On July 15, 2021 Ms. Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED) held number of bilateral meetings with Government Representatives of Uzbekistan for further strengthening the cooperation between UNESCO and Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of education. Ms Giannini was also invited to moderate a session during the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities", a meeting which was convened by the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
ADG/ED was accompanied in her mission to Uzbekistan by Ms. Astrid Gillett, Head of the Executive Office of the UNESCO Education Sector. Bilateral meetings in Tashkent were also accompanied by Ms Gayane Umerova, Secretary General of the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO and Mr Nabijon Kuvondikov, Head of the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr Bakhtiyor Namazov, National Programme Officer of UNESCO Tashkent Office.
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairperson of the National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO.
H.E. Mr. Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister, mentioned that as Chairperson of the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, he is very keen and committed to expand and support the works of UNESCO in the country, including the EU-funded and UNESCO executed “Skills Development for Employability in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan” project that expected to contribute to further strengthen TVET system of Uzbekistan. Ms. Giannini reiterated that TVET is a critical component of the education system and can help drive the socio-economic development of the country. Considering the paramount importance of the successful execution of this project to both UNESCO and to Uzbekistan, Ms Giannini confirmed that the implementation of the EU-Funded TVET project will be under her personal oversight. ADG/ED expressed appreciation for the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the International Conference, and acknowledged the clear vision and commitment of the country to enhance its education, sciences, culture and free media systems under the transformative leadership and dedication of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Read more at uzbektourism.uz. During the high-level Conference, Ms. Giannini reiterated that:
Culture is the power of peace and development. Central Asia is one of the priority regions of our Heritage for Peace program launched last year. It will also host an international symposium later this year on the revitalization of historic cities along the Silk Road in Central Asia. Our partnership project with the European Union in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran is aimed at preserving and promoting cultural heritage, as well as improving living standards through heritage tourism
Meeting with First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, Director of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Mr. Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, Director of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan warmly welcomed Ms Giannini, as well as the UNESCO team by expressing his appreciation on UNESCO’s noble work in building peace in mind women and men through education, sciences, culture, and communication. Informed that the Center for Human Rights has developed the National Educational Programme on Human Rights in accordance with the 4th phase of the World Programme of Human Rights Education (2020-2024) and solicited UNESCO’s expertise in commenting and enhancing this programme. ADG/ED reconfirmed UNESCO’s commitment to cooperate with the Human Rights Center on promoting the human rights education, and appreciated Mr. Saidov once again for the extensive work accomplished in this area.
Meeting with Minister of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Ms. Agrippina Shin, Minister of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan, highlighted the initiatives of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev along with the government’s commitment and financial allocation to preschool education in Uzbekistan that led quadrupling the establishment of the preschool educational institutions within the past three years.. The Minister expressed the commitment of the country to achieve SDG 4.2, by reaching 100% of preschool education provision despite the challenges being faced due to the rapid demographic growth in the country. Ms. Giannini expressed her sincere impression on the achievements made in the country in a short period of time as well as the level of commitment and support allocated by the country’s leadership in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). On behalf of the Government of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan reconfirmed their intention to host the Global Forum on ECCE in Tashkent in Autumn of 2022. Read more at MDO.UZ
Meeting with Minister of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan is one of the champion ministries in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure continuum of the quality of learning during the school closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the meeting, it was reiterated that the Covid-19 challenges demonstrated the importance that quality of teachers and having sound ICT skills have, especially as this has become new normal in the future of education. During the meeting, Mr. Shermatov described five initiatives of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev for promoting lifelong learning among youth: (i) Engage youth with music and arts; (ii) Enroll youth with sports; (iii) Literacy on and increased use of ICTs; (iv) Advocating for reading books; (v) Empowering women for their decent employment. The Minister also emphasized that the quality of teachers and related policies to promote and maintain high quality of teaching are priority for the ministry. Mr. Shermatov invited UNESCO for cooperation in this area and in implementing five initiatives of the President, especially with the focus on Gender in Education.
Ms. Giannini acknowledged Uzbekistan’s success to ensure the quality of learning in various possible forms for every child in the country, i.e. over 6.5Million learners during the COVID pandemic school closure. She proposed UNESCO’s technical expertise in data analytics and capacity building for education policies and planning. She expressed possible cooperation areas in creating job-placement centers within the schools and invited the Ministry to benefit from the UNESCO-curated Global Skills Academy so that school graduates in Uzbekistan will be able to build skills for employability and prosperous life. Read more at UZEDU.UZ
Meeting with First Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The first deputy Minister, Mr. Karimov briefly described the specificities of the education system of Uzbekistan (that consists of three ministries for education, specialized institutions and centers on education with overall coordination by the Cabinet of Ministers). In 2017, the coverage with higher education was in Uzbekistan was only 9%. However, within past three years, the Ministry increased the higher education coverage up to 25% by 2021, and it has a goal to reach up to 50% by 2030. The Minister expressed the commitment and readiness to provide any support needed for the soonest ratification of UNESCO-led Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education by Uzbekistan. Mr. Karimov also welcomed UNESCO’s suggestion on conducting the research in Higher Education in order to audit the effectiveness of the reforms taken place and fine-tune further future development strategies.
TVET was acknowledged as one of the driving force for the economy of the country, therefore the TVET system is experiencing the radical reform by the Government. It was told that the EU-funded TVET project (https://en.unesco.org/fieldoffice/tashkent/tvetuz) is highly relevant and urgent for the Ministry and confirmed UNESCO of the commitment of the Ministry to support and partner with UNESCO for the successful implementation of this project. Lastly, Ms. Giannini referred to UNESCO’s Tokyo Convention and invited Uzbekistan to ratify the instrument to promote mobility of people between countries and support cooperation between nations in the recognition of degrees and studies conferred at the higher education level. Read more at EDU.UZ
Meeting with Deputy Director; Agency for the Development of the Presidential, Creativity and Specialized Schools under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Mr. Bosit Takhirov, Deputy Director of the Agency provided short background information about the establishment of the Agency in 2019 and the Presidential schools in five regions of Uzbekistan. The curricula taught in these schools are developed with and adapted from the Cambridge experience. The curricula emphasizes the in-depth study of the STEAM subjects. Deputy Director welcomed cooperation with UNESCO in research-based development of the Teacher Professional Development Model for Uzbekistan. The prospects of establishing cooperation with UNESCO's Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in the Agency's projects such as the creation of teacher manuals and student monitoring were also discussed. Read more at PIIMA.UZ
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