A New Beginning in Kabul: Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of Central Asia, Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Education Services
On 16 December 2020, three agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – the Aga Khan Education Service, Afghanistan (AKES, A), Aga Khan Foundation, Afghanistan (AKF, A) and the University of Central Asia (UCA) – signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a UCA School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) at an AKES, A Learning Centre in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Established in 2003, AKES, A offers pre-primary programmes, supplementary education programmes for school-aged students, and continuing education programmes for adults in English and Information Communication Technology (including the renowned International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification). The SPCE is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary, non-tertiary, continuing education, offering vocational, personal and professional development opportunities to youth and adults to enable them to play an active role in the workplace and pursue their chosen careers. SPCE was established in 2006 and began working with AKES, A in Badakhshan in northern Afghanistan under an agreement in 2015. SPCE operates learning facilities through six sites in Badakhshan, and the new location in Kabul will be UCA’s seventh site in the country.
Providing access to quality English language courses is a key priority for AKES, A and this partnership is an important step towards achieving that goal. Currently AKES, A learning centres offer Pre-A1 to B1 levels of English language courses (based on the Oxford and Cambridge English curricula). The new partnership with UCA SPCE in Kabul will allow an extended offering of English language courses for students.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the virtual presence of colleagues and leaders, in an online ceremony by Najeebullah Musafirzada, Chief Executive Officer of AKES, A; Dr Najmuddin Najm, Chief Executive Officer of AKF, A, and Professor Dr S Sohail H Naqvi, Rector of UCA.
Reflecting on the partnership, Najeebullah Musafirzada, Chief Executive Officer of AKES, A, said: “This is the second partnership agreement with UCA and SPCE in Afghanistan. By establishing an SPCE within an AKES learning centre, we will be able to offer advanced (B2+) English Language courses to learners, meaning that they can extend their English language learning journey which will enable them to pursue further education and a range of employment opportunities.”
Dilovar Butabekov, Director of SPCE, reflected on the ripple effect of this partnership and the value that it will bring. He remarked: “SPCE is committed to promoting the economic, social, and cultural development of Central Asia and neighboring countries in the region, including the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In pursuit of that objective, we will collaborate to deliver programmes with AKES that help to improve the quality of lives in our communities.”
Unanimously, all three agencies acknowledged the importance of the collaboration and praised the considerable strides that all agencies have taken to provide quality programmes in Afghanistan despite the challenges of the global pandemic. There are hopes that this new beginning in Kabul will act as a catalyst in paving the way for further educational collaborations between AKES, AKF and UCA in the future in order to increase the opportunities for those that they serve.
Photos (top to bottom):
– The new partnership with UCA SPCE will enable students to pursue further education and a range of employment opportunities.
– Najeebullah Musafirzada, CEO of AKES, Afghanistan, spoke about how the partnership with UCA SPCE will allow an extended offering of English language courses for students.
– Providing access to quality English language courses is a key priority for AKES, Afghanistan and this partnership with UCA SPCE is an important step towards achieving that goal.