Posts Tagged ‘Shia’

International African Shia Federation

April 3, 2010

The International African Shi’a federation is an umbrella organisation with affiliated members across the globe. The federation has been established with a number of key aims and objectives in mind the first and foremost of which is to bring about a global unity of the various African Shi’a communities. It is the belief of the federation that through this unity the various needs which are of a specific and general nature might be addressed in a practical and successful manner. We seek to develop financial independence through a number of business ventures which will see the federation invest in businesses run by African Shi’as. One of the key concerns of the federation is education both within the Islamic disciplines and also outside, the federation offers Islamic programmes of study aimed at a number of levels from the beginner to those of a much more advanced level. These programmes are administered and delivered by the federation with some of the programmes being validated and run in conjunction with secular Universities. The federation has a commitment to equal opportunities, gender equality, anti racism and inter and intra religious dialogue and cooperation. These values the federation believes are in conformity with the Islamic principle of establishing justice and equity in all aspects of personal and social life. An active commitment to these values the federation believes are best typified in the organisational structure the federation has adopted to bring about its identified short and long term aims and objectives.

The federation exists to promote the teachings of Islam as exemplified by the household of Prophet Mohammad (as) known as the Ahlul Bayt in preparing for the return of the Imam of the age his holiness Imam Mahdi (as). The return of the Imam will the federation believes usher in an age of complete social justice, equity and an end to corruption within society. The federation will seek to work with all organisations Islamic and otherwise which have an active commitment to and promote the three above mentioned ideals. The federation understands that social just exhibits itself in a myriad of ways such as in, education, health care, employment, gender equality and equity, social mobility and the freedom to practice without fear of harm or prejudice a faith of one’s own choice amongst others.

The federation will actively seek out individuals and organisations across the globe which it feels can assist and aide in the diverse projects it is involved in. The federation will where feasible, necessary and appropriate assist either in an advisory, financial or educational capacity those projects which it believes will best promote social and community harmony amongst its members and those outside of its membership. The federation is not at present and will not seek to align itself with any political party nor national government, it will not engage in any political activity where it has representation nor will it endorse individual candidates regardless of their political affiliation. The federation is a charitable organisation with a charitable mandate and although some of its direct activities or those it may sponsor may generate monetary profit that profit is in turn placed at the service of the community the federation ultimately serves.

This piece is taken from the website of the International African Shia Federation.

See on-line at: http://africanshia.ning.com/forum/topics/about-us

Africa Federation – Africa Federation Office Bearers Contact Information

March 6, 2010

Africa Federation Office Bearers Contact InformationName:

Name:

Name:

Name: Barkat Rajani – Nairobi
Designation:
Hon Secretary
Telephone: (R) 48502

Mobile: 0722 786 153
Email:
barkatlife@iconnect.co.ke 

Name: Mustafa PirmohamedNairobi
Designation:
Hon. Treasurer
Telephone:
(O) 545862/559081 (R )746313
Mobile:
0733 672 482
Email:
vip@saamnet.com  

 

Designation: Hon. Asst Treasurer
Telephone:
(O) 246619 / 219243 / 219532

 

TRUSTEES:

Alhaj Mohamed Hassanali (Nairobi)
Alhaj Yusufali Datoo (Mombasa)
Alhaj Mohamed Manji (Kampala) 
Alhaj Ebrahim Kassam (Kampala) 
Alhaj Shiraz Rashid (D’Salaam)
Alhaj Shaukat Jaffer (D’Salaam)

BOARD CHAIRMEN :

TABLIGH: 
Alhaj Aliraza Mulla Nanji – Nairobi 

SETWEL:
Alhaj Anverali Dharamsi – D’Salaam
Alhaj Azim Dewji – D’Salaam

CHB (Central Health Board)
Alhaj Safder Jaffer – D’Salaam 

SPORTS COUNCIL: 
Alhaj Amirali Somji – Arusha 

EDUCATION BOARD:
Alhaj Iqbal Sunderji – Mombasa 

BILAL MUSLIM MISSION:
Alhaj Pyarali M. Shivji – D’Salaam 
Alhaj Abbas H.M. Nasser – Mombasa

