SPCE Learning Centre, Dushanbe and AKHP hold joint 2012 Graduation ceremony
The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) Learning Centre, Dushanbe and the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) held their fourth annual joint Graduation ceremony on 23 June 2012 at the Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe.
More than 130 SPCE learners were awarded certificates in Accounting, English for Business Level 3 and 1, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), English for Academic Purposes and Conversational English. Fifty nine AKHP Humanities in English learners also received certificates of completion in Seeking Social Justice and Introduction to Humanities.
The Ceremony was attended by Mr Mirgan Shabozov, Deputy Speaker of Tajik Parliament; Ms Irina Karimova, President, Academy of Education; Ms Gavharbonu Sharofzoda, Director, Institute for Professional Development of Civil Servants. Prominent parliamentarians; Jabbarova Marhabo, Head, Committee for Science, Education, Culture and Youth Policy and Khayrinisso Yusufi, Head, Committee for Social Issues, Family and Healthcare; Deputy Minister of Transport and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection representatives.
The diplomatic community was represented by the Ambassadors of Germany and Afghanistan, and representatives of the American, Afghan and French embassies. Representatives from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Open Society Institute (OSI) and other international organizations were also present, along with partner institutions, university professors, Academy of Sciences scholars, heads of AKDN agencies, and proud families.
Keynote speaker, Ms Irina Karimova, President of the Academy of Education, reflected on the importance of continuing education and the role of adult professional training in improving the region’s economic development. “I hope and believe that the University of Central Asia will play an important role in adult training and, in this way, make a significant contribution towards Tajikistan’s economic development.”
Mr Shabozov, Deputy Speaker of the Tajik Parliament, addressed graduates in English, congratulating them on their achievements and emphasizing the strong relationship between UCA and the Tajik Government and the Parliament. He appreciated UCA’s contribution to fostering economic development and building human capacity in the country.
He highlighted that eight Members of Parliament, including himself, another Deputy Speaker and two Committee Heads were SPCE learners were also graduating. They successfully completed the Starter and Elementary Levels of the Conversational English Programme.
In the graduating batch, there were 24 students, including eight from the Tajik Parliament, eleven from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, five from the National Social Investment Fund, Tajikistan (NSIFT) who received a Record of Achievement, for completing the Conversational English programme.
UCA staff and Members of the Parliament (Majlisi Namoyandagon)
after the graduation ceremony.
From left to right: Ziyoratsho Sa’dullo; Mahmudov Nasrullo; Khayrinisso Yusufi (Head of the Parliament Committee on Social Issues, Family and Healthcare); Fatima Salomatshoeva (SPCE English Instructor who taught the MPs); Mirgand Shabozov (Deputy to Chairman of Majlisi Namoyandagon); Jaborova Marhabo (Head of Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Policy); Bohdan Krawchenko (UCA Director General), Gulnara Djunushalieva (Director, SPCE), Khairisho Shonusairiev (Learning Centre Coordinator)
AKHP was established in 1997, and became a part of University of Central Asia in 2007. Headquartered in Dushanbe, AKHP currently works with 31 partner universities in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. High school students, undergraduate and graduate university students may enroll in any of the following courses: Introduction to Humanities, Individual and Society, Tradition and Change, Rhythm and Movement, Identifying Civil Society, Seeking Social Justice, Art and Appreciation, and Negotiating Human Nature.
SPCE was launched in October 2006 in Khorog and its Learning Centre was established in January 2008 in Dushanbe. To date, SPCE has enrolled over 21,000 learners in over 60 types of training programs and operates out of its town campus, Learning Centre in Dushanbe, Technical Vocational Education and Training Centre in Khorog and Project Office in Faizabad, Afghanistan. SPCE also provides capacity building for the Shegnan’s Teacher Training College in Afghanistan.
Irina Elizarova, 29
Business 3 English Certificate
SPCE Learning Centre, Dushanbe
Irina Elizarova, 29, has two majors, in philology and Finance and Credit. In 2007, she began working at Tcell mobile company in Tajikistan where she prepared profit statements, and monthly reconciliations for clients. After some time, she decided she wanted to improve her English to better perform in her work tasks.
