Friday, March 19, 2010

Education: Afghanistan - cross border cooperation with Iran

Source: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - A development project has several aims, key among them to develop an expanding pool of beneficiaries and also to promote closer regional and donor ties.

A modest vocational training project launched by JICA in Iran in 2002 is fulfilling both aims.

That program at the Instructor Training Center (ITC) in Karaj near the Iranian capital of Teheran was designed to improve the communications skills of national teachers who in turn would teach other Iranian teachers as part of an ever-expanding pool of experts.

That initial aim has gone one step further with Iranian instructors now involved in helping officials from neighboring Afghanistan to improve their skills.

Because the two countries enjoy similar languages and culture, JICA recognized the advantage of involving Iranian instructors, whom the agency had initially helped train, in its own vocational programs for Afghans.

Recently, 14 Afghan teachers participated in a 17-day skills-training seminar in Teheran and the project will be repeated twice more.

JICA has placed increasing emphasis on such skills training and developing multi-partner projects and closer donor ties.

In 2009 the agency sent two Iranian experts to monitor and evaluate the quality of Afghan teachers and their vocational courses. That project also involved the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) which was running a vocational training center in Kabul.

In other examples, JICA and Brazil have joined to launch an ambitious agricultural project in Mozambique. Vietnamese experts are involved in a rice project in the same country. And Malaysian experts are helping Zambia to promote business investment and create jobs in that southern African state.

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