FEDERATION SAMACHAR:
Alhaj Munir Daya – D’Salaam


Name:
Murtaza Kanani
– NairobiFax: 246605
Mobile: 0733 666 786
Email:
murtaza@fleettravel.com
Mahomedraza M. Khamis – Antananarivo
Designation: Vice Chairman
Telephone:
(261 20) 22 43664
Fax:            (261 20) 22 31246
Mobile:
00 261 320 786 014
Email:  masoumin@malagasy.com
Ramzan M. Nanji – Nairobi
Designation:
Vice Chairman
Telephone:
(O) 220457/339488 (R) 748413
Fax:
212211
Mobile:
0733 786 067
Email:
impala@wananchi.com  
Zulfikar H. Khimji – Nairobi
Designation:
Chairman
Telephone:
(0) 532913/533370 (R) 571891
Fax:
533369
Mobile:
0733 748 493
Email:
mpps@swiftkenya.com 

This piece is taken from the website of the Africa Federation.

See on-line at: http://www.africafederation.org/office_ber_email.htm

Jaffery Academy – Arusha

March 6, 2010

Jaffery Academy, founded in 1992, owned by the“Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat – Arusha and managed by a private consortium of businessmen under the name of Acumen Management Ltd. The Academy is based on the principles and precepts, dream and vision of the Saint Ja’far “The Truthful” whose message “Spread the light of Wisdom and truth” and his inspiration emphasize oneness of God and Universal brother hood. His knowledge of sciences such as mathematics, chemistry, medicine and astronomy gave Jabir Ibn Hayyan (Algebra), to the world. The famous pioneer of physics, chemistry and mathematics, was his disciple who wrote about four hundred treatises based on his mentor’s instructions. Jaffery Institutions have been established in the true sprit, vision, wisdom, and tradition of the saint Ja’far “the Truthful” and named after him.

This piece is taken from the website of the Jaffery Academy – Arusha.

See on-line at: http://www.jafferyaca.org/index.htm

Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Jamaat – Arusha – Managing Committee

March 6, 2010
DESIGNATIONS NAMES EMAIL ADDRESS OFFICE TEL. No. RESIDENCE CELL No.
PRESIDENT ALHAJ. SHABBIR VIRJEE virjee@cybernet.co.tz
shabbir@virjee.co.tz
2503228-2503789-2508116 2544826/2502666
2508279
0754 288943
VICE PRESIDENT ALHAJ. HASSAN FAZAL pcp@bol.co.tz 2506334-2548897 2544961-2548927 0754 281530
HON. SECRETARY ALHAJ. SADIQ CHAGANI chagani@bol.co.tz 2503023 2506850 0754 288946
HON. TREASURER ALHAJ. FAZAL DATOO fdatoo@hotmail.com 2504020-2503176 2500671 0754 266556
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ALHAJ. RIZWAN PEERA rizwangap@yahoo.com 0744 312376 2548696 0754 312376
ALHAJ. MURTAZA JETHA murtzajetha@yahoo.com 2503074 2544994   0754 786860
ALHAJ. HASSAN TAKI DHALA   2500819 2544877 0754 284212
ALHAJ.HUSSEIN KERMALLI huseink@bol.co.tz 2503609 2508633 0754 282707
BR.ABBAS LALJI abbaslalji@yahoo.com 2544853 2544853 0754 304170
TRUSTEES ALHAJ. AKBER SAJAN manjis@cybernet.co.tz 2503317-2506997 2502244-2504641 0754 786236
ALHAJ. MUSTAFA M LALJI leopards@yako.habari.co.tz 2508441-2-3 2503973 0784 786806

This is the list of elected office bearers for term 2008 – 2010 taken from the website of Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Jamaat – Arusha.

See on-line at: http://www.ksijamaat-arusha.org/managingcommittee.htm

Africa Federation – History of the Khoja Shia Ithna-asheries – The Beginning

March 6, 2010
 History of The Khoja Shia Ithnaasheries

 

The Beginning

 Some 600 years ago a missionary by the name of Pir Sadruddin arrived in Sind in India. There are a number of myths about his origins. The most common consensus among historians is that he was Dai (representative or emissary) of the Nizari branch of the Ismaili sect. Some have suggested that he was a sufi teacher from Iran. There is even a story that he was a Hindu priest by the name Sahdev who had been caught stealing in the temple and hence disgraced and defrocked. He then left the temple, changed his appearance and took on the name of Sadr Din. .

