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Uzbek model of education – key to achieve the goals of sustainable development

Uzbek model of education – key to achieve the goals of sustainable development
September 09
08:27 2015

For over the years of independence the Republic of Uzbekistan has carried out fundamental, structural and substantive reforms that have encompassed all levels of education system and its components, which were aimed at ensuring its compliance with the long-term objectives and interests of the country, modern requirements, as well as international standards. The appropriate legal framework reforming this sector was created, which defined as a priority the growth of investment, as well as the investments in human capital, training of educated and intellectually developed generation, which is the crucial asset and a decisive force in the achievement of democratic development, modernization and renewal, ensuring stable and sustainable growth of the economy.

At the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan two important laws – “On Education” and “On the National program for personnel training” were adopted, which laid a solid foundation for the creation of a harmonious system of continuous education of the modern type. As the result of their implementation in short historical period radical transforms happened not only in the form but in essence of the education system of the country.

Today, thanks to the consistent implementation of the provisions of these laws in the country, the national model of personnel training has been formed which is based on the principle of “person – state and society – continuous education – science – production”.

The current modern system of continuous education in Uzbekistan consists of preschool, general secondary, specialized secondary and vocational, higher and postgraduate education, training and retraining, as well as extra school education. In this continuous chain of links there is a fundamentally new specialized secondary and vocational education, realized in educational institutions of a new type – the academic lyceums and vocational colleges. This system provides young men and women with an opportunity to get along with general subjects on 2-3 professional skills which are in demand in labor market, as well as the study of one or several foreign languages.

So far, 1556 educational institutions of a new type, including 144 academic lyceums and 1412 vocational colleges have been established in the country, as well as 30 branches of professional colleges in remote areas of the countryside.

Attaching a great importance to continuity among different levels of educational system and taking into account the fundamental nature of general secondary education, for the successful continuation of the process of learning in the institutions of secondary special and professional education, and then in the premises of colleges and universities, the “Nationwide School Education Development Program for 2004-2009” was adopted and successfully implemented.  This document provided for, in particular, a radical renewal and capital reconstruction of buildings and engineering infrastructure of secondary schools, equipping them with modern educational, laboratory and computer equipment, as well as staffing highly qualified teachers.

Fundamental changes have occurred in the organization of the higher education system. Two-level system has been introduced which consists of undergraduate and graduate programs, the qualifier of directions and specialties of education magistrates was approved, each of which the state educational standards were developed and put into practice.

Qualified specialists for the sectors of the economy and the social sphere are trained in 6 areas – humanitarian, social, economics and law, production and technical sphere, agriculture and water management, healthcare and social welfare, services.

For over the years of independence, dozens of new universities have been established. Currently, there are 58 universities, 15 branches of central universities of the republic and 7 branches of leading foreign universities in the country. Among them are the University of Westminster, the Singapore Institute of Management, Turin Polytechnic University, Russian University of Oil and Gas, Moscow State University, Russian University of Economics, Inha University of South Korea. They prepare specialists on several fields such as engineering, oil and gas, information technology, economics and business management, financial management, business law, tourism which are demanded in the labor market. Their graduates receive diplomas recognized throughout the world.

In order to strengthen the integration of science and production, the Institute of Mathematics and the Center for Philosophy at the National University of Uzbekistan, Law Center at the Tashkent State Law University, Center for the development of software products and hardware-software systems at the Tashkent University of Information Technologies, Problem laboratory on ecology at the Samarkand State University have been established.

It should also be noted that during the years of independence the system of education management, training, retraining and advanced training of pedagogical and scientific-pedagogical staff has been radically rebuilt, the content of the educational process was reviewed, the market of educational services is dynamically developing, social guarantees and state support, financing and material technical provisions of the sector is ensured.

In accordance with the Presidential Decree of July 24, 2012 “On further improvement of the system of training and certification of scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel” and the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers “On measures to further improve the system of postgraduate education and certification of scientific and scientific pedagogical personnel”, scientific and educational institutions of the republic are working hard to further improve the system of postgraduate education as continuous education, aimed at meeting the needs of society in the scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel.

In order to further improve the system of retraining and advanced training of teachers of higher educational institutions, Chief scientific-methodical center for the organization of retraining and advanced training of teaching and managerial personnel of higher education under the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, 10 sectoral and 5 regional centers for training and professional development of teaching staff of universities have been organized. A unified system of improvement of the quality of educational process in the regional centers is being formed.

