Teachers and mentors are our vital pillar in building the new Uzbekistan
Distinguished educators and tutors!
I feel happy to meet you on the eve of the national holiday, the Teachers and Mentors Day, celebrated on October 1.
Let me take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate you, our dedicated teachers and coaches, including those in local premises attending the event through video conferencing, and all compatriots watching this ceremony on television.
We always acknowledge with gratitude that no matter how much success every one of us has made in life, we owe you so much in our accomplishments. On this joyous day, we bow to you with deep respect on behalf of all your students, all our people, and express the kindest of our wishes.
We know well that our great poet Furkat used to describe knowledge and enlightenment as the light of eyes and mind.
Indeed, our hard-working and noble educators, who instill the rays of knowledge in the hearts of millions of our children and bring them up as treasured individuals, deserve the highest acknowledgement.
I would like you to take the views I express today first of all as an address to you, my dear ones, all our esteemed educators, intellectuals.
As you may know, while speaking to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, I once again drew the attention of the world community to Uzbekistan’s initiative to adopt the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, among many other important issues.
When speaking of the rights of the younger generation, we refer, first and foremost, to their full-fledged right to live in peace and health as well as to education. Therefore, it is always a priority for us to make sure that our children grow up well, receive a quality and comprehensive education.
In the current difficult period, when Uzbekistan, like other nations in the world, has to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the education system of our country also has faced a serious test. Despite these thorny circumstances, our work in this direction continues, with the timely measures taken by our state and your selfless work. In particular, within a short span of time, the Online School and distance learning schemes were introduced in our country.
Recently, a new academic year has begun in most schools, strictly adhering to sanitary rules. In accordance with our gracious tradition, about 650,000 first-graders received school supplies worth 72 billion soums as gifts from the President. In addition, 426 billion soums worth of winter clothes, school uniforms and school supplies have been provided to children from families in need of material assistance and support, those who have lost their breadwinner, as well as kids with disabilities.
At the same time, given the current situation, the issue of maintaining the health of students and teachers is in the center of our special attention. For this purpose, 17 billion soums were allocated from the Anti-Crisis Fund to provide schools with the necessary medical and antiseptic means.
As you know, this year about 1.5 million young people have applied for higher education. That is 40 percent more than last year. In such a complex situation, we were able to successfully conduct tests in open stadiums, strictly complying with epidemiological safety requirements.
We all understand that there is immense truth in the words of the great stateswoman Indira Gandhi: “If you educate one girl, you educate the whole family”. Therefore, this year we have allocated 940 quotes for our girls from low-income families living in rural areas to study in full-time higher education institutions for government scholarships. I believe such an additional opportunity created for our girls will bring the light of knowledge and enlightenment to hundreds of families. This, in turn, will lay a solid foundation for our young girls to develop into solid professionals for society in the future. We will continue to expand the scope of our work in this area.
We all know that the cornerstone of development, as well as the force that makes a country strong and a nation great, is science, education and enlightenment. Our future is closely connected with the education system and the upbringing of our children.
The great Greek scientist Aristotle used to say that the fate of the country is decided by the upbringing of youth.
These ideas were voiced in times BC. Thus, from the dawn of the conscious life of mankind, the issue of education and upbringing has always been important.
Let’s think about how advanced nations of the world are achieving high development and wellbeing? Isn’t it thanks primarily to the tremendous significance placed on science and education?
To this very end, radical reforms are undertaken lately in our education system, along with those in all areas, in order to promote comprehensive development of our country, to create a new Uzbekistan.
You are well aware that dozens of important decrees, resolutions and programs have been adopted on this front.
Approved recently, the Law on Education will undoubtedly open new horizons in the development of this area. In accordance with the act, distance learning, inclusive forms of education are introduced, and educational institutions are allowed to establish joint faculties and training centers with foreign counterparts. Teachers are entitled to introduce their own individual syllabi and training methods, to freely opt for modern pedagogical forms, teaching and enlightenment methodologies.
We have set as our main goal the delivery of a foundation for a new renewal era in Uzbekistan, for the Third Renaissance, through extensive democratic transformation, including educational reforms. Speaking of this, first of all, every one of us, our entire society must have a deep understanding of the essence of this issue.
If we refer to history, we see that our homeland, located at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, has long been one of the centers of high civilization and culture. The rich scientific and cultural heritage of our people, ancient scripts and inscriptions, priceless architectural monuments, rare manuscripts, various artifacts are suggestive of the deep roots to three thousand years of history of our statehood.
