Norwegian Ambassador visits SPCE programmes in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic
On 16 and 17 March 2011, His Excellency the Ambassador of Norway to the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, Dag Malmer Halvorsen, visited the University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) in Naryn. This was part of an extended visit to Naryn and Osh to review activities funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA).
The NMFA is currently supporting the “Promoting Stability and Economic Opportunity in Kyrgyzstan” project, a two-year initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) implemented by SPCE and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) of AKF drawing upon the agencies’ expertise in working with rural communities.
As part of this initiative, SPCE is implementing a series of training programmes in Bishkek, Naryn and Osh with various collaborating government agencies.
SPCE in cooperation with the National State Agency for Local Self-Government, is delivering its “Local Economic and Community Development” certificate programme to 45 representatives of Aiyl Okmotu (local administrations), and Aiyl Kenesh (local councils) from Bishkek, Naryn and Osh.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, SPCE is providing IT and English training at the Learning Centre, Bishkek and the Aga Khan School, Osh to 105 youth from Osh and 125 youth from informal settlements outside of Bishkek.
Beyond training in the classroom, the School is providing technical assistance for entrepreneurs. With support from the Kyrgyz Investment Credit Bank (KICB), it has established a revolving loan programme for learners who complete SPCE programmes and develop viable business plans. These are low interest loans which will help support the growth of new businesses in Naryn.
“I am thankful for the quality training we received to help us develop our professional skills. The literature provided and trainers of the courses were very helpful. I am hoping to more such training will be conducted for other entrepreneurs and youth in Naryn”, said Joldosh Sydykovich, Manager of the ‘Kelechek Kemesi’, a learner in the Entrepreneurship programme.
The Government of Norway will support 36 youths for a one-year training in SPCE's vocational education programme in the construction trades. Students will specialize in either carpentry/construction; bricklaying/masonry; or plastering/tile setting. During the one year period, apprentices will work with local construction companies to gain practical experience.
During Ambassador Halvorsen’s visit to Naryn he visited the main campus site under construction. He met with the Mayor of Naryn and engaged with SPCE instructors and learners, including participants of the “Local Economic and Community Development” and “Entrepreneurship” programmes.
“My visits to the University of Central Asia in Naryn and community development projects of the Aga Khan Foundation in Osh gave me the opportunity to see that AKDN makes a substantial contribution to social and economic development in Kyrgyzstan in several important fields. Norway´s partnership with AKDN is one of our most important activities both in this country and in the region. It reflects our common approach to the tasks at hand and our confidence in AKDN´s ability to achieve results,” said Ambassador Halvorsen.