Education International
Education International

Tajikistan: Union builds access to quality inclusive schools in remote regions

published 8 July 2014 updated 9 July 2014

Teachers are working towards increasing access and opportunities to quality education in the country’s dense mountainous areas where children and especially girls are denied a place in the classroom.

Education International's (EI) Asia-Pacific Regional Office held EI–Consortium Project Workshops focused on trade union issues for members of its national affiliate, the Republican Trade Union Committee of Education and Scientific Workers (RC-STES).

Almost 60 people took part in the workshops during June – 30 participants attended the Panjakent workshop from 15-17 June, and 29 others participated in the Dushanbe workshop from 18-20 June.

These workshops succeeded in facilitating participants to:

- Discuss the role of teachers’ unions in a market economy

- Analyse the existing education/trade union challenges/problems in their oblast (district)

- Explore the basic concepts and principles of leadership and decision-making processes

- Gain awareness of EI’s programmes and activities

- Share information and review the essential components and strategies of the Unite for Quality Education campaign

- Conduct an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

- Develop an individual plan of action to be implemented at the school/work place

Various methods were used to present the diverse topics, among them interactive discussions, role-play group work, and awareness-raising exercises. Question and answer sessions were also widely used.

Crucial skills

Participants had a very basic understanding of the trade union’s role, EI Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator Jerome Fernandez noted. However, the workshop addressed this knowledge gap. Now, the participants, mostly primary level leaders, were equipped with crucial skills to allow them to play an effective role as trade union leaders at school level.

“These workshops were most successful in achieving their objectives, such as providing access to education in a country where mountains take up 85 per cent of the territory,” Fernandez said. “Almost all the participants now want similar programmes be implemented in their districts. These participants should be invited to undergo the Intermediate Level workshop later.”