DUSHANBE, September 1, 2014, Asia-Plus -- The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) held its ninth graduation in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) on August 30, 2014.

According to press release issued by SPCE, the graduation ceremony was attended by the GBAO Deputy Governor, Mrs. Qimmatgul Aliberdiyeva, Mr. Ghulom Hoshim, Afghan Consul in Khorog, Mr. Sayed Mahmoud Sadri, Interim Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mr. Alibek Talopov, Interim Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan.  Mr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Kyrgyzstan and Chair of the UCA Board Executive Committee was also in attendance.

“Cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and AKDN began from independence and is constantly improving.  The establishment of the University of Central Asia is a sign of the fruitfulness of this cooperation, and the University will become an international centre of science and education in the region,” said K. Aliberdiyeva.

The School reportedly recognized 220 graduates at the Khorog ceremony.  Graduates of SPCE’s information technology program received internationally-recognized International Computer Driving License and London Chamber of Commerce and Industry certificates.  Professional certificates were awarded to graduates of Accounting Technology and Technical Vocational Education programs.  Graduates of the Cashier/Bookkeeping, English for Academic Purposes and Conversational English courses received Certificates of Achievements. Graduates of Conversational Russian, German and Chinese received Records of Achievements.

SPCE was established in 2006 in Khorog and its Learning Centre in Dushanbe opened in 2008.  To date, SPCE has enrolled over 22,000 learners in Khorog and 11,000 learners in Dushanbe.

For the third consecutive year, SPCE also graduated Afghan students in its Cross Border Vocational Education in Badakhshan (CVEB) program, an initiative of the University of Central Asia in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Aga Khan Foundation USA, with funding from the United States Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Through CVEB, 48 graduates from Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan and 12 from GBAO, Tajikistan received scholarships to enroll in English for Academic Purposes, International Computer Driving License, Bookkeeping/Cashier and Accounting Technology programs at SPCE Khorog.  The courses for Afghans were delivered in Dari, using Dari learning materials developed by SPCE.

Since 2009, SPCE has trained 200 Afghan and 35 Tajik instructors in different disciplines through CVEB.  A 2013 survey found that 62 percent of Afghan CVEB graduates were employed.

Through partnerships with the Aga Khan Foundation and government agencies, SPCE also delivers courses in Afghanistan, opening its first learning centre in the country in Shugnan in 2010.  In spring 2014, the School opened three new learning centers in Faizabad city and Darwaz and Ishkashim districts, including a Continuing Education Unit at Badakhshan University.  English and information technology classes are underway.