Progress Report №5

During the fifth reporting period (October 2018 – March 2019) the Project continued to increase activities and impact, based on improved trust with decision-makers, a better understanding of formal and informal rules and customs, and growing recognition of results achieved. The team is increasingly optimistic about achieving the objectives of the Terms of Reference.

Main achievements during the reporting period are:

  • Pearson Master Training Course for 44 best English school teachers implemented and 13 trainers certified, as a vital contribution to the national concept of foreign language learning.
  • Further training for 75 school principals and administrators implemented, aiming at introducing a pedagogical paradigm shift in teaching. Feedback received is exceptional. There is a fit between the needs of the community and Kazakh trainers used who are certified by leading EU institutions, speak the same language, and have a deep understanding of regional mentality. Valuable for the Turkmen context is the accumulated experience of facilitating the transformation from the Soviet pedagogic paradigm towards the skills needs for the fourth industrial revolution. Kazakhstan is a top ten global education reformer, and its GDP per capita recently exceeded Russia’s GDP per capita.

Other activities include strategic seminar, workshop on innovative school models and bilingual education, annual international education conference, Fourth Steering Committee), introducing EU digital competency framework DigComp 2.0 to 150 IT teachers from Ashgabat (5 December 2018), a workshop on the professional development of teachers and entrepreneurial skills for students, and a study tour to Riga, Latvia.

During the reporting period, the Project implemented 8 events with 3.020 participants-days in total.

However, the Project implementation approach had to be adapted to two unexpected changes:

  • The second wave of mini-projects had to be cancelled due to regulatory concerns. Investments of around 50.000 Euro on curricula updates, content development and further training are stranded, creating negative momentum in the community. The team works on identifying solutions on the reorganisation of activities and achieving the EU-approved objectives by other means.
  • In January 2019, daily cooperation and collaboration with the Ministry of Education moved from the National Institute of Education to the International Department of the Ministry of Education. In the beginning, the reorganisation created tensions and a near standstill of activities. Now, the dialogue with the primary beneficiary has intensified opening a window of opportunity for higher impact.

The planning of the rest of the Project will focus on the following pillars: contributing to a paradigm shift in teaching through further training and international cooperation (NIS, Kazakhstan), promoting technology-enabled learning at pilot TVET institutions, capacity creation at the National Institute of Education, closer collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, study tours to Finland, Estonia, and Greece, and other assignments.

The next reporting period (April – September 2019) will capitalise on the current positioning of the Project and focus on maximising the Project’s impact in line with its Terms of Reference.