Omar Murji: Inspiration with Creativity, Knowledge and Humility

Year: 2021 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Aga Khan Education Centre: Willowdale
Grades 7 to 12 – Canadian & World Studies, business, English, world religions, IT
Toronto, Ontario


“Omar Murji is a warm, caring, passionate, fun-loving and hardworking teacher who always goes beyond his role to enliven the curriculum in the students’ lives. He transforms student realities and empowers them to contribute to their local and global contexts, thus allowing them to contribute to the betterment of society.”


Teaching Approach

Omar takes a holistic approach to students' skills development. The focus on academic skill building and critical thinking along with real-life skills are central , but he also looks at soft skills around leadership development, life skills and the ever-growing importance of ethical literacy skills. For Omar the students' learning experience cannot be divorced from their life experiences nor the world around them. His students are asked to think of which stories are being told and which are being left out, where they fit within the narrative, how they can shape this narrative and that a better understanding of pluralism will allow us to see our differences as strengths.

In the Classroom

Omar was part of the first wave of teachers that really understood that students are digital citizens, and that the best way to reach them is to embrace the world they live in. As a result, unlike other teachers who ask students to deposit their phones in a box at the front of classroom, Omar embraces the opportunity to have students use their technology in meaningful ways . He encourages the use of many apps that allow him to gather formative feedback, engage students with virtual tours using google cardboard, develop their own project planning skills and create artistic expressions.

Omar brings academic subject matter to life. He continually finds innovative ways to engage his students. The examples are numerous. For instance, he explores history in his class through the lens of food. He uses art as a teaching tool for students to both express their learning and understand the ways in which different people at different times and places have understood their world. He took this a step further a couple years ago when he taught the concept of identity and understanding one's place in the world by having the students create an art exhibit that was showcased in a local community art gallery with a special event for parents where students explained their pieces and their learning to the audience.

Outstanding Achievements

This year with the switch to online due to COVID, Omar came up with an ingenious way to support his students. Realizing that with the increase in screen time, stress and a subsequent drop in energy and attention, he has created, in essence, his own television show for students. Think Mr. Dress-Up meets Bill Nye. The show itself is a mixture of content, storytelling, visuals, thought- provoking questions and puppets. The show is an additional support for students meant to allow them to engage with the material in an entertaining and education manner, at times that best fit their schedule.

Get in touch!

Aga Khan Education Centre: Willowdale
49 Wynford Drive
Toronto, ON  M3C 1K1