AzETA is a professional non-government, non-profit organisation of English teachers of Azerbaijan. It unites about 2,000 teachers throughout the country. It was established in 1995 and officially registered in 1996. Since its establishment AzETA works closely with British Council, Peace Corps and US Embassy in Azerbaijan. AzETA also seeks possibilities to co-operate with ELT and/or education related programmes/organisations both in Azerbaijan and world-wide. As a member of RENTA (Regional Network of Teachers' Associations) AzETA closely co-operates with the TAs of the region and implements joint projects and regularly seeks opportunities to extend co-operation with them. Since August 2005 AzETA is an Associate member of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, UK). In June 2009 AzETA became an affiliate of TESOL (Teachers of English to the Speakers of Other Languages, USA).
The Mission of the Association is to provide support for high quality education in ELT, professional development of English language teachers of the country. For this AzETA very closely co-operates with the Ministry of Education to make its contribution to the Education Reform Project implemented by the Government of Azerbaijan. The Ministry supports all AzETA activities. AzETA mainly co-operates with the Department of the High School and Pre-School Education in Rural Regions of Azerbaijan as the majority of AzETA members come from the rural regions.
AzETA has a strategy of supporting ELT through different activities: teacher training, materials development, study tours, TV matinees, conversation groups, workshops, etc. Unlike support to one or two individual institutions, this strategy enables AzETA to assist the professional development of teachers of secondary schools and universities throughout Azerbaijan both in public and private sectors. Such a strategy has produced impressive results and builds networks of teachers, committed and empowered to implement Education Reform of the Ministry of Education.
So far, AzETA has branches in 9 regions of Azerbaijan: Baku, Barda, Ganja, Goygol, Khachmaz, Lenkaran, Mingechevir, Sheki and Shirvan. Currently, Ismayilli and Shamakhi are candidates for launching AzETA Branch. They are in probation period. If they pass probation period successfully, AzETA will officially launch its branches in these regions between June and September 2015.
AzETA is headed by the President. AzETA President is Ragsana Mammadova who is also the Founder of the Association. In 2000-2004 and in 2008-2013 She was the Executive Director of the Association. In 1996-1998 she was AzETA Secretary. In 1998-2000 she was AzETA Co-ordinator. In 2004-2008 she was elected AzETA President. In all these positions she has worked voluntarily.
As the President of the Association, she is responsible for general management of the Association including:
• establishing and continuing relations nationally and internationally;
• representing the Association in national and international event;
• approving financial expenses for different activities and events;
• approving establishment of branches;
• signing bi-lateral contracts on behalf of the Association;
• identifying and assessing needs for funding and developing project proposals for obtaining funding;
• administering and monitoring projects funded;
• preparing activity and financial reports to the donors on the projects implemented;
• supervising and appraising the work of the Executive Board;
• supervising and appraising the work of the Branches;
• acting as the main contact point with other related NGOs on co-operation and working in coalition;
• working closely with ELT related organisations, like the British Council, US Embassy Public Affairs Office, ACCELS, IREX, Peace Corps, etc.
• working closely with the TAs in the region and world-wide;
• working closely with the Ministry of Education.
During the years of her management, AzETA membership increased from 13 to over 2,000 members. She established 9 branches of AzETA in different regions of Azerbaijan. She implemented more than 100 small-scale and large-scale projects. The biggest project is English Access Microscholarship Programme funded by the US State Department since 2006.
She achieved to establish AzETA website in 2005.
She achieved to have AzETA become an Associate Member of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers’ of English as a Foreign Language) in 2005 and an Affiliate of TESOL (Teachers of English to the Speakers of Other Languages) in 2009.
She achieved EAMP (English Access Microsholarship Programme) Project to be granted to Azerbajian five years in a row: EAMP 1 (2006 – 2007), EAMP 2 (2007 – 2009), EAMP 3 (2008 – 2010), EAMP 4 (2009 – 2011), EAMP 5 (2010 – 2012), EAMP 6 (2011 – 2013), EAMP 7 (2012 - 2014) implemented more than 25 regions of Azerbaijan with about 900 beneficiaries - teenagers from low-paid families. For successful implementation of the project, the US Embassy granted AzETA with EAMP Extension Project in 2012-2014 which was implemented in 5 regions of Azerbaijan, including, Baku (Binegedi), Bilesuvar, Mingechevir, Neftchala and Shirvan.
She has organised 10 International Conferences in Baku (2004-2011) and Qebele (2012), and 10 regional conferences in the regions, including, Lenkaran (1998), Neftchala (2003), Ganja (2004), Qebele (2007), Ismayilli (2008), Xacmaz (2009), Quba (2010), Qebele (2011), Qebele (2012), Ismayilli (2013).
She has represented and made presentations on AzETA activities in different international conferences included in Belgium, Bulgaria, China, France (3 times), Georgia (5 times), Germany (3 times), Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, Turkey (5 times), UK (8 times), US (4 times), Uzbekistan (3 times).