Shaun Lalani: Learning to Look at Problems from Multiple Perspectives | Aga Khan Academies

Shaun Lalani: Learning to Look at Problems from Multiple Perspectives

If there is one lesson that Shaun Lalani will take away from his time at the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, it is looking at problems from multiple perspectives. He credits the Academy’s educational approach that places equal emphasis on academic achievement as well as ensuring that students get the tools needed to improve the world they live in as they become future contributing members of the larger society. 

"The Academy has made me a very open-minded person. I have learnt to accept people of all backgrounds, something I was not quite comfortable to do before.”

A grade 10 student at the Academy, Shaun specifically tributes the Academy’s curricular strands of ethicsand pluralismfor cultivating in him the awareness of morality and values needed for good governance and good leadership.

“The AKA strands have helped me develop into a person who not only solves problems but also looks at them from numerous viewpoints. If, in the future, I were to get praised for fairness in governing as a high-ranking official in an administration, I would credit that honour to this Academy, for I know that it is my learning at the Academy that has made me a calm, diverse and fair-minded person.” 

Having received his early education at a boarding school in Panchgani, a hill station in Maharashtra, Shaun had never heard of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme before being accepted at the Academy. But after being exposed to it, he feels that the thoroughness of the Academy’s IB curriculum has been very valuable in preparing him for future success. 

“The International Baccalaureate was a completely alien experience for me. The IB curriculum has features of theory and practice, and never has learning been as cheerful as it has been since I joined the Academy. IB has helped me prepare myself for life at a university.” 

Extracurricular activities are an essential part of every student’s life at the Academy, and Shaun is really passionate about football. He also participates in the Academy’s Model United Nations (AKAH MUN) project, whose goal, in part, is to help students develop their debating skills. 

“Debating is my thing here at the Academy, and there is nothing I enjoy more than a good MUN session.” 

As for his forthcoming plans, Shaun is still exploring his options, although he is quite excited about his future. 

“As for my current situation, I can’t wait to go to university. The challenges the previous graduates tell me of only excite me further.” 

He states that the Academy counsellors and the events that the school holds to help students explore their future plans have helped him.

“Counsellors at school have helped me narrow down my choices. Also, thanks to the school, I was able to attend a recent event by the University of British Colombia. This event has helped me understand my situation better, and I am more confident than I was a few months back. I am looking forward to joining university, and especially telling my new friends about my experiences.” 

If there is one thing Shaun would like to do to improve the lives of people of his country, it would be to create jobs. He feels strongly that jobs expunge poverty and foster literacy and independence. 

“If I were to have an endless number of resources at my disposal, I would make jobs for the people of my country. Employment is the key to erasing poverty while simultaneously raising a country’s efficiency. And it does not stop there. Employment creates a sense of responsibility. It is better than giving people money and food for that only makes them more dependent. Also when people work, they know that their families have escaped the poverty cycle. That is why they try to better their conditions even more, and that sense of betterment helps promote literacy too.”