When she discovered the University of Central Asia was running English courses, she signed up for Business English. She took a placement test and began her pre-intermediate training at the SPCE Dushanbe Learning Centre.
She found the programme well-defined and effective. She also valued the rich resources that were shared in the classroom and enjoyed watching video presentations by business tycoons Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.
“We had multiple tests to help us identify our weaknesses. I learnt many new economic terms which I applied daily in my work. My business correspondence improved, and I found my instructor Victoria Ivaneko’s lessons very interesting,” said Irina.
She found the lessons after-work hours made it easy for her to keep pace with learning, and relied heavily on the resources at the Learning Centre. She found the wide range of English books on economics, sociology, political science, psychology helpful.
“In the past, I would hesitate to attend professional training conducted in English. Today I am able to, and I also can speak with clients, who are native speakers, without any help,” she said.
Irina has completed her Business English 3 certificate with SPCE.
Mavjigul Shaymardanova, 42
Accounting and Technology Certificate
SPCE Learning Centre, Dushanbe
Mavjigul Shaymardanova, 42, has lived and worked in Dushanbe since 1982. She manages a juridical firm, “Maslikhati Huquqi” and is responsible for finance, staff management, reviewing tax reports, and leading negotiations with clients. She also offers juridical advice and carries out juridical audits for companies.
When she was promoted to her new position as head of firm, she found it required in-depth knowledge of accounting and English. An ex-colleague who completed her Accounting and Technology (ATC) course suggested Mavjigul consider SPCE.
“With my new position, it required greater responsibility; I pursued and completed both Conversational English and the ATC courses. I found the lessons very relevant and I was able to apply them immediately to my work. I have now signed up for elementary English. This study, has given me a better and clearer vision for my work as a manager and lawyer, she said.
“I have now signed up for Preintermediate English. Education is a life-long learning process which should never stop,” concluded Mavjigul.
Farzonai Muzaffar, 17
Introduction to Humanities and Individual and Society
Aga Khan Humanities Project
Farzonai Muzaffar, 17, is a high school graduate from Dushanbe. She first heard about AKHP’s courses from her friends. They said that the courses covered many aspects of life and identified interesting problems and issues.
Two years later, Farzona is now a graduate of AKHP’s Humanities in English programme, having successfully completed the Introduction to Humanities and Individual and Society courses. She believes the courses helped her realize how important it is for individuals to understand and analyze their actions and not just blindly follow societal norms.
As a result, Farzona feels the AKHP programme has helped her look at the world from a different perspective and developed her ability to express herself. She appreciates both the AKHP instructors’ teaching style and the curricula. While the coursework was sometimes challenging, the instructors always helped her understand the material. Farzona has been accepted to the United World College and will continue her education abroad.
She feels ready for this next step, “AKHP has prepared me for education abroad, as I have developed my critical thinking and writing skills.”
“The best thing about AKHP courses is that they help an individual develop in different areas and directions. The core classes develop an ability to analyze the surrounding world and make good decisions; the academic writing classes help to develop writing skills and express thoughts on paper,” she said.
Introduction to Humanities, Individual and Society, and Tradition and Change. Aga Khan Humanities Project
Mirkhoja Nazaraliev was intrigued when his friends told him that AKHP courses would help develop his English, reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills, and improve his ability to express his ideas and opinions freely.
Today, Mirkhoja, 23, a Department of Architecture at Technological University, Dushanbe student, is a successful graduate of three Humanities in English courses, Introduction to Humanities, Individual and Society, and Tradition and Change.
He feels he has benefitted from the courses; developed his English skills and broadened his knowledge, and strengthened his analytic and critical thinking skills. He is now much more comfortable presenting his ideas, regardless of which language he uses - English, Tajik or Russian.
Mirkhoja particularly enjoyed the discussions and work at AKHP on space and public spaces, which linked his technical training in architecture and construction to social theory and community interactions. He also enjoyed the teaching style and the opportunity to engage in different ways of learning such as discussion groups, research projects, and presentations. Mirkhoja is eager to continue his work and looks forward to taking other AKHP courses in the future.
“Before I attended AKHP courses, I only knew how to present on architectural and construction design at my university in Tajik and Russian. Now I can write and present texts and ideas comfortably in English as well. I have noticed that my writing has improved in Russian and Tajik as well,” he said.