and a Master of Science in Advanced Practice Midwifery. The overwhelming majority of graduates have stayed in Kenya. Over 1,100 nurses have graduated from AKU in Kenya.

Medical College

The Medical College’s Postgraduate Medical Education programme trains specialist physicians in internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesiology, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, family medicine, radiology and pathology. It also offers fellowship training in cardiology, infectious diseases, neonatology and paediatric neurology. Almost 250 physicians have completed advanced training at AKU in Kenya.

Graduate School of Media and Communications

Launched in 2015, the Graduate School of Media and Communications aims to be the premier source of education and tailored training for journalists, communicators and media executives and entrepreneurs in East Africa and beyond. It seeks to foster an ethical, diverse, independent, innovative and economically thriving media and communications sector that contributes to the creation of successful and sustainable societies in an era of rapid change. It offers an MA in Digital Journalism and an Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation. Its professional development courses include a leadership course delivered in partnership with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Institute for Human Development

The Institute for Human Development is working to make a significant contribution in the field of early child development, recognising the potential of investments in the early years to deliver high impact at low cost in the developing world.

Institute for Educational Development

While AKU’s Institute for Educational Development (IED) is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, numerous Kenyan teachers and educators have completed a master’s degree at the Institute and returned to Kenya. Many others have received professional development training from IED graduates. IED-trained educators are transforming classroom instruction and school management, replacing traditional methods of rote learning with a student-centred approach that builds problem-solving skills and encourages independent thinking.