USAID grant to support Uzbek education reforms


TASHKENT -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a $19.5 million (165 billion UZS) grant to support Uzbek educational reforms, the Ministry of Public Education said in a Monday (May 13) statement.

Better schools are expected to create a more enlightened population resistant to extremist propaganda.

"The funds will be used to transform school management, teacher training, teaching, and the development and use of educational materials... which will lead to an improvement in pupils' performance," the ministry said in a statement.

The grant will help improve transparency and accountability in schools, according to the ministry. The funds will also be used to introduce information technologies (ITs) into the educational process and to enhance pupils' IT knowledge and skills.

"One of the problems in education is the lack of tools for objective assessment of children's knowledge and skills," the statement said.

"With the support of USAID, the Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments (EGRA and EGMA) will be conducted in primary schools in Uzbekistan. These studies will help identify gaps in children's education and take measures to eliminate them," it said.

As part of the project, USAID will help launch the English Speaking Nation project, aimed at improving the teaching of English in schools through modern teaching methods, the statement added.

This USAID grant is one of the first projects included in a memorandum of understanding on education reform inked by Ministry of Public Education and US government officials February 27 in Tashkent.

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