Pir Sadruddin lived for some time amongst the rich Hindu landowners called Thakkers. He studied their way of life and of worship. The Thakkers believed that the god Vishnu had lived through nine incarnations on this earth. They were waiting for the tenth. Pir Sadruddin managed to convince them that Hazrat Ali (AS.) was the Dasmo Awtaar of Vishnu (The Tenth Incarnation). He converted quite a number of the Thakkers into a faith called Satpanth (True Path) – a peculiar admixture of Sufic/Hindu ideas. (The main book called Das Awtar was considered a primary text for the followers of the Aga Khan until very recently.)

Some historians maintain that he converted the Thakkers to Nizari Ismailis. Whatever may be the case, these converts could no longer be called Thakkers in the Hindu community and Pir Sadruddin gave them the title of Khwaja. The word Khoja is a phonetic corruption of the word Khwaja.

Over a period of time, several pirs came after Sadrudin and gradually, the beliefs crystallised to those of the Ismaili Nizari faith; particularly after the arrival of the Aga Khan 1 from Iran to India in the first half of the 19th Century. By this time the Khojas had spread all over over Kutch and Gujarat. Some had also moved to Bombay and Muscat. They paid their dues to the Ismaili Jamaat Khaana and lived quite harmoniously within their society. The main place of worship was the Jamaat Khaana and the (Jamaat) community was organised round the Jamaat Khaana – which served as a religious as well as a social centre

With the arrival of the Aga Khan 1 in India, greater control was exercised by the Aga Khan in the affairs of the community. This led to certain groups dissenting and being ousted from the Jamaat Khaana. The most celebrated one was the case of the Bar Bhaya where an influential family by the name of Habib Ibrahim refused to accept the dictate (firman) by the Aga Khan that all the property that belonged to the Jamaat would now vest in the Aga Khan. Eventually this group was out-casted and influenced by the Sunni Aalims they became Sunnites.

This was followed by several court cases and much commotion in the community, In the early 1800s some Khojas went for Ziyarat and while in Najaf they met the Mujtahid of the time, Sheikh Zainul Aabedeen Mazandarani. During their discussions they realised that there was a need for a teacher to come to India to teach the community Islam. Soon after, at the behest of Sheikh Mazandarani, Mulla Kader Hussein arrived in India and some Khoja families left the Ismaili sect and learnt from Mulla Kader the principles of Shia Ithnaasheri faith.

From these few families the community has now grown to well over 100,000 Khoja Shia Ithnaasheries. The overall number is still very small when considering that there are an estimated 60 – 90 million Shia Ithnaasheries in the world today. The Ismaili Khojas number over 270 thousand and there are still a handful of Sunni Khojas.

Migration to Africa

It is a well known fact that for hundreds of years Indians sailed down the East African coast in their sailships during the North Eastern Monsoons. There were young Khojas amongst these early sailors and some of them stayed behind in East Africa and exploited opportunities in commerce and trade.

While the new land offered limitless opportunities to the Khojas, the new environment and prevailing influences called for an orientation. The majority of them converted from Ismaili after arriving in East Africa and were novices in a complete sense of the term:-

- new to the place
- new to the faith
- facing a vast unexplored tract of land
- no previous cultural contact with the indigenous African population
- not knowing the African language
- not able to communicate with the established Arab traders
 
Jamaats
Against all odds, the Khojas settled all over Eastern Africa and with help from each other they prospered. And wherever they settled they soon formed themselves into a Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Community, commonly known as the Jamaat, guarded by a sense of territorial jealousy.

They advised each other and invited their families, friends and fellow men from India to join them and share in their venture.

Religious Centres
Members of the Jamaat engaged in religious activities, first with modesty appropriate to their means; but as their fortunes grew, they became vigorously activated. They built Mosques, Imambaras, Madressas, Schools for
 
Retention of identity
Under the subsequent German rule in Tanganyika, British rule in other parts of East Africa, French rule in Madagascar, Italian rule in Somalia, Belgian rule in the Congo and Portuguese rule in Mozambique, these early settlers were subjected to a variety of influences and experience.

