7 May 2020 - Since 2013, the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNDOC ROCA) together with the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan (MoPE) have been piloting, developing and implementing a variety of programmes targeted at youth with the objective to empower the next generation of change-makers.
In the framework of this fruitful cooperation, and within the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a key component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, the Regional Representative of UNODC ROCA, Ms. Ashita Mittal met the Minister of Public Education, Mr. Sherzod Shermatov, on 17 February 2020. The parties discussed the achievements of their cooperation in the implementation of the youth projects and further defined new priority areas for the strategy of the coming years.
“Promoting a safe learning environment in schools is a key priority for our Ministry. We need to work together to prevent crime and bring positive change to our children. Synergies with organizations like UNODC contribute to this objective. We are strongly committed to enhancing our cooperation, which will be reflected in a joint plan of activities.” – highlighted H. E. Mr. Sherzod Shermatov.
The Ministry appreciated the role of UNODC in bringing innovative ways and tools into the national education system. And as a next step in mutual cooperation, the Ministry invited UNODC to participate in the development of a new, innovative and interactive curriculum for primary school students.
To support this, the nine The Zorbs Videos were translated and dubbed into Uzbek language in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Education, by involving other national stakeholders, such as the Academy of the General Prosecutors Office and professionals from the national “Uzbekfilm” Cinema Studio. Thus, UNODC, MoPE and the Academy demonstrated how cooperation enables the creation of a solid partnership for future joint activities.
"Nowadays we are paying great attention to the development of online educational tools with the involvement of external international partners. The Zorbs meet all our requirements. We hope that The Zorbs will play a significant role as a multimedia tool in the new primary study course "Vospitanie" (“Education”).” - said Mr. Akbar Tagaev, Head of the Department and Focal Point in the Ministry.
Moreover, The Zorbs played an important role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the development and use of online resources for school children became one of the priorities in the education sector.
During the confinement period, the Ministry organized online lessons for 6 000 000 Uzbek school students, of which about 2 000 000 are primary school students. As part of the online curricula, The Zorbs series in three languages (Uzbek, Russian and English) were also made available on the official YouTube page of the Ministry. The government allocated three national TV channels for online education which are now broadcasting The Zorbs content progressively, thus allowing children to enhance their resilience and equip them with skills such as conflict resolution, critical thinking, empathy and teamwork.
The Zorbs series were developed as a part of the Education for Justice initiative (E4J), a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, and tell the story of four alien friends from an imaginary planet, where the inhabitants have overcome a range of challenges thanks to various core values and skills. The series has been designed as a fun yet informative educational tool and comprises a set of animated videos that cover issues related to peace, justice, human rights and gender.
Education for Justice