“The most exciting learning experience” – this is how Azerbaijani teachers described their study tour to Pushkino Forestry-Technical School, greater Moscow area. During the tour the Azerbaijani team listened to numerous presentations and open class lectures on advanced modern learning methods, new educational technologies and on testing of the forestry employees. A draft list of proposals aimed to improve the current forestry-oriented vocational education in Azerbaijan is already available and will be submitted to the respective institutions soon.
The idea to conduct a study tour for the teachers and educational experts dealing with the ecological/forest education was conceived as a result of consultations between the FLEG II Azerbaijan Team and experts from the local Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) while launching FLEG II in 2013. “We noticed issues with the lack of knowledge on advanced learning and teaching techniques while working together with experts from both ministries over the tutorials and manuals”, said FLEG II Azerbaijan Country Coordinator for World Bank Azer Garayev. “But the encouraging point was a desire to learn and change the current forestry-oriented education programs from our counterparts”, he added.
After the successful commencement and widening of school-based young foresters’ unions in various forest-dependent regions in the country the distinguished members of the movement became frequent participants of Russia-based annual International Junior Forest Contests. And this is where the well-established cooperation links between the FLEG II, MENR and the Federal Forest Service of the Russian Federation began. The idea to carry out the study tour to Pushkino Forestry-Technical School came without surprise and was widely supported by all participants.
Under the supervision of FLEG II Forest Education Consultant Lala Dadashova the teachers from Tovuz State Social-Economic College Ilgar Mekhdiyev and a teacher of Shamakha State Industrial-Economic College Ulfat Mammadov were able to obtain a vast amount of knowledge and information from the leadership, teachers and students in the technical school. “There is not so much forest in Azerbaijan, only 11% of the total country area, which means we are destined to protect and increase the forestland, first of all, through introduction of advanced learning and studying education modules”, said Mr. Mekhdiyev while FLEG II Communication Team met him in Baku. “Lack of skillful personnel is one of the major impediments to implement the sustainable forest management practices in Azerbaijan”, added Mr. Mammadov. “We do hope to improve the current forestry education programs and the study tour were a huge contribution to our efforts”.
An exchange of manuals and tutorials in the warm wishes to continue the cooperation in the future cemented already friendly links between the professionals from both sides.