The thrust of these influences was great, engendering a fear in the minds of the Khoja of losing their identity. It served to drive them farther inwards into the precincts of their society, instead of mobilizing any worthwhile change. Hence the persistent perseverence by the Khojas to remain within a well-knit framework of the Jamaat, allowing no intrusion.

Beyond Africa
In the same manner, that the young Khojas had braved the monsoons in search for better pastures, the Khoja Community has now spread all over the world. An International Directory published some two years ago has entries from most North America, Australia, New Zealand in addition to Western Europe and not forgetting Norway near the north pole. The directory also contains some entries from South America and Eastern Europe.

The African experience has been replicated in almost all the places that they have settled in so far as organising Jamaats and religious centres. The efficient system of managing the affairs of the community remains virtually unchanged.

However, now the community faces a new challenge, particularly in the West. The new generation, born and bred in the West is questioning the modus operandi and the insularity of the community whilst the old guard insists upon retaining what has worked well for the community for almost a century. What is clear is that both groups need to focus on the best way of ensuring that the future generations can retain the values and teachings as taught by the Ahlul Bait (AS). For that is and can be the only objective.


Office Bearers of the Africa Federation from 1946 – 2001

YEAR VENUE CHAIRMAN VICE CHAIRMAN HON. SECRETARY HON. TREASURER
1946-49   A.H. NURMOHAMED M. A. KHIMJI G. N. LAKHA ABDULRASUL M. DEWJI
1950-53 MOMBASA ABDULRASUL N. VIRJI H. K. JAFFER MOHAMEDALI JANMOHAMED  
1953-56 ZANZIBAR A.H. NURMOHAMED   G. N. LAKHA  
1956-59 KAMPALA A.H. NURMOHAMED      
1959-62 ARUSHA EBRAHIM H. SHERIFF MOHAMEDALI SHARRIF JIWA HASSANALI P. VISRAM MOH’DTAKI R. PIRBHAI
1962-65 DSM EBRAHIM H. SHERIFF MOHAMEDALI SHARRIF JIWA HASSANALI P. VISRAM MOH’DTAKI R. PIRBHAI
1965-68 TANGA MOHAMEDALI MEGHJI HASSANALI M. LADAK ASGHAR M.M. JAFFER  
1968-71 MOMBASA MOHAMEDALI MEGHJI ALIMOHAMED JAFFER SHERIFF DEWJI JAFFERALI H. ASARIA JAFFERALI M. MERALI
1971-74 DSM MOHAMEDALI MEGHJI ASGHAR M. M. JAFFER BASHIR PEERA SEC. GEN. GULAMALI E. KARIM
1974-77 ARUSHA ASGHAR M. M. JAFFER HUSSEIN NASSER WALJI BASHIR PEERA SEC. GEN. HUSSEIN H. JANMOHAMED
1977-80 DSM ASGHAR M. M. JAFFER ABDULRASUL A. LAKHA AKBERALI A. KARIM MOH’DJAFFER G. HASHAM
1980-83 ARUSHA ABDULRASUL A. LAKHA HASSAN A. M. JAFFER (Resign: ill health Y. M. KERMALLI) MOHAMED RAZA DATOO ABDULRAZAK KHALFAN
1983-86 DSM MOHAMED DHIRANI HABIB MULJI MOH’DRAFIQ SOMJI AKBER DHIRANI MOH’D HASSAM
1986-89 MOMBASA MOHAMED DHIRANI HABIB MULJI MOHAMED SOMJI MOHAMED HASSAM
1989-92 DSM HABIB MULJI MOH’DRAFIQ SOMJI (DIED) MOHAMED KHALFAN HABIB VIRANI MURTAZA WALJI
1992-95 MSA HABIB MULJI HABIB VIRANI MURTAZA WALJI MOHAMED HASSAM
1995- 98 DSM MOHAMED DHIRANI MOHAMED PIRBHAI MOH’D SOMJI  MOH’D HASSAM 
1998 – 01 DSM MOHAMED DHIRANI MOHAMED PIRBHAI ASGHER DHANJI AHMED ALLOO
2001 – 03 NBI ZULFIKAR KHIMJI RAMZAN MULLA NANJI HUSSEIN RASHID MUSTAFA PIRMOHAMMED

 

 
 

This piece is taken from the website of the Africa Federation.

