The school system is structured as during the Soviet era (1924–1991), when Uzbekistan was known for a high level of education. After independence, state grants to the sector were cut, which led to lower quality of education. There is a great teacher shortage and the teaching material is outdated.
The 11-year compulsory school is compulsory from the age of seven. It is formally free of charge, but the school’s lack of resources means that parents sometimes still have to pay for the children’s schooling. Almost all children start school, but many – especially in rural areas – do not complete all eleven years because they have to work instead to contribute to the family’s livelihood. Private schools have been banned since 1993.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Uzbekistan, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Uzbek is the language of instruction in primary school, but the largest minority people receive some teaching in their mother tongue. The children also study Uzbek history and literature as well as Arabic. Russian is no longer compulsory school subject, more and more young people are learning English instead.
There are more than 70 universities and colleges, including a state Islamic university established in Tashkent in 1999.
- Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Uzbekistan, covering middle school, high school and college education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
96.2 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
100.0 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
19.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
19.2 percent (2017)
New cooperation agreements with Russia
During a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Russia conclude a series of cooperation agreements worth a total of $ 27 billion. With Russian funding, a nuclear power plant will be built in the Navoi region of western Uzbekistan. The power plant is expected to cost $ 11 billion. It will secure energy supply throughout Central Asia, while bringing the region closer to Russia politically and economically. Russia and China compete for influence over Central Asia. The bilateral trade with Russia increased by a third from 2017 to 3.7 billion dollars.
President Mirzijoev visits France and concludes a series of investment contracts with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. This is the first time that Mirzijoev is visiting an EU country.
Foreign voluntary organization is approved
The US-based American Councils for International Education organization is allowed to resume its operations in Uzbekistan, becoming the first foreign voluntary organization to be registered in the country since 2006.
Karimova is moved to house arrest
A court transforms President Karimov’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s ten-year prison sentence for corruption to five years in house arrest.
Joint mine clearance with Tajikistan
The political thaw between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan continues with the two countries agreeing to jointly clear mines at the common border. In 2000, Uzbekistan deployed mines to prevent militant Islamists from entering the country from Tajikistan. But since then, hundreds of Tajik shepherds and other citizens who have crossed the border have fallen victim to the mines, according to the UN-backed Tajik Center for Mines.
There is a political thunderstorm between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. When President Mirsyojev visits Tajik President Rahmon in neighboring Dushanbe’s capital, the two leaders agree to scrap the visa requirement that has existed since 2000 for travel between the countries. Uzbek and Tajiks should be able to spend 30 days in each other’s countries without a visa. It is unclear when the new rules will start to apply. Relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have long been strained, but one of Mirzijoyev’s main election promises when he was elected president in 2016 was to improve relations with neighboring countries. In 2017, air travel between the two countries resumed and in January 2018 ten border crossings were opened which have been closed since 2001. Unlike President Karimov, Mirziajev Tajikistan’s plans not to build a hydropower plant upstream from Uzbekistan do not oppose (seeForeign policy and defense).
Journalist is released after 19 years
4th of March
Journalist Yusuf Ruzimuradov is released from prison after 19 years. He has served a sentence for revival following a trial that critics believe was politically motivated. According to the organization CPJ, which monitors threats against journalists around the world, Ruzimuradov’s imprisonment is the longest served by any journalist in the world to date. Ruzimuradov, who worked on the opposition newspaper Erk, was forced by the Karimov regime in 1999 to return from his exile in Ukraine, after which he was jailed in connection with the strike against dissent. According to relatives, Ruzimuradov will not work as a journalist after the release. He should instead saddle up to Russian teachers.
The head of the security service is dismissed
Rustam Inojatov, head of the dreaded national security service SNB since 1995 and one of the country’s most powerful people, is dismissed from office by President Mirzijoev. He is instead appointed presidential adviser and senator, and thus gets prosecutorial immunity. Mirzijojev has criticized the SNB for gross abuses and violations of human rights, as has been done by human rights groups. The security service is now going to be completely reformed, Mirzijoev announces, and it is therefore renamed the SGB.