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On October 16, 2018, the EU funded project on "Support to Implementation of the National Qualification Framework in Azerbaijan" have been held.
The main purpose of the event was to bring together experts and other stakeholders from relevant government agencies, international and local organizations, and to inform them about the content and main expectations of the project. More than 100 delegates from state, private and international organizations attended the conference.
Mrs. Mahabbat Valiyeva, the Deputy Minister of Education opened the conference and stated that on July 18, 2018, the National Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. She informed the participants on the reforms that create a demand-oriented education system to achieve the targets set in that direction. Mr. Matin Kerimli, the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection spoke about initiatives on education and training in the labor market, preparation of professional standards and skills development and noted that the main purpose of the labor market is to increase the quality of the workforce. Mr. Kestutis Yankauskas, the Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, spoke about the EU's educational support program and future plans in this direction. Mr. Fuad Humbatov, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers') Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, underlined the expectations of the business education system. Later, Mr. Eric Verin, GOPA Consortium Representative briefed the guests on the approach of consortium about the NQF project, and Mr. Trevor Cook, the Project Leader, gave detailed information on the project's purpose, components and action plan.
In the second part of the conference, Mr. Emin Amrullayev, the coordinator of the project from the Ministry of Education and the head of department in the Ministry of Education, gave information about the reforms carried out in the National Qualification System and noted that the NQF is one of the key documents to integrate into the European educational space. At the conference, the project experts (Mr. Ilkin Nazarov, Mrs. Genevieve McCabe, Mrs. Aleksandra Yoma, Mr. Trevor Cook and Mr. Emil Asgerov) made presentations on the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework for standards, curriculum and teaching materials, informed stakeholders on its benefits and quality assurance, and spoke about promoting credibility through the NQF and recognizing informal and non-formal learning. Then, the conference proceeded in the question-answer and discussion format.
The European Union finances the project on "Support to Implementation of National Qualification Framework in Azerbaijan" to support the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan through technical assistance programme.
The 30-month project will be implemented by a consortium led by GOPA Worldwide Consultants. The main objective of the project is to support the diversification of economy in Azerbaijan, create opportunities for lifelong learning, and improve the quality of education and training system in order to ensure the implementation of the State Program on Education Development in accordance with advanced European and international experience. The project consists of six components: i) to ensure effective implementation of NQF; ii) to introduce relevant education standards in pilot sectors; iii) to ensure education standards support competency-based education provision; iv) to improve access to lifelong learning through flexible provision, alternative progression pathways and recognition of prior learning; v) to improve assessment and QA of assessment and certification processes; vi) to provide effective information and guidance for employers/sectors, providers and learners to use the NQF.