A Unique System
For almost five years already graduates of the ninth form have been continuing their education at professional colleges and academic lyceums. What is noteworthy is that almost 10% of graduates of secondary special and professional institutions enroll to higher educational institutions annually.
Millions of children today get education and are brought up at newly built and overhauled educational establishments – at almost 10,000 schools, 1,556 lyceums and colleges and more than 70 higher educational institutions. Based on the new educational system they master modern professions and thanks to it find a worthy place in life, thus vividly manifesting the efficiency of educational model of Uzbekistan and its competitiveness on the international arena.
The national model of education is unique in that it provides an opportunity for everyone to get a professional education. Time will pass and a unique situation will take shape in Uzbekistan’s labor market, when everyone will become a professional specialist.
At the initial stage of the implementation of the National Program for Personnel Training it was necessary to build, renovate and furnish the required number of schools, professional colleges and academic lyceums in order to ensure the functioning of a compulsory 12-year educational system guaranteed by the government. The state, the principal reformer on the issues of improving the system of education – continuous perfection of the quality of education, modernization of the educational process for training specialists meeting the demand of the labor market – faces new tasks today.
New mechanisms have been launched today headed by special funds under the Ministry of Finance, which secure the consolidation of the material-technical bases of educational institutions at all levels. A particularly important place in this process belongs to the solution of problems related to raising the teachers’ qualification level, since only those teachers and mentors , who continuously strive for self-improvement, are able to raise the level of their knowledge and qualification, feel the heartbeat of the time and capable to bring up comprehensively developed and mature personalities.
The system of re-training and qualification improvement of teachers and the faculty of all educational institutions has been revised in recent years. They are provided with additional conditions for mastering computer technologies and foreign languages. The methodological support of the educational process has been raised to a qualitatively new level. For example, methodical guidelines for teachers have been printed out at schools as supplements to text books.
Improvement of the system of studying foreign languages and information-communication technologies has turned into the main direction in the activity of the entire educational system, so that every graduate complied with the requirements of the time, become a qualified specialist, mastered a foreign language and improved his/her computer skills.
Education from the Cradle
Special attention is paid to pre-school education. ‘The Concept of Pre-School education in the Republic of Uzbekistan’ was adopted in 2008, and it reflects the founding factors, goals and objectives of renovating this sphere of activity: shaping of a child as a personality is a priority task among them all.
Systemic and stage-by-stage activities on the construction and reconstruction of kindergartens, their provision with didactic materials, toys and sports inventory have been put on rail for its implementation. They are financed on account of the State and local budgets. For instance, 3 billion soums were allocated annually in 2010-2015 for fitting out 4916 establishments where about 668,000 boys and girls were trained. Non-governmental kindergartens, the number of which reached 132, have started their operation; they are attended by nearly 4,500 children.
Children of pre-school age enjoy the services of free calisthenics, chess and other circles, the circles of foreign languages, early professional orientation, and much more. They study the national cultural heritage and traditions in the offices of spirituality, libraries and museums under the kindergartens.
The number of educators with a higher education alone increased almost threefold from 2011 till 2016. A system of continuous qualification improvement and introduction of the modern methods of work have been set up for them.
Groups of short-term pre-school detention were set up two years ago for creation of conveniences for young families and expanding the coverage of children with non-formal education. Experienced pedagogues help children to get prepared for school. More than 53,000 children currently attend 2,000 such groups.
Five illustrated manuals on the “Bolajon” support program have been published for parents of children who do not attend kindergartens. They will help hundreds of thousands of families to develop their five or six year old sons and daughters speaking, math and other skills. All this will help bring up the pre-school training of the younger generation to a qualitatively new level.
Schools were built and overhauled in 1991-2003 in all the regions of the country, which are attended by 1,893 thousand schoolchildren, and kindergartens for 152,800 places. Then, in 2004-2009, followed the implementation of the nationwide State program of development of school education. 351 new school buildings were erected, 2,470 - renovated, 3,608 - repaired, 2,069 - refurbished. From 2010 to the present day the renovation has affected 2,226 schools. Overall, 2.9 trillion soums have been allocated for these purposes.
