Turkmenistan steps up its readiness for Child-Friendly Schools
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 26 February 2007 – The first batch of 20 teachers from the Pedagogical College in Ashgabat last week completed their training on Child-Friendly Schools. “The training, being the first of its kind in the country, marks a significant step forward in Turkmenistan to bring in innovative approaches of child-centred learning,” said UNICEF Turkmenistan Representative, Mahboob Shareef.
The aim of the UNICEF-assisted programme is to enhance the ability of teachers to make learning a fun and participatory process for children.
“Following this training, Turkmenistan is ready to increase the number of Child-Friendly Schools from the current number of 20,” said Mr Shareef. “Experiences from other countries demonstrate that Child-Friendly Schools are successful, and we want all the children of Turkmenistan to have the opportunity to attend such schools. The recent positive moves by the government to speed up education reform demonstrate that we are moving in the right direction. UNICEF is committed to assisting the government in taking the practice of Child-Friendly Schools to scale in Turkmenistan,” the UNICEF Representative remarked.
A Child-Friendly School creates an environment conducive for learning by respecting children’s rights and needs; it provides clean, healthy and safe facilities; it gives children the life-skills they need by employing interactive teaching methods that are suited to the child’s age, abilities and ways of learning; and it includes parents and the community in the management of the school.
“During the training we have learned a lot of new teaching methods that require active participation from the pupils. With these methods our students will never have a boring day!” said Gozel Bairamova and Nuri Komekov, two of the teachers from the Pedagogical College taking part in the training.
UNICEF and UNESCO developed an international toolkit for Child-Friendly Schools, and the Ministry of Education has prepared a Russian language version of this toolkit adapted to the Turkmenistan setting. A Turkmen version will be ready shortly. By now Child-Friendly Schools have seen much success globally and the training in Ashgabat draws on the best practices and lessons learned from the experience in Thailand.
As a follow-up, teachers trained at the five-day workshop in Ashgabat pass on what they have learned on Child-Friendly schools to their colleagues from the two other pedagogical colleges in Turkmenistan, Mary and Dashoguz. Starting with the next academic year, all first year students at the pedagogical colleges will receive training on Child-Friendly Schools. Since 2005, 20 schools have been introduced to the concept of Child-Friendly Schools and 800 teachers have been trained.
For more information please contact:
Mr Bjorn Lyngstad, UNICEFCommunication Specialist