On 30 May 2011, the University of Central Asia’s School of Professional Education (UCA SPCE) officially opened its Bishkek Learning Centre. The Ceremony was attended by His Excellency Aliyasbek Alymkulov, Minister of Youth Affairs, Mrs Ulara Naruzbayeva, State Secretary of the National Agency for Local Self-Government.
Guests included Mr Pradeep Sharma, acting Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Mr Pierre Ledys, Cultural Attache of French Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr Kwang-Young Choi, Chief Executive Officer of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank, Mr Noor Alidina, Management and Program Liaison Officer of Aga Khan Development Network and representatives of international organizations, instructors, students and staff of the University’s Central Asia’ Administration Office.
During the Ceremony, a Memorandum of joint activities was signed by His Excellency Aliyasbek Alymkulov, Minister of Youth Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic and Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of the University of Central Asia within the framework of the “Promoting Stability and Economic Opportunity in Kyrgyzstan” project, an initiative that will allow 230 young people from emerging neighborhoods of Bishkek and Osh to gain new qualifications and improve their employment chances. The training will take five to eight months.
“Young people in Kyrgyzstan represent some two-thirds of the population. This can be considered a problem, or it can be looked at as a demographic dividend, a bonus – the availability of a large labor force at a time when many countries are experiencing a deficit. However, profit from this dividend will depend on the training offered to young people. The Learning Centre is pleased to make a small contribution towards improving the competitiveness of youth from Bishkek,” said Dr Krawchenko.
Since early 2011, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the University of Central Asia have worked together to develop initiatives aimed at increasing stability in the country and improving employment opportunities among various groups of young people. As part of this initiative, the University of Central Asia will deliver training in English language and information technologies, while the Ministry of Youth will assist with finding employment for the graduates of these courses and programmes.
In Bishkek, as part of the project, 75 residents of novostroikas, emerging urban neighborhoods, will take part in the ICDL training programme, and 50 residents of the novostroikas will take English language classes. In Osh, 75 students will take the ICDL programme, while 30 students will take the English class.
SPCE is a leading education center of adult education in Central Asia and it offers short-cycle training and professional development. Bishkek Learning Centre which is an official testing centre for various internationally recognized certifications including the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), Microsoft and London Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI).
After the opening ceremony, students were awarded certificates to recognize their successful completion of courses and programmes.
Five students were also awarded the ICDL Start International Computer Driving License certificates. ICDL Core is an internationally-recognized certificate that consists of 7 modules: students that complete any four of the seven modules and pass relevant exams are awarded ICDL Start certificates; those who complete all seven modules are awarded ICDL Core certificates.
Five students received certificates in Conversational English. This short-term language programme was developed for youth and adults who want to learn English language to improve their employment opportunities. The Programme is designed in such a way that the students learn not only grammar, but also the terminology that will be useful in their future jobs. This Programme consists of 3 levels - Starter, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate and includes more than 270 hours of learning.