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Uzbekistan

Preprimary & Primary Education

In the past, kindergartens were part of state enterprises and factories, but the decline of the state economy led to the closure of many kindergartens. In the mid-1990s over 8,500 kindergartens accommodated 950,000 children, and there were plans for building new facilities to accommodate 135,000 more children. Out of over 90,000 teachers working in the preprimary education, about 20 percent have higher education and 77 percent have vocational education. Enrollment to the preprimary schools (detsky sad or kindergartens) is voluntary. Children enter elementary school (a part of secondary school) at the age of six or seven. One teacher teaches all subjects for four years. Children at elementary school are trained in Uzbek using the Latin script. Elementary schools, as a part of secondary schools, are mainly located in the same buildings.

With the lack of inspection, control, suitable materials, funds, and curricula reflecting all the changes that have occurred, preschool education quality has declined. On the primary school level, the new language orientation has caused major problems. New curriculum, new programs, and new teachers speaking Uzbek are limited. The quality of education differs depending on the location of the kindergarten or school. Urban kindergartens and schools traditionally have better teachers and financial support than the rural ones because parents have more influence. Moreover, new graduates of the pedagogical institutes prefer to settle in the cities with more cultural amenities. The highest-ranking graduates tend to select city schools. Less academically successful graduates go to rural schools; thus continuing a downward spiral.

Kindergarten teachers are called vospitatel, which literally means the upbringing person, not just a teacher who teaches. In order to work as a vospitatel in the kindergarten, an individual must have a diploma in vocational teachers' education, which is earned at the pedagogical uchilishe. Elementary (primary) schoolteachers are also graduates from the ped-uchilishe. Many of the kindergartens and schools lack qualified personnel, and additional teachers are recruited from pedagogical institute students.

At the preschool level, there are no repeaters and no dropouts. Underdeveloped children just move to the next year with their peers. In primary education (from 6 to 10), children are grouped together irrespective of intellectual ability and development. Children who fail to perform are required to repeat the course. They are given two opportunities to successfully repeat the course and, if they are still unsuccessful, they may be transferred to schools for the mentally impaired. Dropping out of the school was not an option in the Soviet-style system of education. Teachers and school directors (principals) would be responsible for any such a case, and all measures (including enforcement) would be taken to prevent this. Compulsory education meant that every person must be educated. Today, with the deep economic decline and lack of political and legal stability, the percentage of dropouts is growing.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceUzbekistan - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education