Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 24 November 2016. The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) hosted an international conference, Continuing Education for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Communities to commemorate its 10th anniversary at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe on 24 November 2016.
The conference was attended by Mr Akbar Ali Pesnani, Diplomatic Representative of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN); Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of UCA; Mrs Gulnara Dzhunushalieva, Director of SPCE; Ms Patricia Bowron, Executive Director of International and Regional Development, College of the Rockies; Damira Omuralieva, Rector of Naryn State University; Staff of SPCE from Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and accompanied by the National and International experts; Representatives of Universities, in the Region; Heads of Local Vocational schools; Adult Centers and colleges; Consultancy and Civil society institutions.
“AKDN values the work of SPCE in strengthening professional skills and socio-economic development in the region. SPCE programmes have yielded good results and we look forward to continuing success and leveraging the great potential of UCA,” remarked Pesnani.
The conference discussed issues of continuing education as a factor for personal and professional development, while at the same time presenting national and international practices and opportunities for the implementation of ‘lifelong learning’ in the changing socio-cultural and economic space of Central Asia. A discussion forum on promoting a network of training institutions and universities, educational and research centres of continuing education was also discussed among the participants.
Plenary sessions focussed on the consideration of new trends and perspectives in the field of adult learning from international experience and the broadening of cooperation between teachers, researchers and organisers of education systems in the fields of vocational training and continuing education.
“It is appropriate that SPCE is marking its 10th Anniversary with a conference that examines the role of continuing education in development. This helps us take stock of the road we have travelled, and generate ideas for future growth ,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of UCA.
UCA SPCE was established in 2006 in Khorog and its Learning Centre in Dushanbe opened in 2008. To date, SPCE has enrolled over 30,000 learners in Khorog and 19,000 learners in Dushanbe. Through partnerships with AKF and government agencies, UCA SPCE delivers courses in Afghanistan through three Satellite Learning Centres in Shugnan, Darwaz and Ishkashim districts and a Continuing Education Unit at Badakhshan University in Faizabad city. The School also introduced its academic and quality assurance system at Learning Centres of Aga Khan Education Services in Ishkashim and Zeebak. In total, UCA SPCE has reached 11,000 learners in Afghanistan.
UCA is building three campuses of equal size and stature in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic; Khorog, Tajikistan, and Tekeli, Kazakhstan. The first residential campus in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic inaugurated in September 2016. The campus in Khorog is slated to open in 2017, followed by the campus in Tekeli, anticipated in 2019.