See on-line at: http://www.africafederation.org/aboutus.htm

Shia and Sunni Scholars met in Ghana

March 6, 2010
News ID: 1098
Publish date: 21 December 2009 – 09:00
Shia & Sunni Scholars Met in Ghana
Shia and Sunni scholars in the West African country of Ghana met earlier this week in capital Accra.

The gathering was organized by the Iranian cultural center in the country on the advent of the lunar month of Muharram.

More than 70 scholars from Shia and Sunni schools of thought attended the meeting to strengthen Islamic unity.

Speaking at the gathering, Afsari said that rationally speaking, unity is a blessing from Allah, the Almighty.

According to Rohama, he urged Muslim scholars and preachers to avoid inciting discord and disunity in their sermons and lectures.

Afsari also noted that the late Imam Khomeini always reiterated the necessity of maintaining and strengthening unity among Muslims. “This is what Ayatollah Khamenei has always stressed, too.”
 

Source: IQNA
This aerticle is taken from the website of Rohama.org

Imam Ahmed Raza Academy – Deviant Sects and Scholars: Final Word

March 6, 2010

Our African Muslim brothers ought to rise up against Shia’ism in the townships. The first African Muslim in Islam was Sayyiduna Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) who was not only a brave soldier, but also one who was subject to the harshest persecution for accepting Islam. The greatest amongst the Companions of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) who purchased Sayyiduna Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) as a slave and freed him to please Almighty Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The Shias have branded this great personality an apostate and accursed one. (Allah forbid) The great African Continent is full of Sunni Muslims. The Irani Shias have now embarked on a campaign to bribe the poorer African Muslims to corrupt their beliefs and convert them to Shias.

This is the message of Sheik Shazili on the ocassion of Yaum-e-Siddique Akbar. Sheik Shazili who is deeply involved in Islamic Propagation work in the African townships, has pointed out that African townships in the Cape and the Transvaal have been specifically targeted by the Shias as areas for potential converts. The modus operandi of the Shias is to single out the sincere but poor members of the African Muslim Community and bribe them with wealth to bring them into the ugly Kufr fold of Shia’ism. This state of affairs is certainly unacceptable to our Sunni Muslims and it provides a specific challenge to our Dawah workers on the field. In the past, there were no Shias in South Africa. After the Iranian Revolution and the 1994 South African elections, a flurry of activity emerged from the Shia propagation machine to spread this Kufr sect in South Africa. Wealth is outlayed blatantly to attract Sunni Muslims to the Shia fold and we have received unconfirmed reports that certain Sunni Ulema had accepted invitations from the Shias to attend their functions. 

The new South Africa has certainly allowed many new sects to emerge amongst the Muslims and the Iranian influence is another destructive force that awaits the unsuspecting Muslims in South Africa.It is now imperative for all Muslim Institutes to face the challenges of the Shia onslaught and present openly to the African Muslims the vile and Kufr beliefs of the Shia sect in the townships. Provisions must now be made to organise Siddique-e-Akbar Day and Khulafaa-e-Rashideen Day in the townships on a large scale in an attempt to preserve the Imaan of the people whom the Shias are targeting.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution was supported with much zest and vigour mainly because it was seen as the opening of the doorway to much needed changes in the world. Sadly, this was not to be. After the dust has settled, realisation dawned that this was merely a dream which had not been fulfilled. Iran’s claim to the title of an Islamic Republic was forfeited because it is essentially a Shia Republic.

Moreover, the late Dr. Kalim Siddiqui, who was initially a great enthusiast of Iran’s Revolution, later comprehended the gloomy reality and admitted to his change of hearts. Most readers and patrons of Dr. Kalim’s writings were of the opinion that Dr. Kalim is unequivocally a champion of the Iranian movement. They are not aware of the developments that took place during the last stages of his life.

