Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 17 August 2019. The first of two groups of ten participants started the six-days seminar “Introduction to Web Development”. Teachers from Ashgabat and regional pilot schools learn about the hosting and support of websites, familiarize with HTML, CSS, and PHP programming, and create sample websites using the functionality of WordPress.
The learning objective is that participants obtain the skills, ability, and, more importantly, self-confidence to create and maintain websites. As a result of the seminar, pilot schools address their communication needs online. They have closer links with parents and the community at large. The school’s sites provide a platform for innovative models of technology-enabled learning. Even more, efforts create a community of practice at the National Institute of Education of Turkmenistan that strengthens capacities to absorb educational innovations.
Participants appreciate the opportunity of the training, are highly motivated and eager to contribute.
- Hummedov Akhal, teacher of computer science at School No. 12 in Tedjen, Akhal Province: “I studied computer science at the South Ukrainian University in Odesa. I assumed that I had enough knowledge of my profession. On the first day of the training, I realized that I had not taken advantage of the enormous opportunities the Internet offers. I set myself new goals to improve the administrative work of the school, to create a website, an electronic journal for students, teachers, and parents and much more. All of this will contribute to the productivity of our work.”
- Meredov Gadam, computer science teacher at school no. 7, Vekilbazar etrap, Mary velayat: “Teaching in high school is difficult because many young people are familiar with the Internet. That’s good news, but we need to encourage interest in learning. The training helps us to accept the challenge, such as adapting the curriculum, looking for new approaches or distinguishing students according to their previous knowledge”.
- Saryev Dovran, a computer science and mathematics teacher at Deryayev Pedagogical College, Mary: “Interactive teaching methods increase productivity. From this academic year, we will start teaching Computer Science from 1st grade, and previously the subject was optional. Since 2019 the school uses new computer science textbooks in the national, Turkmen language from 1st to 7th grade. I am the co-author of the textbook for the 7th grade and have started working on the textbook for the 8th grade. The training helps me to define the needs of the students better. I will apply the knowledge I have acquired for the preparation of the new textbook.”
- Ataev Kerimmurat, a computer science teacher at School No. 5, Geoktepe velayat, Akhal Province: “Accessibility and clarity facilitate the understanding of the material. The focus is clearly on practical application. Time does not stand still; new methods emerge continually. We could learn more if such seminars took place more often.”
Addressing the 21st-century skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is in full compliance with the project’s objective “to further support the Government of Turkmenistan in the creation of a modern education system in line with international educational standards”. It follows the law “On the legal regulation of the development of the Internet and the provision of Internet services in Turkmenistan”. The seminar contributes to the National Concept of digitalization in education, issued in 2018. Recent decisions underscore the government’s ambitions to face new challenges, such as the creation of the “Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics”, a new law and task force on cybersecurity, and the initiative to produce annually 500,000 computers.