Self-employment and small business creation are a priority in the Central Asian country Uzbekistan. Entrepreneurial learning has been integrated into the vocational system, which accounts for 90% of secondary education. Graduates receive information and training to develop business plans and are part of the nation’s wider job guarantee scheme.
Uzbekistan is also a regional leader in the area of social inclusion – providing an impressive choice of training programmes and professions for students with special needs. In 2015, about 5,000 special needs students were enrolled in upper secondary education, including vocational education.
Building upon good practice
Uzbekistan has made important efforts in vocational education reform since the Torino Process began in 2010. Shukhrat Amanov, an expert working on ETF projects in Uzbekistan, says the ETF’s analytical framework is helping to ‘concentrate minds of those in the system, bringing focus, informational reliability and responsibility to the approach to VET reform.’
In the 2016-17 Torino Process round, dedicated focus meet regularly to discuss priority areas such as student intake, changes to the curriculum, liaison between colleges and employers and the legal environment. This work is helping to highlight efficiencies to make.
The focus groups include representatives from the Ministry of Education and the Centre for Specialised Secondary Education. The two organisations have different responsibilities – the Ministry for the education and training of 14-18 year olds and the Centre for all those over 18.
Shukhrat joined the Torino Process in the latest round to help facilitate the information gathering process for the Uzbek country report. ‘The learning point is that there needs to be greater coordination; there is a lot of duplication that could avoided.’