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UNICEF leads workshop on teaching workforce policy development in Uzbekistan
What is the role of a teacher in ensuring quality education for all? How do we attract, prepare and motivate the best candidates to the teaching profession? And how do we equip teachers with good leadership and oversight to deliver quality teaching and learning? These were among some of the key questions presented at a UNICEF organized workshop on Teaching Workforce Policy Review in Uzbekistan.
Around 30 officials from various Government Ministries, including the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, Ministry of Public Education, Ministry of Preschool Education and the Ministry of Finance, agencies and academic institutions, participated in the workshop on 6-8 February, 2018.
The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss the key findings of the analysis of the legislations on teaching workforce development in Uzbekistan and to develop teaching workforce related policies. Key points discussed included what makes a good teacher? How do we support teachers in improving instruction?
“UNICEF has been working alongside the Government of Uzbekistan to improve quality learning for all children in the country and by 2020, aims to revise teaching workforce policy that promotes quality of education in line with the national quality education framework” said Deepa Sankar, Chief of Education at UNICEF Uzbekistan. “Teachers remain at the heart of the education system while our fast changing world is placing demands on teachers and students alike. It is crucial that policies are focused on the re-skilling and updating of skills of the current teacher workforce and the upgrading of teacher knowledge base.”
Participants discussed key findings from the analysis of the current teaching workforce policy in Uzbekistan and discussed the existing gaps and bottlenecks and agreed on overarching goals, priority areas and designs for developing policies for teaching based on international best practices. By the end of the workshop, a preliminary draft of a teaching workforce policy was developed while participants agreed on further steps in finalizing the process.
Discussions also centered on how to create a high quality teaching workforce equipped with modern day skills and competencies as new technologies and advancements have transformed teaching and have placed new demands on teachers and students alike. Other key areas explored included how to motivate teachers to perform at the highest level and make the teaching profession an attractive prospect and how to provide needs based lifelong continuing professional development and support to teachers.
“The Government has placed considerable emphasis on the education system,” said Kamol Gafurov, Head of Department at the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education and a participant at the workshop. “Special attention is paid to the regulation of the teachers’ training system in Uzbekistan. We are currently working on introduction of distance learning opportunities for the personnel. Special measures have been taken to improve the education system and this is one of the priority areas. Therefore, it will be very useful to learn from international experiences and see how some of them could be adapted to Uzbekistan’s country context.”
UNICEF will continue to work in close collaboration with the Government in order to develop teacher workforce policies that will improve the quality of education for all children in Uzbekistan.