Initially, Dr. Siddiqui devoted all his energy to Iran’s struggle as he believed that it would give Islam a strong foothold on the international level. Furthermore, the force of Sunnism will be greatly strengthened. During Imam Khomeini’s reign Dr. Kalim was rewarded with the respect and honour that he deserved. However, his recent tour to Teheran became a torturous one. Fanatic Shias who saw Dr. Siddiqui’s visit as a campaign to spread Sunnism felt greatly threatened by his presence. They felt that he was there to censure Shia’ism and challenge its teachings. They became extremely defensive and hostile towards him. In his agitation he responded, “I am not a fan of either your culture or your discourse. I am here only because of your alleged claims to be an Islamic Republic. Had I known the truth I would never have come.” Milli Times International, Delhi, India (June 1996)

Please study this narration:

As narrated by Sayyiduna Jabir bin Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu):

A villager came to Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and asked, “O Ameer-ul-Mumineen! Is Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) in Paradise?”

This question hurt Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) considerably. So he said, “I wish I had never come to the world. This statement has never been made by anyone else before, neither by Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) nor by any other Muslim after him. Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) was always with the Messenger of Allah; he was his vizier and counsellor. He succeeded him as the Khalifa after his passing away. He who denies this fact will become a disbeliever. O villager! Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) sent for me towards his passing away. He said to me, ‘O my darling brother! I am going to pass away soon. When I die, wash me with those blessed hands of yours with which you washed the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Wrap me in my shroud and put me in my coffin! Take by corpse to the entrance of Hujra-i-sa’adat! Say unto Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam): Abu Bakr is at the door. He asks for permission to enter.’

“When Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) passed away, I did whatever he had told me to do. When we put his coffin in front of the door of the Hujra-i-sa’adat and I asked for permission, we heard a voice saying, ‘Bring the darling near the darling.’ Therefore, we buried Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) besides the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”

It is stated in a Hadith Shareef that Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Fear Allah as you talk about my Ashaab! Fear Allah lest you should show any disrespect in a conversation about my Ashaab! After me, never have a bad opinion of them. He who loves them does so because he loves me. And he who bears hostility towards them is my enemy.”

A Dua that was made by Sayyiduna Imam Rabbani (rahmatullahi alaihi): “ILAHI! MAKE OUR DU’A AND SALAAM REACH YOU BELOVED PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) AND HIS AHLE BAYT (RADI ALLAHUM AJMA’IN), AND GIVE THEM KHAIR AND BARAKAH IN A MANNER AS YOU LIKE, AS MANY TIMES AS THE NUMBER OF YOUR CREATURES AND AS HEAVY AS YOUR ARSH. AMEEN. MAY HAMD BE TO ALLAH TA’ALA, AND MAY DUAS AND SALAAMS BE TO THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) TILL THE END OF THE WORLD! AMEEN.”

This piece is taken from the website of Imam Ahmed Raza Academy.

See on-line at: http://www.raza.co.za/Deviant%20Sects%20&%20Scholars/Deviant_Final%20Word%20on%20Shiaism.htm

The Agha Khan Schools – Eastern Africa

March 3, 2010

AKES’s history in Eastern Africa is a long and interesting story of educators responding to historical, political and social change. It starts with literacy classes in small community centres in the early 1900s, proceeds to the pioneering of the “service company” concept in the 1970s and arrives in the new millennium in the form of an international network of schools of excellence.

During the colonial period, there was discrimination in both the content and quality of education. Different races went to different schools and used separate curricula. For communities whose children were ineligible for missionary schools, options were extremely limited. One option was for a community to develop its own means of teaching essential skills.

Historical Overview
AKES traces its origins in East Africa and the Indian Ocean region to classes set up by the Ismaili Muslim community to teach children basic literacy and numeracy. In places considered remote even today, from Kendu Bay and Homa Bay (in Kenya), to Lindi and Sumbawanga (in Tanzania), Arua and Gulu (in Uganda) and Marovoay and Mahajanga (in Madagascar), community volunteers taught primary school age children in a “multi-class” format. The earliest such centre may have been started in Bagamoyo in 1895. After 1905, these centres became better organised by local and provincial Education Boards appointed by Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan (the present Aga Khan’s grandfather and predecessor as Imam).

In the 1920s, colonial authorities, having eventually recognised the need for the schools, began providing some funding for Indian communities to set up schools. The findings of a private Educational Commission chaired by Princess Joan Aly Khan (mother of the present Aga Khan) led, in the 1940s, to a revised structure and the establishment of more Aga Khan primary and secondary schools in the 1950s (Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Nairobi). Schools for girls preceded those for boys.

