The Summit of Ministers of Education of the EU and Central Asia – participants’ opinion

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June 29, 2015

The Summit of Ministers of Education of the EU and Central Asia – participants’ opinion

Summit_of_MinistersAs previously reported, the Latvian capital Riga hosted the first meeting of Education Ministers of the European Union and Central Asia.

The event is held to approve the commitment to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of education in the context of the Strategy between the EU and Central Asia. During the meeting they discussed issues such as the development framework and qualified standards, quality assurance and accreditation, and employment needs of the labor market.

The forum noted that in the XXI century adaptation of educational systems to ensure they meet the needs of the labor market and meet the needs of individual citizens is a major challenge for the EU and Central Asia. In this regard, it stressed the importance of modernizing the educational system as a main component of sustainable socio-economic development and stability, promote mutual understanding, respect and intercultural dialogue, as well as the education of future generations.

Following the forum, a number of its members have kindly agreed to give an interview to the news agency “Jahon”, shared their views and comments on the event and held on the development of the Uzbek-Latvian cooperation.

Hanna Salem, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia:

– Within the framework of its presidency of the EU, Latvia has initiated the rapprochement of relations between the EU and Central Asia, including through the promotion of partnerships in the field of education.

It should be noted that in the sector of science and education has a huge untapped potential for cooperation. Latvia, as well as many other European countries held a certain way in the development of this direction, and I think that our experience may be useful for the countries of Central Asia. In turn, we are going to a lot of interesting and important to learn from you. At the forum, participants discussed ways to improve the quality of education and enhance the prestige of vocational training. Following the meeting and signed the communique “road map”, which identified specific next steps.

Speaking about cooperation of Latvia and Uzbekistan in the sphere of education must be said that a cooperation agreement signed between the two ministries. To date, the Uzbek-Latvian ties in this area are developing dynamically. We are very pleased that 625 students from Uzbekistan are trained in our country. In my opinion, for the return to their homeland, they will work effectively for the good of the state and the people.

Andrejs Pildegovich, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia:

– The first meeting of Ministers of Education was an important event in the history of EU cooperation with Central Asian countries. The EU already has experience of partnership in the field of education with South Korea, Japan and countries in Southeast Asia. It is encouraging that now the Central Asian states have become parties to this important process. We are ready to share our experience to establish an effective system of education with its partners.

At the forum the delegation of Uzbekistan made a report, from which we learned that over the years in the country created a qualitatively new, corresponding to modern requirements of the system of specialized secondary and vocational education. Particular attention is paid to enhancing the quality and efficiency of educational process in academic lyceums and professional colleges, training highly qualified specialists, employment of graduates. Much work is being done in the field of strengthening of material-technical base of educational institutions, equipping them with advanced technology.

Latvia intends to continue cooperation with Uzbekistan in the education sector.