The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan prepared legal documents for the implementation of an improved system, created educational and methodological framework of the educational process. Target activities on the introduction of distance learning in the process of training has been organized, as well as remote training of teaching staff with on-line and off-line technologies based on the national network of e-learning  has also been implemented.

Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated May 20, 2011 “On measures to strengthen the material-technical base and development of higher education institutions and cardinal improvement of the training quality of highly skilled professionals” has been adopted with the purpose of radically increasing the quality of training of specialists with academic degree, who are demanded  in sectors of the economy, on the basis of modernization of material-technical base for higher educational institutions, equipping them with modern educational and scientific and laboratory equipment, optimization of directions and specialties of training of highly qualified personnel, further improving learning technologies, modern curricula, textbooks and teaching aids.

Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers “On measures for further development of computerization and introduction of information and communication technologies” dated June 6, 2002, determines the implementation of information and communication technologies in the educational process and the long-term plan of their performance. The official websites of all universities that are connected to the Internet to meet the needs of students and faculty members in the information have been set up and operating.

At the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan a project of the “National Network of e-education” has been realized, a network based on fiber-optic communication lines, to which was connected all universities of the country, has been set. These lines are also equipped for video conferencing. Regular video lectures, training seminars and courses of remote training of teaching and managerial personnel of higher education institutions are being organized on the basis of an electronic network. As a result of this project in 2011, 80 university facilities were connected to the network. In 2012, 84 facilities of secondary special and professional education are connected to “e-education” single corporate network. The Centre for the implementation of e-learning in educational institutions at Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. It was established in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of 25 July 2012.

International cooperation in the field of vocational education is actively developing, including on the basis of direct mutually beneficial contacts with foreign university partners.

A series of agreements of the governmental and interdepartmental nature, which are the basis of direct inter-university cooperation with foreign partners have been signed. Universities of Uzbekistan take active part in educational, scientific and technological projects of the European Union’s Tempus and Erasmus Mundus, the British Council, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Goethe Institute, the German Technical Center, the Korean and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the French and the Egyptian Cultural Centre, Malaysian and India’s technical cooperation programs, the UNDP, UNESCO, ETF, ADB and others. All of these projects and programs aim the improvement of the educational and methodical process and the material and technical base, training of teaching staff, innovation and technological development, student exchange.

In the process of reforms new research directions have been developed in higher education system, scientific schools in the field of university researches have been established, in the framework of which urgent problems of the state and public construction, economy, culture, art and technology are solved. Since 2002, the system of grant funding for researches instead of base funding has been implemented, that allows a selective approach to the choice of funded projects and improves their effectiveness.

The reform of postgraduate education is aimed at enhancing the prestige of national science among young people and greater involvement of researchers in the innovative development of the country. The effectiveness of reforms is directly linked to the openness and transparency of scientific activity. In addition, the objective requirement which imposes a three-level model of higher education to the quality of scientific research contents is tested with a wide experience of science organizing in developed countries. The implementation of this model allows Uzbekistan to successfully integrate into the international scientific society.

The main change in the quality of postgraduate education is its closer approximation to international standards and requirements, the creation of an auspicious environment for effective interaction between scientific, educational and industrial structures, ensuring a close connection “education – science – production”.

The results of large-scale reforms in education and training, the attention paid to the identification and comprehensive support of talented youth, are clearly reflected in the successes and achievements of young Uzbeks, demonstrating a high level of intellectual training and skills at prestigious national and international competitions, contests and sports competitions.

So, in 2014, 14 of the most talented female students of academic lyceums and professional colleges were awarded the State Prize of Zulfiya, and during all the years of independence 81 girls were awarded this prize.

Every year, the country holds the Republican Olympiad on general subjects among pupils of secondary specialized educational institutions, the winners of which are entitled to enroll in higher education institutions, without passing of tests and examinations.

During the period of 2000-2014 years, 220 students of secondary schools and secondary specialized educational institutions of Uzbekistan participated in the international Olympiads, where they won 6 gold, 28 silver and 65 bronze medals and 40 diplomas were awarded.

In 2014, 122 gifted children of the country won prizes at international music competitions held in Italy, France, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Romania and other countries.

Thus, summing up the above, it should be emphasized that educational system established in Uzbekistan, and which meets the requirements of time and high standards gives young generation of the country a tremendous opportunity to realize their potential, proves that it trains highly qualified and professional staff, who make a significant contribution to stable and sustainable development of their Homeland.

 

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