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Spotlight: Dilrabo Jonbekova


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Dilrabo JonbekovaDilrabo Jonbekova
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Dilrabo Jonbekova (ISP 06-07) obtained an MA in Human Resource Management from the University of Leeds, after which she worked as the Coordinator of the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme of the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  Dilrabo has this autumn started an MPhil degree course in Education at Cambridge University.  When she wrote this piece for the scholarship website, she was still working for UCA.

I was born in Khorog, Tajikistan, and everything I have achieved so far is due to the persistence of my mother and late father who gave a particular importance to education. My father was a head of the education sector at the government in GBAO for many years and my mother was a manager of the planning department of the transportation sector.  Both of them were always keen for me and for my brother and sisters  to spend most of our time on our studies. I recall how my father would promise me and my sister a gift every time we finished reading a book.  He would ask us to tell him what we had learned from reading that book.  That’s why reading became a habit and continuous education has a great importance in my life.

From my childhood, I was always interested in understanding people and their problems.  Thus, after completing higher education, I thought of working on issues related to people, challenges they have and how to build human capacity so that organizations become more effective and increase their performance. Therefore, I decided to do my Master degree in Human Resources Management. After coming back to Central Asia, I joined the University of Central Asia (UCA) as a Coordinator of the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme. Nowadays, I would like to further continue my education at graduate level.  In particular, I would like to work toward a degree in Education. A combination of my HR degree and an Education degree will allow me to assess and provide recommendations to UCA and other educational institutions on how education can meet the HR needs to improve the quality and relevance of education so that it contributes to the development of organisations and communities.

Under the AKF-sponsored programme, I pursued Master in HR Management. In addition, I took a course with a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which gave me a practical insight into the  management and development of people.  Definitely, I feel that my AKF-sponsored education is of great help for me and I am using all my learning to maximum benefit. 

At present I am working at Central Administrative Office of the University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as a Coordinator of the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP). The programme provides opportunities for aspiring Central Asian scholars interested in an academic career at UCA to pursue studies at postgraduate level (Master’s and PhD) at leading international partner universities. UCA will launch its undergraduate and graduate Programmes in a few years and CAFDP seeks to ensure that scholars from Central Asia with top international academic credentials are strongly represented in the University’s faculty. I am currently coordinating the programme in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. As part of my job, I do research on potential partner institutions’ programmes and coordinate the recruitment and selection of the CAFDP scholarship recipients. I love my job as it gives the opportunity to interact with different people and particularly working in a multinational environment. I enjoy seeing the students grow and facilitating this process.

I chose to work for UCA as I think it is the most exciting project of AKDN in Central Asia – one university in three countries and in the most remote and impoverished areas. It is the first institutions of this caliber being implemented in Central Asia and despite the many challenges so far it has been very successful. The idea might be a ‘crazy one’ but I love to be part of it and give my little contribution to its development. In addition as I was given the opportunity to go and study through AKF-sponsored programme I wanted to come back and share what I learnt and apply my knowledge wherever I can.

Prior to studying at Master degree programme and working for UCA, I also worked for the Aga Khan Health Services as a Coordinator for the English Language and Computer Programme in Khorog, Tajikistan.

I am interested in getting further education.  Recently I got accepted for an MPhil in Education at the University of Cambridge and on successful completion of the MPhil degree I would like to pursue a PhD and come back and work in one of the UCA academic programmes. I would like to assist in building local academic capacity and do research in issues related to higher education which would assist in formulating strategies and policies that aim to reform and strengthen the current academic system and higher education institutions in post-Soviet republics.

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