I had no idea that this story would keep running and running… but now Eurasia Net have got in on the act and published their own story about the higher education system in Tajikistan.
Entitled ‘Tajikistan: Even the Government Won’t Hire College Graduates‘, Asel Kalybekova’s story focusses on two quality issues:
1. The perceived lack of quality in the Tajik higher education system, in this case reinforced by the Dushanbe local government’s announcement in summer that they’d prefer to hire people who graduated pre-1992 (i.e. Soviet-educated students) or those who studied abroad
2. The lack of data to measure the actual quality of higher education. This means that only inferences about quality can be made e.g. based on Tajikistan’s position in the UN Human Development Index. When I researched the impact of studying abroad on Tajik nationals, I too found it difficult to obtain directly relevant data to put the contextual picture together and had to resort to proxies such as participation rates.
I’m not sure what particularly has prompted Kalybekova’s article this week but there can be no harm in continuing to deliver the message about the problems facing the Tajik higher education sector… if this means that they are listened to and acted upon.
In a week when the Tajik press reports the Dushanbe authorities’ concerns over young people attending night clubs (because they lead to ‘the moral decay of Tajik youth’ – see http://news.tj/en/news/dushanbe-authorities-tighten-control-over-night-clubs [en]) and the national government appearing to clamp down on young people driving to university lectures (ostensibly because young people are the biggest single group involved in road accidents – see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-24712884 [en]), my fears are that there is no sign whatsoever that national or regional governments are truly addressing the root causes of the education deficit in Tajikistan.