Open World Report 2019

In October 2019, Boulder Dushanbe Sister Cities hosted a delegation of six Tajiks, focusing on Innovation in Education.  The delegates were:  Abdusator Najmidinov, Deputy Rector of the Teacher Training Institute of the Ministry of Education and Science; Lola Mansurova, Assessment Specialist in English Language, National Testing Center under the President; Davlatali Musamirov, Senior Specialist, Department for Pre-School and Secondary Education, Dushanbe Education Department; Head Specialist in Primary and General Vocational Education, Department of the Republican Teaching and Methodological Center, Ministry of Education and Science; Markhabon Odilova, Teacher of Department of Pre-school and Primary General Education, Republican Institute for Advanced Studies and Training of Education Workers, Sugd Oblast Branch; and Usniniso Muborakshoeva, the facilitator, who works at the American Embassy in Dushanbe as Supervisor of the American Spaces in Tajikistan.  The group was accompanied by BDSC Board President Rett Ertl and Past President Joe Stepanek. 

Jeffrey Magnuson, BDSC Board vice president, put together a stellar program for them:  On Sunday evening, the delegation attended a reception at the Dushanbe Teahouse featuring Boulder City Councilman Bob Yates. On Monday morning, which was a school holiday, the group was briefed at the Teahouse by retired high school administrator Iris Williams, and then spent the rest of the day in Rocky Mountain National Park.   Starting on Tuesday, the delegation visited Boulder private elementary schools Mountain Shadows Montessori and Bixby School, and Boulder Journey School, which is a preschool and training center.  They also visited Columbine Elementary, a public school that specializes in bilingual education, and Eldorado K-8, a public school, where they spent time with administrators from Boulder Valley Schools.  Each of these schools has a different approach to education, and the directors and teachers took great pride in explaining the philosophy behind their teaching. 

For a higher-level look at education, we spoke with Jamy Stillman, the Director of the Elementary Teacher Education Program at the University of Colorado School of Education, as well as Lindsey Jaeckel, the Executive Director of the Office of School and District Transformation of the Colorado Department of Education in Denver.  This department works with the schools that are not performing up to standards. The group also visited a couple of non-school environments:  the WOW! Children’s Museum, which specializes in experiential learning; and Greenhouse Scholars, a Boulder non-profit that provides personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students who are the next generation of community leaders.

Open World 2019

On Wednesday evening, each delegate presented a look at education in Tajikistan to a group of Boulderites, including several BDSC board members. The visit was capped by a presentation of certificates to the delegates, and dinner at the home of Board Members Sophia and Peter Stoller.

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