School of Professional and Continuing Education, Khorog holds Spring Graduation Ceremony, graduates 35 Afghan learners
The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA-SPCE) held its eighth graduation ceremony on 26 March 2013 at the Khorog Theatre, Tajikistan.
Attended by provincial and national government officials, ambassadors of the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Turkey, and representatives of UCA and the Aga Khan Development Network, the ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of 200 SPCE graduates. The event also commemorated the holiday of Navruz, a festival with Persian cultural roots marking the arrival of spring, and included a cultural performance by the students from Qurbonsho Noyobshev Music School, Khorog.
“Just as we welcome new beginnings during Navruz, we are proud of our graduating students, and wish them success as they use their newly gained knowledge in their future work,” said Robert Wheeler, UCA Chief Operating Officer.
|Muhammadzubair s/o Muhamad Zamir, who completed SPCE’s Cross-Border
Vocational Education in Badakhshan (CVEB) English programme, receives
his Certificate from UCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robert Wheeler.
Students received certificates recognising their successful completion of courses ranging from Accounting Technology, English for Academic Purposes, Bookkeeping/Cashier, Conversational Russian, Conversational German and French, English for Business Programme, Conversational English to Training of Guides. Students who had successfully taken London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) exams received LCCI Certificates, and records of professional development were presented to Information Technology (IT) and English teachers from SPCE’s outreach programmes.
Vocational achievements were also recognized, with certificates awarded to a newly trained group of plumbers, as well as to 24 village mason-masters who attended SPCE courses with support from the European Commission Directorate-General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection –ECHO (DIPECHO).
The ceremony also recognised SPCE’s third graduating class of Afghan students who successfully completed advanced level courses under the Cross Border Vocational Education in Badakhshan (CVEB) programme, a joint initiative between UCA, Aga Khan Foundation USA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Her Excellency Susan Elliot, Ambassador of the United States to Tajikistan, congratulated the 35 Afghan and 22 Tajik CVEB graduates, and said, “The CVEB initiative, now concluding its second phase, embodies the core tenants of the New Silk Road Initiative, encouraging cross-border cooperation and development.”
|Her Excellency Susan Elliot, US Ambassador to Tajikistan, congratulates
the new graduates of UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education.
These sentiments were echoed by Isror Isrorov, Deputy Governor of Gorno-Badakhstan Automous Obast, “The 35 graduates from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan are receiving qualifications that will enable them to improve their lives and contribute to their country’s prosperity. We see this opportunity as a way to strengthen friendship and brotherhood between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.”
Since 2009, UCA-SPCE has expanded access to education in border districts through the CVEB programme. To date, 132 students from Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan have received scholarships to study English, IT, Bookkeeping/Cashier and vocational education at SPCE, Khorog. The CVEB programme has already expanded employment opportunities for its graduates: 45 percent of CVEB alumni received a promotion, found a new job or received a better salary upon completing their courses at UCA-SPCE. The CVEB programme also supported the establishment of a SPCE project office in Faizabad, Afghanistan and the development of curriculum and learning materials in Dari language, further extending the reach of its programmes.
|The University of Central Asia SPCE graduating class of Spring 2013
Following the graduation, SPCE officially opened its new auto-mechanic workshop featuring modern machinery and equipment provided by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Supported by a tripartite Agreement between UCA, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Tajikistan, and GIZ, the newly opened workshop will provide high-quality training for future automechanics.
Since 2006, SPCE, Tajikistan has graduated over 24,000 students with professional and vocational qualifications in accounting, entrepreneurship, tourism development and applied languages that have improved their employment and income generating opportunities. The School is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary, short-cycle education with learning facilities in Khorog and Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Naryn and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Tekeli and Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan; and a project office in Faizabad, Afghanistan.