Another 1.9 trillion soums was channeled into the consolidation of the material-technical base, fitting out each and every institution with laboratory equipment and technology. As a result increased the level of equipment of classes with necessary facilities, and physics, chemistry, and biology offices were fitted out with laboratory equipment; thus the equipment level reached 78-88% on the average compared with 2004. Another example: at the time 14% of schools possessed computers, now this indicator is equal to 81.5% and the number continues to grow.
The content of the training programs has also changed. This was preceded by a tremendous work with the involvement of leading educators and researchers. Back in 1999, Uzbekistan was one of the first among CIS countries, which introduced new state educational standards. Much has been done to ensure interconnection of the curricula at schools, colleges and lyceums with consideration of the specific subjects’ significance, age and psycho-physiological characteristics of children. New projects on state educational standards and programs on 18 academic disciplines have been recently elaborated and launched within the framework of their further modernization. They are now being tested at institutions of general and specialized secondary and vocational education.
Changes have been reflected in the new generation of text-books, to publication of which the government pays special attention. In 1991, the level of availability of text-books made up 55.4%, while today it has grown up to 100%. 234.2 billion soums has been allocated for publication of millions of books of 1,958 titles in recent five years alone. These include seven methodical aids with multimedia applications with the help of which the primary school teachers will be able to more actively apply advanced pedagogical and information technologies. More than 500 electronic books, video and audio lessons, interactive animation and virtual labs, tests, and educational games were worked out and introduced into the school curricula and more than three dozens of IT systems and services had also been put into practice and already proved their effectiveness.
The successful reforms have helped to noticeably raise the recognition of the pedagogues’ profession. The Day of Teachers and Mentors was instituted at the proposal of the first President of Uzbekistan, the system of payment for their work was improved, and various contests and reviewes organized on a regular basis. The share of teachers with the higher education has grown up from 68.4% up to 81.7% during the last twelve years.
Country of Talent
Identification and comprehensive development of talent is a priority direction of development for the government. This tendency is promoted by the activities of numerous establishments of supplementary education. To be more specific, the government had implemented the State program for consolidation of material-technical basis and further improvement of the activities of children’s Schools of music and Arts for the years 2009-2014, while currently it realizes the Stat Program on the further improvement of the activities of children’s Schools of music and arts for the years 2016-2020. Up until now the capital renovation project has touched upon 301 specialized institutions, as well as three academic lyceums. For example, eight years ago almost half of schools were housed in old premises and now they are accommodated in modern buildings. They received modern equipment, furniture and special technology, 48 types of aids, music collections, and disks with the works of domestic and foreign composers, as well as visual materials. Thanks to newly created conditions the number of children attending the Schools of music and arts, has grown more than one a half times over since 2008.
A new network of “Barkamol avlod” children’s centers network has taken shape during this period. There are 211 modern establishments operating in the country with 5 thousand circles specializing in the arts and technical creativity, ecology and regional studies. They are attended by almost 114,000 boys and girls, and another 3 million children attend 150,000 circles operating under their schools.
The activity of the Children’s Sports Development Fund, established on the initiative of the first President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, serves the cause of disseminating the active way of life. Prior to the country’s acquisition of its independence the specialized facilities within the system of public education could be counted on the fingers of one hand, while currently their number stands at 2,178. A unified system of a three-stage “Umid nihollari”, “Barkamol avlod” and “Universiade” mass competitions have been set up in the country, which attracted the attention of many foreign specialists. As a result, the number of young athletes during the period from 2003 and 2016 has increased from 20.4% up to 57.2% of the total number of children. Moreover, the number of girls athletes has grown up from 16.4% up to 46.9%.
All this contributes to the fact that our children more and more loudly declare about themselves on the international arena. Less than one month ago the national team of our country won the second place at the International mathematics contest in Thailand. Pupils of the seventh form Eldor Neimatov and Shakhboz Khasanov from Bukhara and Qashqadaryo regions joined the ranks of the contest laureates. This current year has been no less productive. Our school children won two bronze medals, two certificates of honor and the TIMC Cup at the Thailand International Mathematics Competition. The young residents of the capital city Javokhir and Islombek Sinarovs won gold and bronze medals at the 10th World championship among school children in Brazil. This year they have been recognized as the absolute leaders in their respective age groups at the Uzbekistan championship. Izzatilla Toshkenboyev, Mukhlisa Alisherova and our other young talent won three first places, four – second places and two third places at the prestigious 13th “Citta di Barletta” international musical contest and the 26th World contest of “Citta di Barletta” contest. There are dozens of other children, who worthily represent Uzbekistan at the most authoritative competitions.
