220 Students Graduate from School of Professional and Continuing Education in Tajikistan
The University of Central Asia (UCA)’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) provides post-secondary, short-cycle education, giving young people and adults professional and vocational qualifications that enhances employment and income generation opportunities. On 21 October 2017, SPCE celebrated the graduation of 220 students from its Khorog centre in accounting, business planning, small and medium business management, applied languages, and other technical and vocational programmes.
The chief guest at the graduation was the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Mr. Jamshed Shodikon, who highlighted the achievements of the School: “UCA’s SPCE programmes play a significant role in the socio-economic development of the region. Graduates are working effectively in various sectors, and I hope will continue to contribute to the growth of our beloved country.”
Davlat Zarchabekov (right) receiving his small and medium business management certificate from GBAO Governor, Mr. Jamshed Shodikon.
The keynote address was delivered by Marziya Shoidarvozova, Dean, Faculty of Economics, Khorog State University on Unemployment: Causes and Consequences in Khorog. A survey of 468 households conducted by the Faculty showed that 682 Khorog residents are either university or vocational programme graduates. However, only 23% found employment related to their education; 20% spent three years before they managed to find any kind of job, and 40%, mostly young men, have been unsuccessfully looking for employment for over three years. The study found that the main cause of unemployment was that these residents with post-secondary education chose educational programmes that were not related to labour market and economic opportunities, a passive attitude towards creating a niche for themselves locally and choosing migration as a solution.
Marziya Shoidarvozova speaking at the graduation.
One of the graduates of the Business Plan Development course was Zohir Shomusalamov. Expressing his gratitude he said, “these certificates that we have received are not just pieces of paper, but they express the deep knowledge and skills we have gained during our studies at SPCE.” The training helped Shomusalamov start his own bicycle rental business in Khorog, and he has since hired and trained four employees.
Over the past academic year, SPCE has undergone an external evaluation by the College of the Rockies in Canada, with very favorable outcomes as a result of the School’s fulfillment of its mission. At the graduation, the Deputy Director, SPCE Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Mr. Dilovar Butabekov, shared results of the evaluation and stated “both former students and key informants agree that SPCE improves the employability, income and quality of employment. The delivery of its programmes correspond to internationally recognized standards, yet provides courses that respond to the needs of students and the labour market.” Butabekov congratulated the instructors, staff, and management for this remarkable achievement.
During his welcome remarks, Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies at UCA, encouraged learners to continue developing skills and acquiring new knowledge. “SPCE has emerged as a viable and dynamic institution, unique in the region, that enhances labour and educational mobility, and promotes entrepreneurship. It is an institution that can be your partner in life-long learning.”
The event was also attended by Mr. Sermamad Jonmamadov, Rector of Khorog State University; Mr. Hidayet Bishchevich, European Union Ambassador to Tajikistan; and Mr. Daler Jumaev, General Director of Pamir Energy. The graduates received their certificates and transcripts in the presence of over 250 guests from the local authorities, non-governmental organisations and community members.
To date, SPCE has enrolled over 105,000 learners across 12 centres in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, including more than 58,000 from Tajikistan alone.