Herzen University has launched a training programme for educators who are going to work in Uzbekistan in the Great! (Klass! in Russian, Zur! in Uzbeki) aimed at improving Russian language teaching and instruction in other subjects in Russian.
Sergey Bogdanov, Herzen University Rector, addressed programme participants: “My thanks to you for joining us here today! You are now at the University that has—for 223 years—taught people who represented the future of Russia. This project is extremely significant both for our University and for our country as a whole, so we are going to do everything possible so that this project would remain a fond memory for you and would allow you to realise your ideas, thoughts and goals for the future. I wish you all the best!”
Moreover, participants were able to attend a lecture on Grading the State Test of Russian as a Foreign Language by Natalia Molchanova, head of Department for Additional Educational Programmes for International Students at Pskov State University, and a lecture on Grading the Teacher’s Competences Test by Tatiana Nesterova, assistant professor at the Herzen University Department for Intensive Russian as a Foreign Language Training.
“This programme offers a unique experience. I am quite sure I will be able to learn a lot this week, both attending lectures and workshops and networking with other teachers. And the trip to Uzbekistan is something I am truly looking forward to!” said Margarita Spiricheva, a programme participant and a doctoral student at the Institute of Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The workshops will continue until October 1. It has welcomed teachers of Russian and curriculum developers from St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Kursk, Saratov and other Russian cities.
Early this year, Herzen University signed a Cooperation Agreement with Uzbekistan Ministry for Pre-School Education and Ministry of Higher and Secondary Professional Education. Its key provision is to create a Herzen University branch in Tashkent. About 60 joint educational programmes will be developed, including online courses and blended learning programmes, focusing on pre-school education, special education, training managers and child psychology. These are the areas Herzen University has consistently excelled in Russia.
This international cooperation effort actually started a year ago. Since then, eight teachers from the Republic of Uzbekistan have studied at the Herzen University professional development course and have already started using what they have learned in their work at home.
During her visit to Herzen University, Agrippina Shin, Uzbekistan Minister for Pre-School Education, noted that “Uzbekistan is currently undergoing a deep transformation of many areas of economy and society, but developing the education system is arguably at the top of our priorities. And this is the area where it is crucial to implement new techniques and innovative approaches.”