It seems that everyone wants to get in on the game of identifying deficits in Tajikistan. This time it’s the turn of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, in an audio report published [ru] [tj] at http://iwpr.net/report-news/tajikistans-education-deficit.
I couldn’t access either audio stream but the text below [en] (is it a transcript?) is reproduced below. (c) IWPR, Shahodat Saibnazarova.
Qarshiboev’s contribution echoes my previous reporting of Saifiddinov’s Asia Plus article of 7 August by focussing on the lack of leadership support for good quality education and well trained staff.
Afghanov’s findings echo those of my 2011 research on Tajiks who study abroad.
I’m not sure I agree with Hakimov’s suggestion to reduce the number of universities and specialisations offered by those institutions that are left. I’d suggest instead that cash is pumped into school education and into widening access and participation initiatives to help increase enrolment into higher and further education. Put more access on vocational education as Saifiddinov suggests and then pump your next batch of cash into post-graduation employment prospects.
Easier said than done…
Text of article at http://iwpr.net/report-news/tajikistans-education-deficit
Tajikistan is desperately short of graduates, particularly in engineering and other applied sciences, because so many prefer to go abroad in search of work.
Nuriddin Qarshiboev, head of the National Independent Media Association, says state policy needs to change so as to provide more incentives for graduates to stay.
“I believe that as long as the government doesn’t put a value on highly-qualified, education personnel, this systemic problem is unlikely to be resolved,” he told IWPR. “I know many young people who are very well qualified but who, because they can’t get decent, properly paid jobs, are forced to leave the country, or else do work that isn’t what they trained for.”
Many prospective students apply for university places in the West or in Russia. Few return to apply their skills in Tajikistan.
“We’d like them to return, but only between 25 and 35 per cent do so. The rest remain in Russia, carry on studying, or emigrate to Europe,” said Samariddin Afghanov, director of the Centre for International Programmes based in Dushanbe.
The only exception is an group of around 80 a year who get government grants and are contractually obliged to repay them by working five years in their own country.
Part of the impetus to study abroad comes from the perception that higher education in Tajikistan is second-best. Most commentators agree that school, technical college and university education is in urgent need of reform.
Analyst Shokirjon Hakimov says the 30-plus universities and colleges that now operate in the country should be reduced in number, with specialisations concentrated in particular department.
Shahodat Saibnazarova is IWPR Radio Editor in Tajikistan.