I did not recall Aristotle’s thoughts above in vain. As you all know well, the torch of science that lit the ancient Greece shone again in the ninth-twelfth centuries in Central Asia. That period was the era of the First Renaissance in our land and it fostered an entire group of celebrated geniuses whose names and works are recognized throughout the world. With their scientific activity and discoveries, dozens of grand scholars like Muhammad Khorezmi, Abu Raihon Beruni, Abu Ali ibn Sino, Ahmad Fergani, Mahmud Zamakhshari made a tremendous input into universal progress.
Representatives of the period known as the Golden Age of Islamic Culture, such great thinkers as Imam Bukhari, Imam Termizi, Imam Moturidi, Burhaniddin Marginani, Abul Muin Nasafi are by right the honor and pride of the entire Muslim world.
The creation of a great empire by Sahibkiran Amir Temur in the 15th century, which was later ruled by his respected descendants, facilitated the Second Renaissance in our region. It gave the world outstanding scientists like Kazizoda Rumi, Mirzo Ulugbek, Giyosiddin Koshi, Ali Kushchi, the great poets Lutfi, Sakkoki, Hafiz Khorezmi, Abdurahman Jami, Alisher Navoi, Babur. The fame of the historians Sharafiddin Ali Yazdi, Mirkhond, Khondamir, artists Mahmud Muzakhhib, Kamoliddin Behzod, many calligraphers, musicians, musicologists and architects spread around the world.
During both Renaissances, our people, thanks to their enormous potential, reached the highest peaks in development, and this affords us an enormous sense of pride.
How did our ancestors manage to reach such heights? First of all, they carried the banner of enlightenment in the fight against ignorance, directed all their intellectual and spiritual potential to the study and enrichment of the scientific achievements of mankind.
It should be admitted with regret that we sometimes treat such a rich heritage only as historical facts. We allow for carelessness and indifference when it comes to practical implementation of these incomparable riches. After all, only a few peoples have such a unique heritage. The whole world admires rare scientific manuscripts, more than 100 thousand of which are kept in the funds of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan alone. This huge academic and spiritual legacy should always stay with us, give us strength and inspiration. First of all, it is essential that the national education system be permeated with it. Our scientists and specialists, respected ulama, in an accessible and attractive form, must convey this invaluable knowledge to our youth.
In this regard, the Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Innovative Development, the Muslim Board, the International Islamic Academy, the Center for Islamic Civilization should develop measures to prepare, on a fundamental basis, and publish, study and widely popularize the works of our great scientists and thinkers. Deputy Prime Minister Behzod Musayev is tasked with organizing this work.
I would like to dwell on one more important issue: unfortunately, in the second half of the 16th century, Central Asia was drawn into internal wars, friction, and power struggles. Civil strife, localism intensified, ignorance began to take root instead of enlightenment. As a result, the period of prosperity and development gave way to socio-political and economic decline. The torch of scientific thought began to fade. It was this situation that became the reason for the colonization of the land.
Like many representatives of the intelligentsia, I think with great regret that in the twentieth century, our outstanding ancestors – the Jadids, educators – could have brought about a new Renaissance in the country. After all, these profoundly enlightened, selfless individuals devoted themselves to the idea of national revival, directed all their strength and abilities to rescuing the country out of darkness and backwardness, to free the people from the shackles of ignorance. And for this great goal they sacrificed their own lives.
Their life credo was, as the sacred hadith goes, “there cannot be any other salvation except knowledge”. They believed that national independence, development and prosperity could be achieved only through enlightenment, deep mastery of secular and spiritual knowledge, modern sciences and professions.
At that time, Abdulla Avloni, Mahmudkhoja Behbudi, Munavvarkori Abdurashidkhonov, Ubaydulla Khojaev, Abdurauf Fitrat, Iskhok-khon Ibrat, Abdulhamid Chulpan, Abdulla Kadiri, Ashurali Zohiri, Hoji Muin and hundreds of other figures were in the forefront of the national revival and national movement. Along with the creation of schools of a new type, they published newspapers and magazines, organized printing houses, libraries and theaters in order to change the worldview and way of life.
Sadly, the situation and the social order at that time did not allow the Jadids to achieve these noble goals. They were slandered by representatives of local radical and dark forces. At first they were persecuted by the tsarist government, then they were repressed by the Soviet regime. The idea of national revival remained at that time an unattainable dream of our people.
The scientific and educational, literary and artistic legacy of the Jadids is of great importance to us today.
I would like to draw your attention to one example.
The great educator Mahmudkhoja Behbudi, whose 145th anniversary is celebrated this year, once spoke of the need to know not two, but four languages. This appeal of Behbudi still sounds relevant today.
Today I signed a decree on awarding a group of compatriots in connection with the Teachers and Mentors Day. With deep satisfaction I would like to note that among these compatriots, Abdulla Avloni, Mahmudkhoja Behbudi and Munavvarkori Abdurashidkhonov were awarded the Order “Buyuk Khizmatlari Uchun” (For Great Service) for their dedication on the path to achieving independence of the Motherland, a free, well-organized and happy life of the people.
