As part of Education Improvement Programme activities, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in Tajikistan, in collaboration with the Branch of the Republican Institute for Professional Development in Education (BRIPDE) in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), organised exposure visits for 41 AKF project schools’ directors during 26–30 of October 2020. The purpose of this exchange visit tour was to provide school directors from different districts of GBAO, both rural and urban, with exposure to the best learning environments in GBAO schools.
The directors also had an opportunity to explore overall school management, teaching practices, utilisation of teaching and learning resources, science laboratories, ICT practice in schools, Methodological Units functionality, school’s library operations, and organised extracurricular activities.
A series of exhibitions, demo lessons in classrooms and laboratories, tours in the school library, showcases of the Methodological cabinets of the school, as well as presentations on the overall school management were part of the tour.
Saidbekova Nadima, from school #1 Nishusp village of Shugnan district, noted the following day that “this is the first time that I have visited schools in other districts. I have learnt and took out so many important aspects related to school management practices, classroom decorations, using interactive approaches that inspired me so much. l will immediately start implementing most of them in my school. This visit has shown me that what I thought is impossible in my remote school is possible now.”
Another director from school #24 of Sponj village in the Rushan district, Latofat Tolibbekova, mentioned that it was “so interesting to ascertain the different types of schools, innovative approaches, and real examples to create child friendly environment for holistic students learning improvement. It was enjoyable and motivational to talk with the teachers and students in each school and see how this environment provide an opportunity for students to grow and shape their future. It was also inspiring to see how these schools use existing resources effectively to improve quality of teaching and learning in their schools. The approach in this schools changed my understanding how the schools should be managed in the context of our region, especially in rural area”.
Similarly, Sabzaliev Hamroh director of school #7, Sokhcharv village, said: “From the schools visits I have acknowledged how important is the role of school leader in improving the quality of learning and teaching in the schools. Indeed, proper planning, supervising organising, and ongoing monitoring helps achieve the best results. We become connected with each other during the visits and created social platform will allow us to continue our collaboration and exchanges. I can confidently say that schools visit the best forms of professional learning”.
Many school leaders said they would incorporate the best practices they had learned in their annual School Development Plan for further implementation during the academic year.