DUSHANBE, July 16, 2013 Asia-Plus – More than 300 books for preschoolers have been handed over to the library at school # 2 in the Sarband district, Khatlon province in the framework of the Reading for Children in Tajikistan Project, according to the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Tajikistan.

This project is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and AKF and it aims to foster small children’s love and enthusiasm for books and enjoyable reading which will stimulate and develop their emergent literacy skills and contribute to their overall cognitive development.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms. Kathleen McDonald, USAID Country Director in Tajikistan noted that the United States has been an active partner to the Government of Tajikistan in the field of education for more than ten years and it has provided technical assistance to develop teaching practice and improve the learning results.

“We jointly with the Government of Tajikistan will take efforts so that the target group of the project, preschoolers, will get god results in reading and parents and communities will continue playing their role in raising children’s potential, making reading a constant part of their life,” Ms. McDonald stressed.

Mr. Zulobi Mamadfozilov, Education Program Manager at AKF Tajikistan, noted that home reading was one of key initiatives of AKF that supported the Government of Tajikistan to develop preschool education and drew parents into children education process.

The project reportedly targets eight districts in Khatlon province (Jilikul, Qumsangir, Rumi, Yovon, Vakhsh, Sarband, Muminobod and Khovaling) and three districts in Gorno Badakhshan (Rushan, Roshtqala and Ishkashim), AKF Tajikistan said.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Tajikistan is implementing the project in partnership with Institute for Professional Development (IPD) GBAO, Ministry of Education and its affiliates in Khatlon province.