Currently, a decree is being drafted on the further in-depth study of the life and work of our ancestors who became victims of political repression during the totalitarian regime, including the Jadids, and perpetuation of their memory.
As popular wisdom says, the river of life does not stand still. Today, relying on the invaluable heritage of our people, we can rightfully say that we have every opportunity to create the foundation of a new Renaissance in Uzbekistan. It all depends on how wisely we use this unique potential.
From this point of view, I want to cite an example.
You all know that in the Karakul district there is a renowned school, which earned fame thanks to, if I may say so, the teacher from the Divine, Tukhtamurod Jumayev. The remarkable tutor, with his tireless search and novel learning methods, turned an ordinary rural school into an educational institution known throughout the nation. And this is despite the fact that, located in a remote steppe area of the Bukhara region, it did not boast any distinct conditions or opportunities.
Today, more than 95 percent of graduates from this school go to higher education institutions. Its students have won the largest number of medals in international subject Olympiads. Parents from other regions of the country, even from the capital Tashkent, send their children to that school in Karakul.
Considering the great achievements of the school, last year we transformed it into the International School of Mathematics.
A man of unique talent and enormous energy, Tukhtamurod Jumayev, like our Jadid ancestors, created a new type of school.
He is a real educator of our times, the modern-day Avloni, Behbudi, Munavvarkori!
To be sure, to achieve such high results in school there must be a special education system. But crucially, this success is based on the love of teachers for their profession and their devotion to the Motherland, their great sense of responsibility. At the school founded by Tukhtamurod Jumayev, every teacher treats students like their own children, a real creative and competitive atmosphere has been created there, and all this gives impressive results today.
In accordance with a presidential decree, for great achievements in the field of education and upbringing, his exemplary professional activity, Tukhtamurod Jumayev was awarded a high state award – the Order “Buyuk Khizmatlari Uchun”.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of our people and on my own behalf, I sincerely congratulate this outstanding pedagogue, all teachers and mentors who have been awarded state prizes.
Dear participants of the meeting, this raises a question: isn’t the Karakul school a real standard of a modern school? So why doesn’t the Ministry of Public Education properly popularize the unique experience of this educational institution? Why don’t directors of other schools follow his suit? Why has the Minister of Public Education, Sherzod Shermatov, not paid attention to this over the past three years?
Unfortunately, we are indifferent to this issue, as they say, we hardly value what we have at hand. One wonders why other regions do not have such educational institutions.
Today, we badly need hundreds of such schools, thousands of creative-minded teachers dedicated to their profession.
What can you say about this, dear hokims of regions and districts, who are representatives of the President on the ground? After all, it is the ancient cities and villages that you currently lead that gave the world many great scientists and thinkers. For example, Khorezm is the cradle of the Mamun Academy, the home of Muhammad Khorezmi, Samarkand is the homeland of Mirzo Ulugbek, Andijan is Babur, Ferghana for Ahmad Fergani.
In this regard, the Ministry of Public Education, together with heads of the regions, is instructed to take measures to create such schools in each district.
Certainly, you can build beautiful buildings for schools, equip them well. But can we fill them with modern knowledge and proper education?
The Cabinet of Ministers, together with relevant ministries and agencies, also needs to seriously work in this direction.
Today we have set ourselves a strategic task to create the foundation of the Third Renaissance, and we consider it as a national idea.
The systems of preschool, school, higher and secondary specialized education, scientific and cultural institutions are four interconnected links of the future Renaissance. We consider kindergarten educators, school teachers, professors and mentors, academic and creative intelligentsia to be the four critical pillars in the formation of the era of the new Renaissance.
I feel convinced that dear parents will support this initiative and, of course, will become the fifth link, the fifth pillar of the new Renaissance. And this will serve as the most solid backbone for the development of our spiritual and educational life.
Dear meeting participants!
You all may know well that unprecedented efforts are undertaken in Uzbekistan to develop the inextricably linked systems of preschool, school, higher education, and research institutions. However, it is no secret that before the start of the current reforms, the preschool education sector used to be left without attention. But it is dreadfully crucial in the life of society as the most important link in the upbringing of children. The care and significance attached to this area lays the basis for future progress. With this in mind, we have created, for the first time in our country, the Ministry of Preschool Education.
Today, new modern kindergartens are being built in cities and remote areas, kishlaks and auls. In a short time – within four years – the number of kindergartens in Uzbekistan grew threefold, from 5,200 to 14,200, while the degree of preschool education coverage of children increased from 28 to 54 percent. All these are concrete results of our practical actions.
