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Tajikistan hosts education forum

Just two weeks following school break, education officials in Tajikistan are now gearing up for a major international meeting to share ideas

Dushanbe, 4 June 2005 – Around 120 delegates from Central Asian countries and UN organizations including UNICEF, UNESCO, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will meeting in Warzob next week, near the capital Dushanbe for the annual CARK (Central Asia Republic of Kazakhstan) Education Forum. 

Hosted by the Government of Tajikistan, the three-day Forum will address the common needs and share experiences on the recent developments in the education reform processes that have been taking place in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Quality and access to education have suffered in these Central Asian republics following the collapse of the Soviet Union. On-going reform efforts seek to address both issues of quality and access in the context of emerging political and social challenges that come with transition.  Gaps in education policies, financing and capacities common in five countries are also being addressed in order to sustain the steps taken to meet the goal of Education for All and Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

“Access to quality education is a serious concern that we expect the on-going education reform in Tajikistan to address,” said UNICEF Tajikistan Representative Yukie Mokuo.    “This is especially important for girls who are at great risk of missing out on compulsory education,” added Ms. Mokuo. 

According to Ms. Mokuo, a UNICEF-supported survey indicates that about 25 per cent of girls in Tajikistan fail to complete compulsory primary education because of poverty and gender bias.  Many parents prefer sending their daughters to religious teachers or prepare them for an early marriage.

“We hope to solve this problem by providing young girls with Life Skills-based education to save them from the woes of early marriage and other related problems that may come later,” she said.
The Tajik Ministry of Education has been chairing the Thematic Group in Girls’ Education. Other Thematic Groups are Adult Education, Life Skills Based Education and Education Management Information System. Each member country will present a case study and presentation on education reform process that has been undertaken so far. 
Aside from the issues of quality and access to education, the Forum will also focus on the need to strengthen cooperation and coordination among donor agencies. 

Since its establishment in 2002 in Almaty, in neighbouring Kazakhstan, the Forum has taken strong roots in addressing critical problems in education of the five Central Asian countries on a common platform.  It is a unique regional cooperation initiative whose success will lead the way in Central Asia for regional cooperation in all important areas of economic and social development of member countries.  Globally such regional frameworks for cooperation are becoming more and more important in achieving national development goals.
This is the first time that the Forum will be held in Tajikistan.  Previous fora have taken place in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

For more information, please contact:

Murat Sahin, Child Development Telephone: +992 917 72 60 28




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