Uzbekistan: Education as a top priority

Uzbekistan recognized education as a top priority for economic development. Three ministries instead of one now take care of education reforms.

Dynamics in Uzbekistan are amazing. The double land locked country in the center of Central Asia is bringing a new swing into the whole region. After the election of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, following the long time leader Islom Karimov, new initiatives and new concepts have come to life to solve even long standing conflicts and issues. The recent development has brought the region together for cooperation.

Economies in Central Asia are emerging. Kazakhstan is progressing slowly on its economic path, aiming at becoming one of the top economic leaders in 2050. Uzbekistan still has some way to go. It has recognized education as one of the top priorites for its future development. More than half of the population is under 25 years old. The decision was made to divide the Ministry of Education into three ministries, to focus on the special needs of each aged group. Pre school age has come to be internationally recognized as a most important start for schooling and for the learning process. One Ministry will be in charge of implementing reforms for this part of education.

The Ministry of Public Eduction takes care of the largest part of education – it is introducing the largest share of changes in education now going on, for teaching personal and for classes 1-11/12. Reforms for teachers have already shown some results, among them a slow increase in payment, also attracting male students to become techers, less burocracy, and more time for teaching. The call for working in the cotton fields is history now, Minister of Public Education Sherzod Shermatov points out in an interview. New schools are welcome to open their doors, national and international.

Higher Education will have more attention than before. There is a high need, and international experts are welcome, Dr. Obijon Khamidov states. He is the vice rector of international cooperation at the Tashkent State University of Economics in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, and he draws a line between education and economics. Tourism is one of the intensified fields now taught at the University.

Language training has new attention as well, at all age levels. Hopes are high for better connectivity and understanding with all neighbors as well as with the international community.

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