Thanks to the introduction of public-private partnership mechanism into the sphere, 7,400 private nursery schools for more than 223 thousand kids have been established. For this purpose, soft loans were allocated in the amount of 1 trillion 850 billion soums. About 20 thousand new jobs were also created in the sphere.
As we can see, the initial results are not bad. But we still have a lot to do in this direction.
It is necessary to further develop public-private partnerships, to bring the share of the non-state sector to 75 percent, and increase the coverage of children to more than 80 percent.
The current system of training, retraining and advanced training of personnel for kindergartens does hardly meet contemporary requirements. The issue of introducing modern forms of education, new pedagogical and information technologies into the system of preschool education remains acute.
In order to fulfill these important tasks in the preschool education system, the Cabinet of Ministers should adopt an appropriate resolution within two months.
Our people have always treated teachers and mentors with great reverence and respect. There is a deep meaning in the proverb “A teacher is like father”. The time has come to affirm this truth not only on paper, but also in practice, to boost the authority of teachers and mentors.
You well understand the reason why I am talking about this.
For many years the teacher’s work has barely received enough attention, and this truth should not be hidden. As a result, educators had become the most vulnerable segment of society. The main tasks of teachers remained on the sidelines, the practice of engaging them in work that was far from professional activity was widespread. Frankly speaking, the teachers now have a lot of ‘bosses’. All this had a negative impact not only on the quality of education, but also on the attitude of the representatives of the sphere to their profession. It is known how many experienced teachers, not able to endure humiliation, were forced to give up what they loved.
It is no secret that not so long ago teachers, and sometimes schoolchildren, had to pick cotton for almost four months and were involved in other field work. A teacher, who had to lead lessons for 80 hours a month, used to lose 320 hours in four months, respectively, a student who had 136 hours of classes a month used to lose 544 academic hours in four months.
And how much will it be if we multiply these numbers by eleven years? Of the 8.5 thousand hours allocated for mastering the curriculum in senior grades, about 3 thousand hours or almost 30 percent were spent in the field on forced labor. In other words, the child actually studied for only 7 years instead of 11.
Today, such negative phenomena are a thing of the past. This was achieved thanks to the real implementation of market mechanisms in the agricultural sector. The activity of farms is intensifying, the transition to a cluster system is in progress.
Over the past four years, the monthly salary of school teachers has been increased one and a half times. A growing number of teachers and mentors are being nominated for state awards. Excessive paper reporting has also dropped sharply.
Think for yourself, could we have imagined such transformation just four years ago?
Thanks to the growing attention to educators paid in society, nearly 15,000 male teachers have returned to schools. However, it should be noted that we have not yet achieved the intended results. Currently, about 70 percent of teachers in the public education system are women.
All of us, mentally returning to school years, first of all remember the demanding and at the same time kind class tutors (teachers assigned to one particular class as overall guides). Our every step and action used to be within the field of vision and care of the class tutor. It was they who gave us the first parting words in adulthood.
In this regard, we are considering measures to adequately stimulate the hard and responsible work of class tutors. In particular, from October 1 this year, the amount of the allowance for 242 thousand class teachers will rise one and a half times. Additional funds in the amount of more than 400 billion soums will be allocated annually for these purposes.
For the first time, in accordance with the above-mentioned decree, 14 class teachers were awarded orders and medals of our country.
In order to develop the pedagogical and psychological skills of teachers, it is necessary to organize separate courses for the training of class tutors at the regional institutes for advanced training under the Ministry of Public Education.
It is gratifying today to see that the honor and dignity, the authority of teachers and mentors are being restored in our society. I should especially note that this remains our most important and urgent task, and we would like to see its implementation become the cause for the entire society.
As far as we give in-depth knowledge to children at school, the branches of our economy based on high technologies will develop, and social problems will be addressed adequately. From this point of view, if I say that the New Uzbekistan starts from the doorstep of the school, then, I am sure, all our people will agree with this.
Taking into account the future development of the country and in order to bolster the authority and influence of teachers and mentors in our life, I propose to legislate their status. The law should guarantee the creation of all the necessary conditions for the full realization of their potential in the learning process, as well as measures for their social, legal, material support. In particular, it is necessary to clearly define the status of the school director, deputy director, class tutor, and teacher.
The criteria for the payment of allowances to teachers and their incentives should be completely revised. Indeed, in practice, this issue remains very complex and requires unnecessary paperwork. I think it is advisable to revise and repeal most of the outdated by-laws in the field.
It is necessary to firmly establish that the rights of teachers are protected by the state, and illegal interference in their professional activities, their engagement in other work may become basis for prosecution.
The law should also define the requirements for school principals, their main tasks and criteria for assessing their performance, the order of accountability.
