Children of 850 schools, participating in the “Child Friendly School” Program, will enjoy reading the classic books of world and Uzbek literature.
The presentation and handover of the new publications took place on 30 March at the Republican Education Centre with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan and UNICEF.
The 8-book series includes famous works of Alisher Navoi, Abdulla Kadyri, Pirimkul Kodirov, Chingiz Aytmatov, William Shakespeare, Alexander Pushkin, Jonathan Swift and Gianni Rodari. The works of Uzbek writers were published in Latin script – so were the masterpieces of world writers and poets in Uzbek language translation.
The selection was done by the Ministry of Education from the list of works of fiction, which are part of the school curriculum and are thus must-reads for children. The books’ illustrations were done by well-known Uzbek artists Victor Apukhtin and Anvar Mamadjanov. The total print run is 34,000 copies.
Among other recipients of the book series are methodological centers of the Departments of Education, institutions for in-service training of teachers and pedagogical institutes of the country.
As UNICEF Deputy Representative a.i. Ouyn Dendevnorov emphasized during the event, “printing of books is a part of a broader cooperation between UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Education that aims to create a more conducive learning environment and broaden access of school children of Uzbekistan to knowledge and information.” She expressed hope that reading of these masterpieces would broaden children’s outlook and contribute to their harmonious development.
Director of Republican Education Centre Islam Zakirov thanked UNICEF for the continuous and wide-ranging support. He also expressed deep appreciation for the technical assistance that was provided in the development of child-centred methodic teaching materials.
The “Child Friendly School” (CFS) program is being implemented since 2006 by the Ministry of Public Education with the technical assistance from UNICEF in six pilot areas. These include Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region, which face a number of development challenges due to the shrinking Aral Sea, Navoi, Ferghana and Tashkent regions and Tashkent city.
The program aims at improving the quality of education through the development of life skills, promotion of child rights, issues of sanitation and hygiene, and the active involvement of families.
The CFS concept supports the creation of such an educational environment that is conducive for the harmonious development of a child and full realization of his or her capacities, while increasing their motivation to learn.
The program also focuses on introducing the new teaching technologies, principles and standards that contribute to child development. Teacher training, introduction of internationally accepted tools for monitoring and evaluation of teachers’ performance and strengthening school management are some of the components of the program.
Overall, the “Child Friendly School” program contributes to the improvement of the quality and efficiency of basic education through quality teaching methods, which is entirely in line with the goals and objectives of the National Program for Training and State National Program on School Education Development for 2004-2009.
As the 2009 external evaluation of the “Child Friendly School” program in Uzbekistan has shown, introduction of the CFS principles in education process helped to improve teachers’ skills, enhance mutual understanding between teachers and children and improve the performance of children.
Parents of students in the project schools also expressed great satisfaction with the program, noting the increased interest of children to learn and excel.
Under the current Country Program of Cooperation of UNICEF and the Government of Uzbekistan for 2010-2015, the number of CFS schools will be expanded. The new child-centered teaching technologies will be introduced in the curriculum of all teacher training institutions.