The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing adult education providers to transform their education activities in Uzbekistan. They have started to conduct telephone consultations, to organize online master classes, to develop and adapt distance learning courses. To motivate them in conducting their anti-crisis measures, DVV International Uzbekistan announced a contest called ‘Marathon for adult education versus COVID-19’. The purpose of the marathon is to support ideas of civil society organizations and actors which focus on mitigating the consequences of the pandemic.
The marathon includes 3 stages: a posters contest, a video spot contest, and a fair of project ideas (the most interesting idea will receive financial support from the DVV International for its implementation). Each stage lasts for about a month. Ismail Umarov, the student of Tashkent University of World Economy and Diplomacy, won the poster competition which ended on June 10. His poster encourages people to keep learning and stresses that the pandemic is not an obstacle to that aim. Ismail received the latest smart phone model as a prize. Advertisements and results of the contest are published on the Facebook page of DVV International Uzbekistan. Participants submitted their posters and everyone had the opportunity to vote for their posters. The winner’s poster was selected also to become a visual brand of the entire contest-marathon and will be used in visibility material in all other stages.
Other winners of the contest and awarded with special diplomas are: the NGO ‘Istiqbolli Avlod’, the initiative group ‘Ecoland’, as well as individual entrepreneurs and students. One of the posters was devoted to volunteers. During the pandemic, volunteers help the elderly to use modern electronic devices to receive reliable and relevant information as well as to communicate with various emergency services. At the same time, during the pandemic the youth spend a lot of time on social networks, and thus, another poster of this organisation reminds the viewer of digital security.
Another poster addresses the barriers in communication between the youth and the elderly. According to the author’s opinion, adult education is the only opportunity to overcome these barriers. Special attention was given to a handmade poster which calls for uniting the efforts of national authorities, NGOs and donors during the pandemic to defeat the dangerous virus.
All authors created their posters from their own perspective. The result was a very interesting array of views and messages on adult education during the pandemic. All posters will be used in the activities of DVV International Uzbekistan, a poster exhibition will be organised, and the best of them will be used for producing table calendars complemented by quotes on Adult Education, which will be published by DVV International Uzbekistan at the end of the year.
The distance learning platform www.cgtvet.uz developed in 2019, allows DVV International Uzbekistan to create opportunities for employees of partner organizations to improve their skills during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown regime.
In April 2020, 32 education specialists from all regions of Uzbekistan completed the distance learning course on the first Curriculum GlobALE module. The course was divided into six stages, each lasted a week. Per stage, participants received assignments and training materials for self-study (electronic materials, video presentations, additional materials for in-depth study on each topic). To coordinate and facilitate assignments and discussions, a special forum was opened on the platform where participants were able to interact with their tutors. At certain stages, electronic surveys were applied to test the degree of comprehension of the e-learning content. As an additional communication tool, a telegram group chat was used.
After the initial group completed the course, another group of about 20 participants from partner cultural centers was gathered. From April 25 to June 15, the education specialists not only advanced their knowledge and skills in contemporary approaches in adult education, but also their professional network and capacity to use online resources for teaching and learning purposes. The platform also provides the necessary supporting literature and information on adult learning and education (ALE).
The course received positive feedback from participants, and also from the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education and other partners. At the moment DVV International Uzbekistan is working with partners on preparing the third course with a further group of participants (about 90 people). In parallel with this work, the development of the second online CG module has commenced. It is planned that all CG modules will be digitalized for e-learning purposes and become available in Uzbek and Russian languages to all participants across Uzbekistan.
I think that the course is extremely relevant and necessary. I like its content, format, learning materials, assignments and the procedure of their implementation. The course intends not only to advance knowledge but also to test your skills. Honestly, I always thought that “distance learning” is very difficult, that it will be difficult in this way to comprehend the material. My previous experience, gained several years ago, became the basis for this assumption, and therefore, I always refused offers on distance learning. This course not only changed my attitude to this form of learning, but also encouraged me to take several other distance learning courses, and to organize distance learning courses on my own in order to share my knowledge and skills.
I thank the organizers of this course and those who promote this platform in Uzbekistan. It can bring many positive changes to our society!
Sardor Gaziev, course participant / freelance-trainer