CIE provides training for Afghan faculty members – in Baku, Azerbaijan


CIE Director Joe Berger and Campus Partnership Coordinator Shane Hammond along with UMass Amherst College of Education colleague Benita Barnes and external consultant Edmund Burke were in Baku, Azerbaijan from January 7-22, 2017 to conduct faculty development training in support of the Master’s in Education Leadership and Management (MELM) program at Shaheed Rabbani Education University (SREU) in Kabul, Afghanistan. The workshop was held in Baku because of the difficulty of getting US visas for Afghan participants.


The MELM Best Practices Professional Development Exchange, hosted by ADA University in Baku, provided an opportunity for ten MELM faculty from Kabul to receive professional training. The training was conducted by the team from UMass Amherst. The  Exchange Program helped the participants to review, evaluate and strengthen the existing MELM curricula, and develop skills and strategies to connect the MELM program with MoHE and the National Strategic Plan. Significant outcomes of this workshop included: developing individual and group action plans to enrich the program, learning pedagogical skills and knowledge to facilitate educational programs, and creating rubrics to assess student learning. 


Participants were selected based on their involvement in establishing and implementing the MELM program in at SREU in Kabul. Participants also included faculty with administrative responsibility for creating a graduate school at SREU and in supervising and promoting the long-term sustainability of the graduate degrees there.


Shaheed Rabbani Education University (SREU) established the MELM program to train leaders and managers within the education sector, in order to ensure effective and quality education in Afghanistan. This initiative was part of USAID’s larger University Support and Workforce Development Project (USWDP) in Afghanistan.


At the end of the workshop, participants had many positive comments about the program. One participant said: “It was very organized, well-coordinated, planned and was practical.”  Similarly, another pointed out the importance of alternative pedagogy, “one of the most interesting and beneficial parts of this program was active learning method that I learned and will utilize in my plans.” As the workshop helped participants learn planning skills, one of the participants responded: “A professor should prepare a comprehensive plan in which the learning goals are aligned with the assessment method for all of the courses s/he will teach in a semester.” The UMass team is committed to providing similar opportunities for training to the MELM faculty and leadership for future sustainability.


Participants also had opportunities to meet with faculty and staff at ADA University and key members of ADA’s Graduate School. CIE graduate Saida Nabiyeva, currently Manager of Certificate Programs at ADA University, was responsible for the daily management and logistics of the program.