European colleagues and partners from universities and business associations of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan participating in the project are taking part in the meeting.
Opening the meeting, Irina Kulitane, HECAFS Project Coordinator, thanked all participants for the implemented project activities and shared possible ways for interaction for further partnership.
As noted by Anda Valdovska, HECAFS Content Coordinator, nine training programs for the two countries have been modernized. Five of them were programs in Tajikistan.
The main beneficiaries from the Tajik side are the Tajik Agrarian University named after Sh. Shotemur and the Khujand Polytechnic Institute of the Technical University of Tajikistan. Thus, 11 syllabuses were modernized in TAU. European colleagues conducted lectures in TAU with Tajik colleagues in 11 subjects. In KPITTU, modernization was carried out in 20 syllabuses and in 20 subjects. Improvements were made to change the content of educational materials, as well as modified educational materials for the existing 8 courses.
It is noted that increasing the capacity of both teaching staff and university students depends on many factors. In particular, the involvement of teachers in the content part of the educational process affects the quality of students' knowledge. For better education in specific specialties, it is very important to pay attention to the main subjects at the secondary school level, further to improve the quality of education in the institutes.
For example, the educational subject "chemistry" - is fundamental for many specialties in the food processing industry. Many students show a very low level of knowledge in organic and non-organic chemistry. There is also a lack of general knowledge of food hygiene and processing technology, as well as risk factors in the food production chain. Knowledge of English is also critical for students, since all the basic information needed to work in the HACCP quality standards system and aimed at exporting products, in primary sources, is available in English. The material base of educational laboratories requires further development.
Further needs of partner universities in Central Asia are not only strengthening the training on HACCP issues, but also getting practical training in the hotel business, in food production and retail.
We remind readers, that the overall project objective is supporting the modernization of the higher education system for the implementation of international food production and processing systems and standards in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, thus enhancing the export potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project team is focused at bringing the higher education system to the needs of the production and processing industry in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.