From mid-2017, the system of general secondary, secondary specialized and professional education has been substantially transforming and improving. Three-year compulsory vocational education has been abolished, according to an official assessment, the duration of vocational education has been set without taking into consideration professional requirements and demand on the labor market. The undeveloped system of vocational training for various categories of the population on the principle of “Lifelong Education” has been also criticized, which left a significant part of the adult population, youth and persons with disabilities in need of employment in the labor market unclaimed. The ongoing education reforms demonstrate considerable efforts of the government to build a new and flexible system of vocational training accessible to all citizens.
The ongoing reforms have changeв requirements for teachers in vocational colleges. Today, teachers in vocational colleges are required to work not only with youth, but also with adults. Work with adult population requires teachers in the vocational education system (VET) to apply andragogical model of training/education. However, the absence in universities special training courses for andragogues and the demand on andragogs-practicioners in the vocational education system, requires the establishment of flexible forms of continuing education for teachers in vocational education colleges. One of the important measures in advancing andragogical education is the creation of distance learning courses and the distribution of multimedia teaching resources to promote self-learning among specialists.
Another critical challenge in the vocational education system is the preparation of qualified instructors with advanced technical-vocational skills. Currently, 12 centers and faculties on professional development and re-training provide professional development courses in advancing vocational-technical skills for instructors. However, it is rather difficult to evaluate quality of trainings, since there is no a comprehensive study on advantages and disadvantages in the existing system of professional development and re-training. The local experts emphasize that one universal curriculum on professional development and re-training for both instructors on vocational-technical skills and teachers of special vocational subjects is additional downgrading aspect of vocational education system. The existing curriculum focuses on improving theoretical knowledge and excludes the development of professional and practical skills. All this indicates that there is a need for a comprehensive study in the vocational education system in order to understand the situation with the professional development and retraining sector. of the practice of continuing education of vocational training masters and to develop recommendations on its improvement.
The main directions of the project:
1. Preparing the project on improving the system of professional development and retraining of vocational courses instructors.
A group of experts from the Institute for Pedagogical Innovation, Retraining and Continuing Education of Leadership and Pedagogical Staff in Vocational Education. (hereinafter referred to as the Institute) will analyze the current situation in retraining of vocational training instructors. The research will also include the "field research", to selected territories. As a result of this work, recommendations will be developed to improve the situation in this field. The recommendations of the study will formulate the basis for planning 2018-2020 project activities in this direction.
The research of the situation in the field of professional development and retraining of instructors as well as the analysis of the best international practices, by the end of 2019 will help to prepare the project on improving the system of professional development and retraining of vocational training instructors.
2. Applying Curriculum globALE program for developing a basic course on self-directed learning on andragogy and the creation of distance learning platform.
In the light of recent reforms, it can be concluded that the need for knowledge in the field of adult learning and education among professional colleges will increase. Thereby, the project activities will aim at advancing the knowledge and skills of teachers and instructors of vocational colleges through the creation of multimedia tools for self-directed learning of andragogy.
An international expert will conduct trainings for employees of the Institute: “Aspects of organizing and delivering distance learning courses” and “Distance learning: Methods and instruments”. The trainings will aim at deepening knowledge and skills in the field of distance learning. In addition, CG multiplicators will be prepared among the employees of the Institute.
In addition, CG will be translated into Uzbek. A special expert group will prepare training materials for CG modules in Uzbek and Russian. These measures are designed to create a basic course on self-directed learning andragogy. By mid-2020, the demo version of the disk for self-study on andragogy (in Uzbek and Russian) will be available on the online portal of vocational training “kasb-hunar.uz”, which in the future will form the basis of the distance learning course on andragogy.
In 2019, a special distance learning platform will be integrated into the Institute's website. By the end of 2019, two distance learning courses will be conducted on the first CG module, and in 2020 on the remaining four modules.
It is expected that by the end of 2020, an online platform will operate at the Institute’s website, which will allow to provide distance learning courses on andragogy based on CG modules.