SPCEs 5th Graduation Ceremony sees 300 Graduates including 63 from Afghanistan

Khorog, Tajikistan, 14 May 2011 – The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) held its fifth graduation in Tajikistan on 14 May 2011 at the Khorog Theatre. The ceremony was attended by the U.S Ambassador, Ken Gross, the Afghan Consul in Khorog Mr Abdul Hakim Haidari, and Mr Orifsho Ismoilov, First Deputy Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan. The closing address was given by the Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan Munir M. Merali.

SPCE recognized 307 students at the Awards Ceremony; including learners and teachers from Afghanistan. Certificates were awarded in Accounting Technology, the Certified Accounting Practitioner Programme, and Technical Vocational Education. Records of Professional Development were presented to Mathematics and English teachers from SPCE’s Outreach programmes English in the Villages and Math in the Villages. Certificates of Achievement in the Bookkeeping/Cashier, Conversational Russian, English for Business Programme Levels 2 and 3A, and Training of Guides, were also granted to learners.  Students who completed and the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) courses and Microsoft Access also received a Record of Achievement.

For the first time, SPCE had a graduating class of Afghans: fifty-eight students and five teachers from the Teacher Training College (TTC) in Shughnan Afghanistan. The students studied at Khorog under the “Cross Border Vocational Education in Badakhshan” (CVEB) programme, a joint initiative between UCA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“It was the best programme for Afghan students. It was more than we expected, allowing us to enhance our knowledge and skills. During our training, we discovered the culture of Tajikistan and in turn, we showed our culture to our Tajik classmates. It was an enriching learning experience during class, from the country and its people. We are very thankful to the people for their kindness they have shown during our stay,” said English programme students, Negina Akram Shah and, Sohrab Abdul Vakil.

As part of the CVEB programme, 60 students from Badakhshan province, Afghanistan were awarded scholarships to study English, IT, and Bookkeeping/Cashier at SPCE Khorog. Courses were delivered in Dari language and original curriculum and learning materials in Dari were developed.  An additional thirty students are completing trainings in vocational education at SPCE Khorog. They are expected to graduate in the fall. The CVEB programme also supported the establishment of an SPCE project office in Faizabad, Afghanistan.

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