On a competitive basis, candidates with the best program for the development of a particular educational institution for the next 5 years will be able to take the position of the school director. At the end of each year, the headmaster submits to the local Kengash a report on the results of the program, and the people’s representatives give an objective assessment of his/her activities. Disciplinary action against the school principal and his/her dismissal should also be agreed with the local Kengash.
At the same time, I ask the members of parliament to take special control over the system of work of local Kengashes with schools and to contribute to this process. It would be advisable for both houses of the Oliy Majlis to devise appropriate measures to further strengthen interaction with secondary schools within two months.
In the next two years, we need to double the expenses of material and technical support for schools, fully outfit them with modern equipment and visual aids.
Unfortunately, at present, the role of the heads of district and town departments of public education is not felt in the sphere, their powers are mainly limited to control over economic activities and the use of penalties. And the work directly related to the quality of education has faded into the background. Life itself demands to reconsider the role of these leaders in the system and to raise their status. From now on, the heads of local public education departments will work as advisers to the hokim on educational issues, be located in the building of the hokimiyat and be granted appropriate powers.
I propose to set up a separate fund in districts and towns to develop the education sector.
The funds will be used to stimulate active leaders of exemplary schools, as well as methodologists of public education departments.
The Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance within a month should prepare a draft resolution on the establishment of this fund and the formation of its financial sources.
In our country, the development of school education has become a national movement, a new stage has begun in reforming the sphere.
The practical embodiment of this was the construction of 77 new schools for 556 billion soums over the past two years. Reconstruction and repairs were carried out in 1,930 such institutions. In rural schools, homemade stoves that have existed until today are completely replaced. Hundreds of schools now have improved power supply, drinking water and heating systems, canteens, gyms and other facilities. About 6 thousand schools are connected to high-speed Internet. At the same time, opportunities are opening up for the private education system. The procedure for issuing a license has been simplified. Over the past three years, private schools have increased 6 times, their total number has reached 140 today, which certainly deserves attention.
Work is actively continuing on the creation of Presidential and creative schools completely new in content and form.
Decisions have been adopted on the development of education in such disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, biology. Accordingly, in each district and city, schools will be created in stages, specializing in the study of these disciplines. We started the work by opening of 56 schools this year with mathematics and 27 schools with chemistry and biology specialization.
Certification in mathematics, chemistry, biology, information systems and computer science is being introduced. In order to expand the system for assessing the knowledge of gifted students and teachers, it is necessary to introduce certification in other basic subjects.
We also opened Muhammad Khorezmi specialized school for information and communication technologies in Tashkent. To amplify the interest of schoolchildren in information technologies and create conditions for training qualified specialists from among them, 14 schools specializing in information and communication technologies will be opened this year, 82 next year, 64 in 2022, and 45 schools in 2023, by training in them we will reach children from all regions and cities of the country.
In order to facilitate the work of teachers and rationalize it, next year we will complete work on the digitalization of education and begin to implement such systems as Online School, Digital Safe School, Electronic Textbook, and Electronic Evaluation Diary. By the end of 2020, the extent of school broadband Internet connection will be brought to 70 percent, and in the future, all 100 percent of schools will have access to the global network. Funds will be allocated for this from the national budget.
A system of incentives for the winners of discipline Olympiads and their teachers has been established. Previously, the winners who won a gold or silver medal and their teachers used to be awarded, at best, a certificate of honor. Now they are rewarded with bonuses in the millions of soums. I would especially like to note that this incentive system is already yielding positive results.
It is gratifying that despite the pandemic, our youth takes an active part in international subject Olympiads with prize winning results. In particular, this year 28 of our gifted students have earned 2 gold, 8 silver, 15 bronze medals and 3 diplomas at the Olympiads.
In order to raise this work to a qualitatively new level, it is necessary to strengthen the activity on subject Olympiads of the Department for Work with Gifted Youth under the Ministry of Public Education and to appoint the first deputy minister responsible for this issue.
Presidential and creative schools, established to form a completely new system in the field of education, should also become a model for all general education schools. Unfortunately, in this regard, there is no sense of initiative on the part of the Agency for the Development of Presidential, Creative and Specialized Schools.
At the same time, in order to achieve the set goals, it is necessary to increase the responsibility of schools. This is the imperative of the times. Today’s rapidly changing life requires from each of us a constant search, proactive work.
Meanwhile, even 10 percent of graduates in many schools cannot get admitted to universities, parents are forced to hire tutors and pay money to prepare their children for further studies.
The question arises: why does the tutor cope with the task in just two years, and schools, teaching children for 11 years, cannot achieve such results?
I think these issues should concern every school team, every director and conscientious teacher.
