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The final conference of the EU-funded project "Support to the Implementation of the National Qualifications Framework in Azerbaijan" aiming at improve the quality of the education and training system in Azerbaijan implemented jointly with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan was held on 20 October 2020 via Zoom.
Speaking at the conference, Minister of Education Emin Amrullayev emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation between world of work and education in the process of competency-based staff training, increasing attention to vocational education, recognition of non-formal and informal education in terms of economic development and diversification.
The Minister informed participants about establishment of appropriate legal-regulatory-institutional framework, the implementation of initial mechanism for recognition of skills acquired through formal and informal learning within the project "Support to the Implementation of the National Qualifications Framework in Azerbaijan" to ensure smooth implementation of NQF in Azerbaijan.
Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev noted that 300 occupational and qualification standards have been developed in priority sectors of the economy on the basis of a survey conducted in the labor market. By the end of this year, these standards will be approved and placed in the "Register of Occupational and Qualification Standards", which will operate through the e-services portal of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population. The register, which will be an e-database, will also enable employers and other stakeholders to closely attend in the development of these standards.
Mr. Babayev stressed the importance of the work carried out under the project "Support to the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework in Azerbaijan" for the labor market and the education system. He said that 24 occupational and 24 qualification standards and their respective curricula were developed within the project, in which the ministry's specialists were closely involved.
Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of the EU Delegation, noted that in a rapidly developing society there is a strong demand for improving access to lifelong learning through flexible provision, alternative pathways and non-formal and informal learning. The EU supports bringing the education system in Azerbaijan closer to EU standards in terms of student-centred system and competence-based education approach. The scope of this project reflects purposes of the National Qualifications Framework to make it easier to understand for learners, employers and providers, to build public trust in qualifications, to provide standards for qualifications, and to support lifelong learning articulation through recognition of prior learning and credit transfer.
Later, ASPU Rector Professor Jafar Jafarov delivered a speech on the results of the pilot programs, Trevor Cook, the Project Technical Assistance Team-leader, and Ilkin Nazarov, Senior Expert of the Project presented project activities and results, legislation, institutional partnerships and stakeholder engagement activities.