Constitutional & Legal Foundations
According to the Uzbekistan Constitution, everyone is entitled to an education. The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on education mandates equal rights for education without discrimination of any kind such as sex, language, age, race and ethnic origin, convictions, attitude towards religion, social background, place of residence, and duration of stay in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Students in educational institutions are granted benefits, stipends, and dormitory housing (Article 20). The right to secular education is secured for every individual regardless of personal religious beliefs (Article 7 of the Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations"). However, clerical disciplines cannot be included into curricula and training programs. On 29 August 1997, the Oliy Majlis passed the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On Education," which includes The National Program of the Personnel Training System. Legislative acts recognize the priority of international agreements ratified by the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, "the individual is the main target of the radical transformation. A harmoniously developed generation is the basis for progress in Uzbekistan" (Karimov 1998). Dr. Saidahror Gulyamov, Minister of Higher Education, stated that setting up a free, prosperous, democratic society is impossible without changing consciousness and that those changes can only be made through education. To accomplish this, radical reform of the educational system is necessary (Gulyamov 1999).
Looking forward to globalization of the market, Uzbekistan is focused on the preparation of fully trained professionals able to work at the international level. Therefore, an educational system, which is comparable to international standards at all levels, is a must. The government sees "the transition from the education for the entire life to continuing education during the entire life" (Gulyamov 1999) as the way to accomplish this. The emphasis is on combining specific national characteristics with international experience and implementation of upto-date international innovations.
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