PRESS RELEASE - EU empowers Central Asian educators with innovative learning tool

DARYA SCAFFOLD training in Kazakhstan

Over 250 educators from Central Asia are learning to embrace SCAFFOLD, a unique EU-designed tool, during a week of events in Astana. Organised by the European Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, this initiative aims to upskill and reskill educators while promoting regional cooperation under the EU-funded DARYA project.

Astana, 15 April 2024 – From 15 to 19 April, over 250 educators will participate in a week of training events organised by the European Union (EU) in Astana, Kazakhstan. The training, targeting trainers from five countries, will introduce participants to SCAFFOLD, an EU-developed deck of cards designed to assist educators in creating effective learning activities. Special attention will be given to equipping trainers to deliver further training to their peers.

Kazakhstan will host this educational initiative, which aims to upskill and reskill educators from the region of Central Asia. The European Training Foundation (ETF), in partnership with Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will conduct these meetings over five days with a focus on SCAFFOLD. This innovative tool consists of a deck of 102 cards, enabling educators to design and implement learning activities comprehensively, from planning to assessment. The SCAFFOLD card deck and materials are being made available in all national languages of Central Asia.

The week's schedule, organised under the European Year of Skills, includes training sessions for national trainers from Central Asia (15-17 April), followed by a day of training for trainers from Kazakhstan (18 April), and concluding with training for educators from all over Kazakhstan (19 April). This initiative forms part of DARYA, the EU's flagship regional project supporting education, youth employment, and inclusive skills development in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Arai Urazova, Vice-Minister of Education from Kazakhstan, opened the week’s events highlighting: “We would like our young people to have competences for life and the labour market. DARYA and SCAFFOLD can support this. Let us together create a better future for our young people and our educational community. We are confident that our joint work and dialogue will lead to concrete action plans and measures that will help us make our education system more effective, accessible and adapted to the needs of our time.”

Kestutis Jankauskas, the EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan welcomed participants, mentioning that the “DARYA programme is the European Union's investment in the human capital of Central Asian countries and the future of their young generation. From now on, educators of VET schools in Central Asian countries will have access to the newest and most modern teaching methods, such as SCAFFOLD. Dynamically developing relations between the European Union and Central Asia and potential investment projects will require qualified workforce. In turn, these investments will contribute to mutual prosperity and economic development.” 

Pilvi Torsti, Director of ETF, commented: "Introducing SCAFFOLD to Central Asia underscores the impact of the DARYA programme in the region. With participants from across the region, SCAFFOLD presents a transformative opportunity for widespread learning. Through its innovative methodology, it equips educators with teaching and learning techniques that are relevant and essential, emphasising the importance of transversal key competences.”

Reaching out to more than a thousand teachers

Further activities following the Astana week will include training, pilot actions in schools and dissemination of SCAFFOLD with the aim to reach out to more than a thousand educators in Central Asia. In 2024, a regional competition named “SCAFFOLD – competences for life” will motivate educators in Central Asia to integrate SCAFFOLD into their teaching methodologies, in line with ETF's efforts to promote key competences including green skills development and sustainable growth as part of the European Green Deal.

A deck of cards to transform learning

SCAFFOLD is a tool developed by the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). It assists educators in exploring links between transversal competences common to all competence frameworks, helping teachers identify and cluster learning outcomes according to teaching objectives, available resources, learning spaces, and duration.

Promoting regional cooperation in Central Asia

A flagship initiative in Europe-Asia relations, DARYA is inspired by the EU’s new Strategy on Central Asia, launched in 2019, as well as EU policies and tools in the sphere of education and training and youth employability. The project uses education as a platform to bring the European Union closer to Central Asian countries and strengthen mutual cooperation.


The European Union is an economic and political union between 27 European countries. The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It plays a leading role in international efforts to promote sustainable social development, the environment, and the economy for the benefit of everyone.

The European Training Foundation (ETF) is the European Union agency that supports neighbouring countries in reforming their education, training, and labour market systems. It currently collaborates with 28 partner countries, mainly in the context of EU enlargement and neighbourhood policies. It is headquartered in Turin, Italy.

DARYA (Dialogue and Action for Resourceful Youth in Central Asia) is the first EU-funded regional project focusing entirely on measures that support inclusive and labour market relevant skills development opportunities for young people in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. With a budget of €10 million, the project operates at two main levels: nationally, by stimulating the development of quality and inclusiveness in education, training, and the labour market in the five countries; regionally, by strengthening participation and mutual dialogue among Central Asian countries. The five-year project (2022-2027) is implemented by the European Training Foundation (ETF), a specialised agency of the European Union, based in Italy. 

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