February 9, 2021
Minister of Public Education Sherzod Shermatov and U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum hosted a ceremony at Tashkent school #295 to welcome the newly-arrived group of 27 English teachers and visiting scholars from the United States, who will be teaching at schools and universities across Uzbekistan. The group, which arrived in January and completed a two-week quarantine period and orientation, is the first group of U.S. exchange participants to arrive in Central Asia since the coronavirus pandemic started.
“We are thrilled to host you here and celebrate your arrival along with the Government of Uzbekistan. You have embarked on an important journey to strengthen relations between our two countries, and to share your expertise in English teaching, training, scholarly research, and pedagogy with your Uzbekistan counterparts. Each of you will play a vital role in classrooms and educational institutions across the country. As a native English speaker, you will contribute to our governments’ shared goals to produce more graduates proficient in English and expand educational and economic opportunities for Uzbekistan’s youth,” Ambassador Rosenblum said in his welcoming remarks.
“In his address to the Parliament, the President of Uzbekistan identified learning of foreign languages as one of the priorities for this year. Therefore, we have invited native speakers from the USA to help us improve English language education at the grassroots. This will help us in implementing our ambitious English Speaking Nation project,” said Minister Shermatov.
The majority of the teachers will join local teachers and provide direct classroom education to students. Seven members of the group are part of a “Coaches” pilot project under the English Speaking Nation program to offer professional development and teacher training opportunities to Uzbekistan secondary school language teachers. The ESN program is implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Public Education by American Councils, through a grant from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.
The group of teachers and Uzbek schoolchildren paid tribute to famous Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi, whose birthday is celebrated on February 9. The group will depart on Wednesday to take up their teaching duties, and expressed their excitement to learn more about the culture and history of Uzbekistan.