UCA News - Issue 103

Date: 17 November 2011
Other languages: Русский язык |

Aga Khan Humanities Project provides faculty development training in Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic

The University of Central Asia’s Aga Khan Humanities Project (UCA-AKHP) provides training to Central Asian university faculty in innovative pedagogy and the use of AKHP curricula. AKHP courses aim to develop pluralism of ideas through multi-disciplinary approaches and participatory learning. On successfully completing faculty training, participants receive certificates of participation and after fulfilling additional requirements, certificates qualifying them as AKHP instructors. Over the second half of 2011, faculty development workshops were organized in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, resulting in 16 new qualifying instructors joining the 134 AKHP-trained instructors already teaching around the region. 

Faculty Development Workshop in Khorog, Tajikistan

From 28 June to 3 July 2011, UCA-AKHP organized a faculty development workshop in Khorog to train university instructors in Tajikistan to teach two AKHP courses, “Tradition and Change” and “Identifying Civil Society.” The six-day workshop for 15 instructors was hosted by Khorog State University.

Farrukh Ashrapov, UCA-AKHP’s Faculty Development Programme Coordinator in Tajikistan, opened the workshop with a short presentation on UCA-AKHP and the goals of FDP. UCA-AKHP trainers from Tajikistan conducted the training sessions, including Abdurahim Juranev, Head of UCA-AKHP Innovative Centre, Khujand State University; Muhsin Rahimov, Head of Department of Philosophy, Tajik Technical University; Khalima Shirinova, Russian language teacher, Khorog State University; and Parvina Abdulkhamidova, Dean of Faculty of Foreign Languages, Khorog State University.

Participants were motivated and, based on workshop evaluations, the goal of developing professional skills through the use of new curriculum and interactive teaching methods was achieved. Of the 15 participants, 10 were qualified as AKHP instructors after they submitted individually-developed syllabi, incorporating contents and teaching methods from the training. These new instructors began teaching AKHP courses in September 2011.

Faculty Development Workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

From 3 – 8 October 2011, UCA-AKHP organized a faculty development workshop to train 18 university instructors in the Kyrgyz Republic to teach two AKHP courses, “Individual and Society” and “Introduction to the Humanities,” which span several disciplines, including literature, history, sociology, music, architecture, folklore and natural sciences and feature interactive, student-centered learning. The workshop took place at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University (KRSU) in Bishkek.

The training workshop was lively and discussions in-depth, with professors participating from various KRSU departments, including international studies, law, social studies, economics, theology, political science, psychology, sociology, history, linguistics and German studies. Participants found the methodology classes particularly helpful, developing further skills in analytical reading, academic writing, critical thinking and creative application. Six participants qualified for teaching certificates, bringing the number of new AKHP instructors trained in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2011 to 16.

“I have no doubt that what I learned here is very exciting. I learned many new methods and was introduced to very interesting reading materials. I believe that the training was of great value for me professionally, as many methods that I've learned here will be applied in my professional activities,” said course participant, sociology professor Darya Serikova.

The workshop was organized by Cholpon Kurmanbaeva, AKHP Faculty Development Programme Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic. Training sessions were delivered by experienced AKHP instructors, including Khadicha Shambetalieva, Candidate of Philological Sciences and Docent at KRSU’s International Relations Department; Gulmira Karabalaeva, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Docent at the Department of Higher Education Level Teaching at the Kyrgyz National University, and Distinguished Worker of Education; and Sanjarbek Tajimatov, Senior Instructor of the Department of International Relations, Kyrgyz National University. 

Established in 1997, the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) was created to explore abiding issues facing the individual and society from a multidisciplinary humanities perspective, and to foster the development of critical thinking and academic writing skills. In response to Central Asian government requests to revitalise teaching in the region, AKHP provides multi-year faculty development training to Central Asian university instructors using AKHP textbooks in innovative, interactive and modern teaching methods. For more information, please visit:www.ucentralasia.org/Research/CulturalHeritageAndHumanitiesUnit.