Students of secondary special and professional institutions demonstrate no less significant results. Our representatives came back from the International Olympiad in chemistry with one silver and two bronze medals; and with one bronze medal from the International Olympiad in mathematics, and proclaimed themselves as worthy contesters at international Olympiads in physics, informatics and biology.
Profession for Everyone
About 300 institutions of secondary special and professional education have undergone overhaul and reconstruction in a planned manner completed by the beginning of the new academic year. Quality of training is also undergoing a radical change. A large-scale work on the introduction of advanced pedagogical technologies facilitates in students the development of skills in conducting independent research activities.
Priority is given to training workshops. Work on their construction and fitting them out with equipment has practically been completed. In the past, they had no adequate conditions for inculcating practical skills in students. Modern training workshops are fitted out with the latest production-educational equipment. Production of goods and provision of services to the population have been organized at many colleges’ workshop facilities with the objective of improving the training of specialists.
The status of vocational training foremen has been brought up to a significant level. Their salaries today are raised to the level of teachers. These measures have been undertaken so that foremen of production education, who do not have pedagogical education, could go though relevant training. This allowed improving several fold the quality of conducting lessons in educational workshops.
Also has been resolved the issue of the workshop software consumables.
At the Highest Level
The Program of modernization of material-technical base of higher educational institutions and radical improvement of the quality of training specialists for 2011-2016 was approved five years ago. It had turned into an important document, which specified the ways for further realization of the National Program in training personnel.
The volumes of construction and overhaul work had been significantly expanded. Initially it was planned to reconstruct and overhaul 11 higher educational institutions on account of the Fund for development of material-technical base of universities. However, after the adoption of the Program on the improvement of the system of studying foreign languages the list was replenished with the Uzbek State University of World Languages. After setting up the Tashkent State Dental Institute the construction of new facilities for the new higher educational institution had also been turned into one of the Fund’s tasks.
Great attention in the realization of the Program was attached to further consolidation of the material-technical base of educational laboratories, creation of scientific-research labs and integration of education, science and practice. Moreover, a teacher had always remained in the focus of attention.
The system of re-training and raising the qualification level of teachers on the basis of foreign specialists’ experiences was revised with the objective to raise the level of higher education to the level of leading foreign universities and institutes. Training plans and programs in priority directions for re-training and qualification improvement of management, administrative and pedagogical personnel were elaborated jointly with those specialists. 15 teachers from the Republic of Korea, Italy, Austria, Japan, USA, Spain, France and other countries were invited to the positions of deputy directors of the Branch Centers under the higher educational institutions.
Transition to a one-stage system of training highly qualified personnel promoted the consolidation of the role of post graduates (Masters) in training scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel. It predetermined the introduction of additional complex of measures on the further improvement of post-graduate courses’ curricular and approaches to training, which had taken shape as an important stage for preparing the youth to conduct scientific research work.
The competitive selection of those willing to continue their education at the institute of senior fellow-researchers and applicants for a PhD was revised. Today matters not only future scientists’ knowledge, but also their overall outlook, knowledge of history and knowledge of foreign languages.
Training at the post graduate courses and at the institutes of senior fellow-researchers is fully directed at preparing the youths and girls for carrying out scientific-pedagogical activities. The load on post-graduate courses faculty was reduced and the students were provided access to the best laboratories for conducting independent research work. And starting from the last year the Committee on Coordination and Development of Science had even begun to award grants to senior research personnel of Regional Centers for training highly qualified personnel so that they could conduct research work at the leading laboratories of the country.
This has not been done by accident, since today, before defending their doctoral dissertations the post graduates should present the Commission the written evidence on the implementation of a scientific development into practice. And the newly created conditions enable the future young scientists to focus on and prepare competitive research paperes.