The school will now be accountable to the public. Its graduate must either enter a higher educational institution, or find a profession while still at school. It is on the basis of these criteria that the performance of the school staff and its principal will be assessed.
Today, every teacher, educator, university lecturer must have deep knowledge and a broad worldview, actively master the latest achievements of science, education and introduce them into the educational process, in a word, must be an advanced representative of our time and society.
Children educated by such teachers will grow up as a generation capable of building the wonderful future of Uzbekistan, which we all dream of. However, for this we need to solve the problems existing in the education system.
Fair criticism is caused by the complexly compiled methods of teaching the exact and natural sciences, the lack of a connection between theory and practice, the sequence of curricula, and the unsatisfactory content and quality of textbooks. The current educational standards and curricula are mainly aimed at preparing the students for the next stage of education, at the same time, the issue of developing their free thinking, preparing for an independent life is left without attention. To eliminate such shortcomings, it is imperative, with the participation of foreign experts and experienced teachers, to devise a draft National Program for General Education and test it during the current academic year in research and educational institutions.
In general education schools there is no system of experimental testing of textbooks, educational and methodological collections and their expertise with the participation of foreign specialists. The issue of streamlining the process of developing and publishing school textbooks remains relevant.
In this regard, on the basis of modern requirements, it is crucial to radically revise and improve the activities of the Republican Education Center. Deputy Prime Minister Behzod Musaev needs to take personal control over the coordination of the Center’s work and its activities.
It is essential to introduce a system of identifying the interests and abilities of children in primary school and their subsequent education in specialized classes. To do this, the Ministry of Public Education, the State Inspectorate for Control over the Quality of Education, starting from the next academic year, should introduce into practice such a selection and direction of 4-graders to study in target disciplines.
Currently, the extent of provision of educational institutions with pedagogical personnel with higher education is 87 percent. Many schools, especially in remote areas, lack qualified teachers in a number of subjects. In this respect, the issue of training teachers should always remain in the center of our attention.
The leaders of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and the city of Tashkent need to work closely with the pedagogical universities and institutes operating in their territories. The realm of personal control of the heads of regions should include issues of providing mortgage and consumer loans to professors and teachers of universities, strengthening their health, organizing recreation in sanatoriums and resorts. We pay attention to all specialists in the field, whether they are farmers or engineers, representatives of other professions, many organizations have those who take them under their care and provide support. Only teachers and pedagogical universities lack it.
I repeat once again: hokims will personally deal with this issue from now on.
Today, it is of decisive importance to constantly improve the knowledge and skills of workers in all spheres. At the same time, the system of retraining and advanced training of teaching staff does not meet modern requirements.
The Abdulla Avloni Institute for Retraining and Advanced Training of Executives and Specialists of the Public Education System operates under the Ministry of Public Education. Unfortunately, it hardly corresponds to the high name assigned to it. We are forced to admit that the important ideas put forward and successfully implemented by the great educator, the development of modern educational methods, barely find practical embodiment in the activities of the institute.
We need to critically review the entire system of advanced training for school principals and teachers. In this regard, it is required to radically reorganize the activities of the Abdulla Avloni Institute.
This institution, together with regional pedagogical universities and institutes, should pay special attention to improving the qualifications of heads of public education departments and school principals, creating modern teaching methods, as well as distance learning issues.
To promote competition in the field, the time has come to engage non-state educational institutions in the retraining and advanced training system. The cost of such training will be allocated from the national budget.
It is essential to envisage the abolition of the requirement of compulsory advanced training for those teachers whose activities serve as an example, and to evaluate it directly according to the level of knowledge of students. Teachers whose students have become winners of international subject Olympiads should be assigned the highest qualification category without unnecessary formalities.
A new mechanism for retraining and advanced training of public education system representatives will be introduced. From now on, teachers will not waste time on trips to training centers, they will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills remotely. Also, a system will be organized on the principle of “mentor – student”, which will improve the quality of education and provide practical assistance in the continuous professional development of teachers. This activity will be adequately stimulated.
In order to fill the shortage of teachers in schools in such disciplines as computer science, chemistry, foreign languages, it is planned to organize short-term courses for young people studying in non-pedagogical universities.
Speaking about boosting the level of knowledge and qualifications of teachers and mentors, I think it is necessary to dwell on one more issue, which is becoming increasingly important for our society.
Tell me where do the teachers receive methodological help to work on themselves, to raise their knowledge and skills? Naturally, from books, manuals related to the field, special pedagogical publications.
Regrettably, in recent years, having gotten rid of the “forced subscription” to newspapers and magazines, we were left without a voluntary subscription. As a result, school teachers and university professors lost the opportunity to read the newspapers and magazines they needed. We came to such a sad conclusion that some leaders even started bragging about not reading newspapers.
