The TVET programme is implemented by United Nations Development Programme in close partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of Uzbekistan (MHSSE), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Tashkent State Agrarian University.
In total, 50 Afghan women will obtain higher, technical and vocational education at various universities across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan by 2025 within a €2 million grant provided by EU to support Afghan women in their strive for higher and vocational education. Empowering women via education creates vast personal as well as economic impact, such as it generates opportunities to realize one’s potential and ability to contribute to their communities upon returning to Afghanistan.
“European Union is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan in their path towards peace, security and prosperity. This project is not only timely but also unique. It is supporting cross-border relations between the countries of Afghanistan and Central Asia through such education exchange programmes and helping to further building the ties between the people of these neighboring countries. EU will continue supporting Uzbekistan in its efforts to ensure stability and peace in the region through close cooperation with Afghanistan in various spheres including gender equality and education”, said H.E. Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union in Uzbekistan.
At the event, participants and stakeholders were provided with detailed information on the progress of the project, results and planned activities. In particular, as a result of the six-month intensive Uzbek language course, all 10 Afghan students are now able to communicate and discuss topics in Uzbek language with their teachers and local friends.
The students have completed the orientation programme of TVET in the field of agronomy. This module is important because the students were able to greatly strengthen their Uzbek language in basic subjects and prepare to work with farmers in real field work conditions.
“With better qualifications women are expected to gain higher-profile private or public sector jobs. The benefits will include enhanced economic and social status for women, as well as important role models of women’s unique contributions to sector development and to gender equality”, said Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan.
Jointly with UN Women, extra-curriculum Winter and Summer Schools on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment for Afghan students were organized. The training sought to provide women with resources and skills on generating business ideas and developing them, personal development, insights into entrepreneurship, start-ups, business concepts, research, and other stimulating opportunities.
In addition to academic studies, Afghan students have ample opportunities for leisure, sports and cultural exchanges. Members of the Uzbek-Afghan Women's Club of Agronomists are actively involved in social and linguistic adaptation of their peers. Through the efforts of the club members, the Concept of a new Startup in the field of agro-business education and e-commerce is being developed.
From September 2021, the first cohort of Afghan women will undergo TVET curriculum in agronomy, in July 2023, women will be awarded TVET diplomas.
“Uzbekistan supports peace in the neighboring friendly Afghan soil, and will focus on developing new mobile education programs, as in this project”, - said Yusuf Absoatov, Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan in conclusion of the event