Press-release: UNESCO Almaty launches a EU-funded education project in Tajikistan

6 December 2021

On 3 December 2021 the European Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Tajikistan and the German Development Bank KfW jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan (MoES) launched a new programme The 2nd Phase of the Quality Education Support Programme funded by the European Union.

With the generous financial support by the European Union, UNESCO UNICEF in Tajikistan and KfW are implementers of the 2ndphase of the Quality Education Support Programme for Tajikistan (hereinafter the Programme). This support Programme focuses primarily on poverty reduction and rights realisation of each person in the country by facilitating sustainable development and inclusive economic growth as well as mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Tajikistan. More specifically, this Programme aims at improving the learning outcomes and employability of Tajik young girls and boys with special attention to the people living in vulnerable situations.

The Programme is designed to support the implementation of Tajikistans National Development Strategy for the period up to 2030 priorities on expanding productive employment as well as enhancing human capital development. In addition, the Programme is facilitating the implementation of the National Strategy for Education Development until 2030, as well as the commitments of the Government of Tajikistan towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Within this Programme, UNESCO UNICEF and KfW aim to support the ongoing educational reforms of introducing competency-based education in Tajikistan with a particular focus on ICTs in Education, STEM education development, strengthening of teacher training system and the access to the safe, healthy adequate school environment with a specific focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan as a beneficiary of this project gives great importance to its implementation and cooperation with the European Union, UNESCO, UNICEF and KfW. This very timely and significant project will allow us to improve the education sphere which goes hand in hand with the National Strategy for Education Development 2021-2030. This project emphasizes the development of competencies of children in the area of ICT, as well as enhancement of capacity development of teachers around Tajikistan. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan took active participation during the development of the project and the selection of priority areas. It is very clear that this project is very timely and will have a very positive effect on our young population. underlined the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr Imomzoda Muhammdyusuf

The EU remains committed to continue supporting the education sector in Tajikistan as a priority over the coming years. The current Quality Education Support Programme is the second phase of our bilateral support to undertake major reforms under the National Strategy for Education Development 2021-2030. And aimed at improving the learning outcomes and employability of young Tajik girls and boys with special attention devoted to young people living in vulnerable situations. This program builds on the strong partnership between the EU, the Ministry of Education and Science, KfW, UNESCO and UNICEF., Ms Marilyn Josefson, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan.

Quality education is an important foundation for human capital development. For this reason, within the framework of this joint project with the European Union, UNESCO will be working with the Ministry of Education and Science towards improving the overall quality of education in Tajikistan through developing competency-based learning and teaching materials, capacity building of teachers as well as equipping the teacher training centres in such priority areas as STEM and ICT, highlighted UNESCO Representative in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Ms. Krista Pikkat.

This new partnership between UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the European Union aims to support the long-term goal of reforming education in line with the strategic objectives of National Education Development Strategy until 2030. In particular, the partnership shows a clear vision and commitment towards achieving the 4th Sustainable Development Goal in order to ensure access to quality and inclusive education for all children in the Republic of Tajikistan noted UNICEF Representative, Mr Osama Makkawi.

KfW is happy to contribute to combined efforts together with EU, UNICEF, UNESCO through the provision of quality infrastructure in order to improve the learning outcomes. Dr Andreas Schneider, Director, KfW Office in Dushanbe.

About the Programme

UNESCOs project component will contribute to strengthening competency-based and ICT-enabled STEM and VET education and teacher-training in Tajikistan

UNESCO will design modern and gender-responsive teaching and learning materials for STEM subjects at the secondary education level based on the international standards and competency-based curricula. Within this project, UNESCO will also support the development of the ICT competency standards, curricula and assessment framework for teachers as well as provide the teacher training centres with the state of the art STEM and ICT equipment.

Following results will be pursued by UNESCO within this project:

1. Improving national capacities for the development of the high quality of textbooks, teaching and learning materials on STEM subjects of the grades of 7-11 at secondary levels. This will also include rethinking the assessment framework of learning achievements based on the new curriculum and competencies on STEM subjects.
2. Capacities of teacher trainers and educators will be enhanced to train teachers from pilot schools on delivering the gender-responsive STEM subjects in secondary and VET schools.
3. Based on UNESCOs ICT-Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT), the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers will be developed, which will be integrated into the overall Competency Framework for Teachers in Tajikistan. The teacher training modules on building competencies for the use of ICTs in pedagogical practices will be developed. In addition, the project will prepare at least 56 teacher educators/trainers and develop teacher learning management system for scaling the teachers competency development on ICTs.
4. UNESCO will also improve the existing infrastructure of the in-service Teachers Training Centres for secondary and VET schools by equipping them with STEM and laboratory facilities as well as Internet connectivity and ICT equipment. More specifically, UNESCO will refurbish and equip six Teacher Training Institutions under the MoES and eight Teacher Training Centres under MoLME with upgraded STEM and ICT equipment.

Beneficiaries and partners
The main beneficiaries and partners of this project are the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment (MoLME) of the Republic of Tajikistan. In addition, teachers and young people (students), especially women and girls throughout the country will benefit from the project results by having access to high-quality education programmes and skills development that are relevant for the labour market.

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