As you know, Japan is considered one of the leading countries with highly developed computer technologies. Newspapers in that country are published in 3-4 million copies.
I want to emphasize that along with radio, television and the Internet, print media also play an important role in our life.
Today, their delivery to educational institutions, teachers and professors has become a serious problem. The system of distribution of printed publications and the postal service absolutely does not correspond to modern requirements.
In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers is urged to develop within a month and implement measures to support the activities of print media, in particular, to provide schools and universities with publications necessary for pedagogical work, to replenish their libraries with educational literature and fiction.
As part of the implementation of the Five Initiatives, effective work is being carried out to identify the abilities of students, organize their meaningful leisure. The focus of our attention should remain the continuation of practical work in this direction, the further development of the activities of hobby clubs, especially in music and art, information technology, and sports sections, strengthening the work on arming them with essential tools and equipment.
We all know that today, amid globalization, consolidation of the national idea and spiritual and moral immunity in society, the protection of the young generation from the negative influence of harmful ideas and various challenges, the nurturing of a harmoniously developed youth devoted to the Motherland, possessing independent thinking and firm by the will. It is for this purpose that the subject Ethical Enlightenment is introduced for the first time in general education schools.
The work of Abdulla Avloni “Turkiy Guliston yohud ahlok” (The Turkic Gulistan or ethical behavior), created on the basis of the centuries-old values of our people, has not lost its significance today as a unique educational guide. Such important works must be effectively used in the development of the theoretical foundations of the discipline Ethical Enlightenment.
As you may know, at a videoconference session held a year ago, we defined the development of public education as a nationwide goal and a nationwide movement. As part of this movement, leaders at all levels and their deputies were aasigned schools. Hokims for some time seemed to go to schools, which was even shown on television. But that was all over, schools were soon forgotten.
I repeat: a government executive who fails to visit school, to live by caring for it and the younger generation cannot meet contemporary requirements.
Currently, serious institutional reforms are being carried out in agriculture. Conditions are being created under which hokims now can deal with agricultural issues only 10-15 percent of their working time. And the rest of the time they should devote to solving social problems, primarily the development of education and upbringing, spirituality.
By the way, each hokim or his/her deputy knows all farmers by name. But do they know the principals, the best class tutors and teachers? What hokim can we consider today an example in this regard? Unfortunately, there is no answer.
The hokim of each region, district, town must devote one day a week to school.
We must consider school problems priority ones. School is not only a place of learning, it is designed to become for all of us a hotbed of high spirituality, where the younger generation learns from childhood the basics of science and the foundations of profession.
You all know that a network of new type educational institutions has been functioning in the vocational education system starting from this academic year. In the near future, 725 such vocational education institutions will start operating – vocational schools, colleges and technical schools. More than 200 thousand young people will study there under educational programs that meet the requirements of today.
The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education should develop a program for training personnel in accordance with the requirements of the international labor market, for improving the content and quality of vocational education. And executives in regions should seriously think about providing decent work for graduates – young specialists.
Today, the world’s leading institutions of higher education are at the same time major research centers. Based on this, we are carrying out reforms in the country’s higher education system. We are opening new universities, branches of famous foreign universities.
So, over the past four years, 47 new higher educational institutions have been opened, including branches of foreign universities, the total number of universities in the country today is 125.
On the basis of the system of public-private partnership, the activities of non-state higher educational institutions are being established. Having studied the opinions of the population, we have restored the forms of evening and correspondence education, and the enrollment quotas are increasing. The enrollment rate for high school graduates has grown from 9 percent in 2016 to 25 percent in 2020, and we need to continue to work in this direction.
A mechanism has been created that provides advanced training and training for professors and teachers in foreign universities and research institutions. The size of their monthly wages compared to 2018 increased by an average of 2.5 times. From this year, 10 universities have switched to self-financing.
In the meantime, it should be noted that a number of problems remain in the field of higher education. What are they? What measures are needed to eliminate them?
First of all, the development of public-private partnerships, the organization of non-state higher educational institutions, especially in the regions, is slowly progressing in the sphere.
For example, in the Ferghana region, universities are being created in cooperation with South Korea, and together with Malaysia in the Khorezm region. Why is this work not being done in other regions as well?
It should also be recognized that the level of knowledge and qualifications of many graduates does not meet the requirements of the labor market. Local educational institutions have an extremely low level of implementation of the results of innovative and scientific activities. The share of teachers with academic degree is on average 37 percent in the field. Such an indicator cannot satisfy us. And in the regions it is even lower.
The extent of equipment of scientific laboratories of universities, the use of information and communication technologies also remains low.
Today, during a pandemic, it has become especially obvious that we do not have enough scientific knowledge in the field of health, as well as in other areas. We must all draw appropriate conclusions from this.
