On March 29th, the Central Asian Symposium on Education Issues “Career Trajectories for Teachers” took place in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. Svetlana Vachkova, Director of the MCU’s Research Institute of Urban Studies and Global Education took part in the event as Global Advisor. The symposium was dedicated to discussing the policies related to school teachers in Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The experts discussed the issues of creating effective career growth systems for teachers with the aim of retaining talented staff in the profession, motivating teachers to work, as well as ensuring high-quality educational results for students.
The Symposium started with the presentation of the results of the analysis of career growth systems for teachers in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, including possible career trajectories, requirements for professional qualifications, certification procedures, professional standards, as well as salary calculation systems. It is worth noting that a policy aimed at enhancing the status of the teaching profession has been put into effect in Central Asian nations since 2020, which encompasses substantial salary raises for teachers as well as the establishment of competency standards. However the implementation of this reform has become a challenge for all the countries in the region. After the presented analysis, the experts of the Symposium brainstormed on the identified challenges.
Kazakhstan was presented by the researchers of the National Center for Professional Development “Orleu” – Dr. Assel Mukhametzhanova, Mr. Andrey Chsherbakov, Dr. Alima Ibrasheva, Dr. Xeniya Tursunbayeva, as well as Dr. Elaine Sharplin from Nazarbayev University. The Kyrgyz Republic was presented by Ms. Farida Ryskulueva, the director of public association “High School of Management”, and Mr. Myrza Karimov, the head of Cooperative Education Department at the University of Central Asia. Tajikistan was presented by Ms. Vasila Bosichaeva, a researcher at the National Academy of Sciences, and Ms Gulchehra Kabilova, coordinator of the Education Support Program at the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation. Uzbekistan was presented by Mr. Asliddin A. Odilov, head of the main department of the state inspection for quality control of education. Isak Froumin, scientific director of the Institute of Education at Higher School of Economics, was the leader of the national research teams.
The Symposium continued with presentations from global advisors, including Mr. Cher Ping Lim, chair professor of Learning Technologies and Innovation and associate dean at the Education University of Hong Kong, Mr. Zhang Minxuan, director of the Research Institute for International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University, and Prof. Svetlana Vachkova. From the MCU’s side the research team also included Valentina Salakhova, Chief Research Fellow at the Center for Analytical Research and Modeling in Education and Natalia Ageeva, expert of the Center, who prepared the analytical data for the report.
Global Advisors presented the best global practices of teacher career advancement systems, featuring case studies from Singapore, Japan, and China. The speakers discussed teacher career trajectories within the teaching, research, and leadership tracks, as well as new competency standards mapped to career steps and salary levels. Special attention was paid to the practices of assessing teachers’ professional competencies, which ensure a fair and transparent system of career advancement.
Finally, international experts provided recommendations to the countries in the Central Asian region for improving their national systems of teacher career development. In particular, it was recommended to implement multi-level career systems mapped to career steps and competency standards, along with corresponding differentiation of job responsibilities and salary increments.
The Symposium concluded with an open discussion among national research teams aimed at developing solutions for implementing policies to enhance the prestige of the teaching profession, taking into account the national specifics of each country in the region.
The next step of the international initiative will be the development of a global report for Central Asian countries describing the main policy directions for improving the quality of school education, as well as specific short-term and long-term recommendations.