Concern for quality remained paramount. Teachers and principals were recruited in India and in the United Kingdom. Growing in number and size over the next decades, Aga Khan Schools in East Africa numbered at least sixty by the early 1960s. Premises were generally custom-built and included laboratories, libraries and playgrounds. Schools, although initially mainly patronised by Ismailis, were the first to open their doors to people of all races and faiths. In pre-independence East Africa, the phenomenon was not merely innovative; it was little short of original.

Independence in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in the 1960s increased educational and other opportunities for disadvantaged communities. However, with the expansion and emergence of new national identities, new challenges emerged.

New governments asked schools to admit a larger number of indigenous citizens. In Tanzania, all aspects of educational activities of non-Governmental schools, other than their land and buildings, were nationalised in 1967. However, the nationalised school system was unable to maintain satisfactory educational standards nor was it able to meet the demands for education from the expanding student demography.

Private Aga Khan Schools opened in the late 1960s in Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Mombasa and Nairobi to cater to students who could not get into nationalised or government schools. There were some setbacks to growth. The expulsion of Asians from Uganda and the expropriation of their properties in 1972 halted the operation of Aga Khan Schools in that country.

Aga Khan Schools In Africa
The first Aga Khan Education Service Companies, incorporated in 1979 in Kenya and in 1986 in Tanzania, introduced improved resource management, better coordination and professionalisation of the academic and educational policies. Curricular reform was a principal challenge for Aga Khan Schools in East Africa during the 1980s. Kiswahili has, since 1967, been the medium of instruction in all Tanzanian primary schools whereas secondary and tertiary education continued to be provided in English. Recognising a desperate need of students seeking to enter secondary schools and aspiring to higher education both locally and abroad, AKES helped devise transitional curricula in English, History, Geography, Mathematics and Science. This pioneering approach has since been adopted by state schools in Zanzibar and southern Tanzania.

AKES’s schools in Kenya, faced in the 1980s with the introduction of the “8-4-4 curriculum,” responded with additional facilities to the reconfigured sixteen-year educational programme. This increased the number of years of primary school to eight and of university education to four, while reducing secondary education from six to four.

Aga Khan Schools were also amongst the first to introduce computers into schools in Kenya in 1982. Technical and financial support from the Aga Khan Foundation enabled expansion of this technology to government schools across the country.
In 1992, the return by the Ugandan Government of AKES properties that had been nationalised by the Government of Idi Amin led to the extensive rehabilitation of the Aga Khan School Complex on Makerere Road. The complex now houses pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. All are now fully under AKES management.

School Improvement Programme
School Improvement Programmes (SIP) launched by AKES during the 1990s are strengthening the quality of teaching and resources in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Teachers from some 170 schools in Kisumu and Mombasa (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), most of them state schools, benefit from the training workshops and resource centres set up under these programmes. SIPs are helping teachers to teach more creatively and children to learn faster through the introduction of child-centred activities. They involve working hand in hand with governments while involving parents and communities in management in order to make schools more efficient, effective and sustainable.

International Academic Partnership
The International Academic Partnership (IAP) benefits East African schools through faculty exchanges and enhancements in library and information technology resources, in the application of computer-assisted learning and in innovative approaches to teaching subjects such as English, science, mathematics and economics. IAP’s objectives are to promote global education and student-centred teaching, with a particular focus on professional development for teachers and curriculum innovation.

Since its founding in 1993, IAP has linked over 400 schools in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States. Following the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, other AKES schools in Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi have been designated for development as future Academies.

Aga Khan Academies
The Aga Khan Academies will be a network of schools dedicated to an international standard of excellence in all aspects of educational. The first Academy began operating in Mombasa in 2003. Sites under development for additional Aga Khan Academies include Antananarivo, Madagascar; Bamako, Mali; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Maputo, Mozambique; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Hyderabad, India; Karachi, Pakistan; Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Kabul, Afghanistan; Khorog, Tajikistan; Osh, Kyrgyz Republic; Damascus, Syria; and Salamieh, Syria.

This piece is taken from the website of the Agha Khan Schools.

See on-line at: http://www.agakhanschools.org/eafrica.asp


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers