The Maktab curriculum has been carefully crafted to spark the interests and curiosity of children. The academically rigorous yet broad curriculum, matches or exceeds the best curricula in the world. This intense exposure ranges from Urdu and English literature to theoretical mathematics to computer science and robotics.
Maktab’s Preschool curriculum is based on several well-established international practices that are rooted in theory and accepted in professional practice. It emphasizes the development of the child as a whole, with a focus on his/her emotional, social, creative, cognitive, and physical skills. Maktab Preschoolers “learn by doing” developmentally appropriate activities under the watchful eye of our experienced and nurturing teachers. The Preschool rooms have a wide variety of learning centres for mathematics, science, language, art and music. While adhering to an overall structure, children are encouraged to choose which learning centre do they wish to visit on a particular day. This encourages children to chart out their own learning path while positively interacting and appreciating the distinctive qualities of their peers.
The Maktab robotics programme introduces children to STEM learning and exploration at an early age. The Maktab curriculum strikes a balance between computer programming and robotics. Children are introduced to block-based programming through the curriculum developed by the world-renowned non-profit Code.org. After this programming exposure, children use Lego WeDo robotic kits to playfully engage with technology and engineering. Before moving to Middle School, children spend a year learning Scratch, a programming language developed for children at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The final design project of elementary school brings together the entire Junior School curriculum.
Middle School years are characterized by a year and a half of Python programming. The final year is spent on designing, building, and programming real-life applications using Arduino boards and Raspberry Pi computers. Such an exposure to the Internet of Things, completely alters children’s viewpoint from being mere users of technology to designers and producers of engineering solutions.
Maktab follows the world-renowned Singapore mathematics curriculum, that teaches mathematics by moving from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract. This approach has maintained Singapore at the top of international mathematics tests such as PISA and TIMSS. Maktab closely follows this approach that instills deep understanding of mathematics concepts. Once children have solidly understood the basics of mathematics, Maktab students are exposed to Math Circles. This idea originated in Russia, and is a unique way that promotes hands-on discovery. In Math Circles, low-threshold, high-ceiling problems are approached by students with minimal background but still lead to concepts rooted in advanced mathematics.
We have adopted a multi-faceted approach for introducing students to high-quality literature. In Urdu, the extra-ordinarily rich cultural heritage of Pakistan is used to introduce children to literature through musical celebrations of poets such as Iqbal, Faiz, and Jalib. This is in addition to the most rigorous middle school Urdu curriculum in Pakistan that challenges students to not only enjoy the subtle Dehli Urdu, but also to explore complex philosophical and ethical issues.
Just as in Urdu, we expose our children to a range of original English literature which includes three Shakespearean plays, novels by Bronte, Beckett and Kafka, a rich variety of classical and modern poetry, and a wide array of short stories etc.
We also utilize our Annual Play to enrich our literature programme. Our one-of-a-kind Annual Play has performed Manto’s Insaaf, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Merchant of Venice, Patras Bokhari’s Anjaam Bakhair, Imtiaz Ali Taj’s Chacha Chakkan Ki Ainak and Chacha Chakkan Nay Khat Likha, and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The primary purpose of social studies is to help children become citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. In order to make realistic connections with a child’s experience, it is critical to contextualize problems in a local setting before thinking about global issues. In Junior School, we have developed our own material that provides students with an alternative viewpoint and asks open-ended questions that can be answered in multiple ways. The critical thinking developed on local issues lays the foundations for our Middle School programme that has a more global focus.
As children mature, the Middle School curriculum introduces age-appropriate original sources for students to ponder over and criticize. For this purpose we augment our curriculum with material developed at Stanford University. The curriculum starts out simply with a document describing a “Lunchroom Fight” and the ensuing effort to put together the conflicting accounts of various children into a coherent picture. This simple exercise sets the stage for the Middle School history curriculum that encourages students to question commonly held assumptions, become aware of writer bias, and to understand events as complex multi-faceted processes.
Maktab’s science philosophy is to encourage students to observe and to experiment. The science curriculum builds on the fact that all students have had some experience with matter and living things in their daily lives. New ideas are based on concrete student experiences in the laboratory. Students experiment, gather data, think about the data, and then try to come up with intelligent conclusions about it. It is exactly opposite to the approach taken by all traditional science programmes that emphasize “transfer of knowledge”. In this curriculum, students are forced to critically examine their experiments and the conclusions that they can draw from these experiments. The curriculum is based on material developed at or by world renowned academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the American Chemical Society.