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AKIPRESS.COM - Enhancing state education standards in the water sector is the focus of an OSCE-supported roundtable discussion for some 25 representatives of Kazakhstan's Parliament, national water authorities, water basin councils, academia and international organizations that began today in Astana.
The event was organized by the OSCE Programme Office in partnership with the Water Resources Committee of the Agriculture Ministry and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea Executive Directorate in the Republic of Kazakhstan (IFAS).
The participants examined curricula on water resources management and discussed gaps in the national water management education system. IFAS presented a study on the state of water resources education at Kazakhstan’s academic establishments as well as a set of recommendations for further improvement. It is expected that the document will undergo the Education Ministry’s further examination for final approval by fall, 2017.
“Currently, graduates of universities focusing on water resources management don’t acquire the necessary level of knowledge and skills necessary for work in this field. Therefore, it is very important to pay special attention to the system of higher education: the level of material and technical support, personnel, as well as the quality of educational programs,” said Irina Smirnova, Deputy of the Mazhilis (lower house) of Kazakhstan’s Parliament.
“Building the younger generation’s capacity is an important part of promoting sustainable water resources management in line with best international educational standards,” said Ambassador György Szabó, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana. “In view of the fact that both Kazakhstan and the OSCE have made water governance a key priority, we intend to continue supporting the enhancement of water education curricula and addressing challenges to environmental sustainability.”
The event is part of the Office’s long-term efforts to introduce integrated water resources management principles into the national water framework and enhance the capacity of state institutions in the area of water governance.