In the area of education, the UNDAF is committed to ensuring that increased number of children in Tajikistan have access to quality basic education, with a particular focus on girls in grades 5 – 11; that a minimum of one third of all students in general secondary schools acquire certain life skills (including hygiene education, gender, violence prevention, critical thinking and HIV/AIDS education) and they also have access to functioning water and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, the UNDAF aims at providing increased opportunities for children aged 4-6 years access to quality early learning opportunities and that policies are developed that ensures wider access to pre-school education based on scalable and affordable models. And the UNDAF sets the objective to strengthen the education system, education officials, and students to mitigate the effects of and better respond to emergencies.
Partners and Coordination: The main partners are the MoE at the national, district, and local levels, Parent-Teacher Associations, and community-based organizations. The UN’s contributions take place within a framework of donor coordination, currently led by UNICEF, which covers the whole education sector. The coordination mechanism will be strengthened over the life of the UNDAF to move the education sector support towards a sector-wide approach (SWA), and to increase the capacity of the MoE to coordinate all partners.
Challenges: Education is a key sector for achieving the goals of the PRSP, as progress in education ultimately promotes governance and sustainable economic growth and the development of the country’s human potential. The major challenges facing the education system include: insufficient state budget and weak financial management; shortage of skilled professionals (at all levels); migration of teachers due to poor salaries and poor working conditions; poor infrastructure and a lack of sufficient support materials for the teaching environment; lack of sector-wide, disaggregated information database; lack of key indicators resulting in skewed analysis and access to quality education is still out of reach for many children of Tajikistan, including, but not limited to: girls, children in conflict with the law, children with disabilities, children living and working on the street, children in rural areas.
Results: The UNCT is committed to ensuring that by 2015, 30% of general secondary schools are teaching life skills in the areas of hygiene education, gender, violence prevention, critical thinking, disaster reduction, and HIV/AIDS. In the schools themselves, the UNCT works with partners to provide teaching and learning materials; to train and coach teachers; mobilize communities; and install essential water and sanitation infrastructure, to enable the practice of hygiene education at school and in the home.
To increase access to pre-school education and promote early childhood stimulation, the UNCT strives to implement a national strategy and standards for early learning, developed by government and key stakeholders and adapted to current realities; a large number of low-cost, community-based pre-schools that are affordable for families and scalable, given national budgetary constraints; and greater awareness of the importance of early childhood education and stimulation among decision-makers, parents and civil society members.
To ensure disaster preparedness from early stages in schools, UNCT supports the government to adopt minimum standards for education in emergencies. National education and district education authorities are being trained to assist local initiatives in risk reduction, as well as disaster preparedness and response.
Link UNDAF Working Group with the Local Education Donor Group and other development partners for technical and financial cooperation;
Cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination across (sub)pillars should be improved to better address cross-cutting issues (HIV/AIDS prevention, disaster risk reduction, Early Childhood Education, etc);
UNDAF Framework for the sub-pillar along with the relevant M&E matrix needs to be updated so that all contributing agencies are fully reflected and necessary adjustments for the indicators/outputs are made;
Collaboration and advocacy with and the capacity building of the Government should be strengthened to influence the education sector in a more comprehensive, effective manner.