Aga Khan School and the University of Central Asia collaborate to build teacher capacity in Osh
Osh, Kyrgyz Republic, February 8, 2010 - Twenty-five mathematics teachers from Osh government schools, the Aga Khan School (AKS), Osh and Aga Khan Lycee, Khorog were today awarded certificates for successfully completing a one-year intensive professional training program organized at the Professional Development Center of AKS, part of Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), Kyrgyz Republic. The ceremony was attended by Aga Khan Development Network Representative Nurjehan Mawani, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Science and Culture, Information and Religious Policy the Kyrgyz Republic Jyldyz Joldosheva, Head of the State Directorate for the Reconstruction of Osh and Jalalabad Cities Jantoro Satybaldiev, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Guljigit Sooronkulov, Vice Mayor of Osh City, German Ambassador H.E. Holger Green, representatives of the State Education Department.
Research conducted by the AKS Professional Development Center in 2010 concluded that the majority of secondary school students demonstrate low performance and face challenges with learning mathematics, a staple of all hard sciences. To address this concern, faculty members of the Professional Development Center of AKS in collaboration with a Research Fellow, Duishon Shamatov of the University of Central Asia designed a program to enable teachers review the practice of teaching and learning mathematics. Mathematics content specialists of Osh State University were involved in the delivery of content sessions.
“This program is unique in many different ways: firstly, irrespective of all the challenges the participants were highly motivated and secondly, the teachers assessed their teaching practice to match the interests and capability of students to stimulate reflective and thinking centered learning,” said Nakhat Abdulofizov, the CEO of AKES and one of the authors of the curriculum.
Highly practical in its approach, the training strives to improve the skill set of teachers in mathematics while introducing viable child-centered and interactive teaching methods encouraging students to become active learners. Trainers observed teachers in the classroom setting and as a result were able to provide customized feedback and recommendations through face-to-face sessions.
“I feel there is a difference to my teaching methods. Before attending the training I used to engage my students in rote memorization, but now I teach them for understanding. These sessions helped me to provide a more varied and enriching learning experience for students,” said state school Mathematics teacher Alexandra Salamanova, who graduated from the training program.
Guided by the belief that a key to the progress is ability of a country to develop competitive local leadership, the Aga Khan Development Network and its agencies support professional development of educators and institutional strengthening. The Network’s focus in this regard is to enhance access to continuing quality education to children and adults through early childhood development program of Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan School and University of Central Asia.
In 2008, AKS was granted a license to support in-service professional development of government school teachers in Osh City and Oblast at its Professional Development Center. In coordination with the City Department of Education, critical thinking, IT and English, and Russian and Kyrgyz teaching programs have been carried out by AKS for teachers from 8 secondary schools impacting over 3,000 students. Four AKS educators have obtained their Masters in Education degrees from the Aga Khan University – Institute for Education Development, Pakistan.
The University of Central Asia (UCA), co-founded by the Governments of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and His Highness the Aga Khan, also contributes leadership, ideas and innovations to the communities in the region through modern educational and research programs. Central Asia Faculty Development Program of UCA which offers aspiring Central Asian scholars the opportunity to pursue master’s and doctoral studies at leading international universities has graduated 24 scholars. UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) will shortly start delivering courses in Osh (IT, English, Local Economic Development) and is exploring the possibility of establishing a Learning Centre in the city.