Ministry of Education and Science is working with UNICEF and European Union to ensure quality and inclusive uninterrupted learning for children, parents and communities

10 June 2020
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UNICEF Tajikistan/2020

Dushanbe, June 10th, 2020. To prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases among the population and to protect their well-being, including teachers and students of secondary schools, the Ministry of Education and Science in partnership with UNICEF Tajikistan and the European Union’s financial support has developed an Education Sector Contingency Plan to ensure quality and inclusive uninterrupted learning models for children, while keeping them safe at home in line with COVID-19 precaution measures.

The Plan provides alternative methods and tools for distance learning, guidelines and recommendations for parents to support children's education at home, full mastery of the curriculum, preparation for centralized entrance exams to secondary and higher education through the National Testing Center, and at the same time, protect children from infection with COVID-19.

Building on international best practices, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan has identified alternative solutions that ensure learning support through national TV, on-line and off-line digital platforms. Continuous learning support will be provided through the following overlapping interventions:

  • TV lessons, that support students to learn the subjects, based on the general education curricula, and also include guidelines and tools for distance learning for teachers, students and parents. TV lessons connect students and educators, addressing the lack of internet connectivity and remoteness of villages and households in the Republic of Tajikistan. The benefits of this approach is the possibility to continue learning without interruption and improve learning outcomes through the use of quality materials.
  • Interactive Mobile Platform with on-line and off-line functionality that delivers necessary content to mobile services, smartphones and PCs. The App will have a unique feature addressing limited connectivity, working on any Android phone. The off-line solution will enable education stakeholders with low internet bandwidth to access e-learning content with technical support.
  • Additional support and guidance to teachers and parents materials - they include clear guidance to support students to prepare for centralized entrance exams to secondary and higher education through the National Testing Center and parents to attend to individual needs of the child, with examples of activities parents could do with their children to continue learning at home environment.

Ms. Latofat Naziri, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science noted in this regard: “The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan, following the sudden spread of COVID-19 and releasing students for another school break, has identified the need for distance learning to master the existing curriculum and program, which was reviewed and presented to the development partners. With a view to mastering the curriculum, protecting children and students from the pandemic, with the support of UNICEF and financial assistance from the European Union, the development of video lessons was agreed to be initiated to provide access to education for children, families and those involved. In general secondary education, distance learning and video lessons are our first experiences. We are confident that distance education at the level of general secondary education will be gradually improved and incorporated into the regular education system, in which the experience of development partners in this field, including regional and international best practices are important. With the support of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, development partners and through using the advanced potential of local experts, national and international experience, we will provide access to quality education in the country.”

"We are confident that distance education at the level of general secondary education will be gradually improved and incorporated into the regular education system, in which the experience of development partners in this field, including regional and international best practices are important."

Mr. Makkawi Khogali, the Representative of UNICEF in Tajikistan added: “While COVID-19 is affecting our daily lives, children remain the hidden victims of this pandemic. In this situation and despite ongoing reforms, education systems remain vulnerable to shocks calling for innovation and the use of technology so that children are kept safe and continue learning. As UNICEF Tajikistan we are side by side with our partners of the Ministry of Education and Science in supporting the modernization of the national education systems to face these challenges and ensure the smooth reopening of schools in the next school year. With the support of the European Union, we are also directing all our efforts to introduce uninterrupted learning platforms that are inclusive and accessible to all children and their parents across the country.”

"While COVID-19 is affecting our daily lives, children remain the hidden victims of this pandemic. In this situation and despite ongoing reforms, education systems remain vulnerable to shocks calling for innovation and the use of technology so that children are kept safe and continue learning."

The European Union Ambassador to Tajikistan, Ms. Marilyn Josefson further emphasised: “The European Union is pleased to, in close partnership with UNICEF, actively support the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan in developing relevant distance learning opportunities and support materials for Tajik students and their parents or caregivers. In the current situation of a global COVID-19 outbreak, distance learning is a useful tool to keep students safe in their homes, while at the same time engaging them in a non-interrupted education. Distance learning has also proved to be crucial for maintaining equal access to education of all children, and in strengthening the development of independent learning skills. I am eagerly looking forward to closely following emerging results of our joint cooperation and of this exciting pilot work in Tajikistan.”

"In the current situation of a global COVID-19 outbreak, distance learning is a useful tool to keep students safe in their homes, while at the same time engaging them in a non-interrupted education. Distance learning has also proved to be crucial for maintaining equal access to education of all children, and in strengthening the development of independent learning skills."

Currently, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan is working on filming TV lessons for 9th and 11th grades in order to fully master the curriculum, as well as preparation for centralized entrance exams to secondary and higher education institutions through the National Testing Center. As part of this process, the training of 75 teachers of science-focused subjects (algebra, physics, chemistry, biology, information technology and geography) was completed. Recording of first 120 TV lessons for 9th and 11th grades with the duration of 15-20 minutes each is still undergoing. This is a first step towards long-term development targeting all grades 1-11, based on the concepts and principles of the national curriculum. According to the preliminary plan, the first TV lessons will be broadcasted via two state channels – TV "Safina" and TV "Bahoriston" for the targeted classes and students to use. Meanwhile, animations films already developed in collaboration with the development partners and targeting pre-primary and early grade students will be also aired on the national TV channels.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan expresses its gratitude to the development partners, the European Union and UNICEF for supporting and financing this very important initiative.

 

 

Media Contacts

Shuhratjon Sharipov
Communications Officer
UNICEF Tajikistan
Tel: +992 939144010
Tel: +992 907437588

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993. 

To receive more information about UNICEF and our work in Tajikistan, please visit https://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/

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