The mission of the higher education system is not only to educate. Our universities and institutes should be active in research, engage young people in scientific inquiry, and implement major projects. In order to further develop science in higher educational institutions, it is vital to triple the number of projects implemented within the framework of scientific and technical programs, and quadruple the quota of admission to doctoral studies.
Today we all witness that the development of digital economy is the most pressing issue in the world. Our economy needs modern specialists with broad knowledge and qualifications in the field of information technology, and able to use them effectively. Deeply aware of the importance of this issue, we must strive to achieve these goals.
If we don’t do this work today, it will be too late tomorrow.
The Cabinet of Ministers needs to develop a separate program for the implementation of these priority tasks.
As you remember, on 30 December 2016, we met with academicians. That was my first meeting as the head of state.
At that time, the Academy of Sciences was shrouded in problems, the last elections were held in 1995. As a result, over the past period, the number of academicians had halved, bringing their number down to 63.
We took essential practical steps to reanimate the Academy, so to speak, and return it to healthy, full-fledged activities. 32 new academicians were elected, a system of financing the Academy of Sciences from the national budget was established. The activities of a number of research institutes and centers have been restored. Thus, 40 scientific laboratories are outfitted with modern equipment. For these purposes, the institutes of the Academy of Sciences alone were allocated about 300 billion soums.
We strive to radically increase the role and importance of science in our society, expand the conditions and opportunities for researchers. At the same time, it should be noted that many tasks and assignments identified at that meeting have not lost their relevance, and we are all responsible for their full implementation.
The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, the Ministry of Innovative Development must submit, within a month, a draft concept for the development of science sphere in Uzbekistan through to 2030.
I am convinced that our esteemed scholars, worthily continuing the traditions of great ancestors, will turn science into a driver of the national development, and the important discoveries they have made will serve the country’s progress.
We all know that unless the consciousness and worldview of people change, society will not change either. Without transformation in society there will be no other positive results, there will be no progress.
Undoubtedly, the main force that changes the thinking and outlook of a person is, first of all, teachers and mentors, university professors, scientists, culture, literature and arts.
Our society needs new thinking and new ideas, most importantly, new specialists capable of spearheading the reforms.
To be sure, thanks to the tremendous effort of our people, the dedication of teachers and mentors, a lot of work has been undertaken to radically modernize the education system. But we all understand that these are only the first steps towards achieving grand goals.
We are all witnessing how quickly time changes and puts forward ever new urgent and complex tasks before the education system, along with other areas. We must create a world-competitive national education system. To this end, the focus of our constant attention will continue to be the bolstering the material and technical base and personnel potential of educational institutions, the improvement of textbooks and teaching aids based on modern requirements, the optimization of curricula and standards, a gradual increase in the wages of sphere representatives, a well-deserved evaluation of their difficult labor.
Today, first of all, I want to appeal to educators, to all compatriots: dear friends, if we sincerely strive, act in harmony and decisively, we will be able to achieve the highest of ends. We are a people with an ancient history and rich culture, with great spiritual potential. We have the longing for science in our blood, it is in our genes.
We all understand perfectly well that the creation of foundation for a new Renaissance is not even a matter of several years. This requires hundreds, thousands of talented specialists, selfless individuals.
The talent granted by the Almighty needs care, if conditions are not created in time, any talent can fade away. We are well aware of this.
Let’s remember the era of the Temurids, Ghaznavis, Khorezmshahs, Navoi. If at that time the state did not provide attention and patronage, the creative environment would not have formed, the genius of the great ancestors would not have been able to manifest so brightly and at such a high level.
Today our state directs all efforts and resources to the development of science, education and training, culture. We will create all the necessary conditions for this.
Some people may think – why talk about this during a pandemic? Anyone who looks at life so narrowly is wrong. Today or tomorrow, the coronavirus pandemic will become a thing of the past.
In March, when the disease just grew into contagion, we set ourselves the task of overcoming this challenge with dignity and becoming even stronger. Today we are consistently moving towards this goal. Like our great ancestors, we must set ourselves large-scale, ambitious goals and use all opportunities for their achievement and effective realization.
Taking this opportunity, I consider it appropriate to draw your attention to one thought that I expressed in my Address to the Oliy Majlis earlier this year:
The greatest wealth is reason and science, the greatest inheritance is a good upbringing, the greatest poverty is lack of knowledge.
Indeed, the new era of the Renaissance, the foundation of which we are laying with the kindest of thoughts and great hopes, will contribute to the creation of such enormous wealth in our country, delivery of decent life for the people and the formation of an invaluable heritage for future generations.
I am confident that, relying on the tremendous intellectual and spiritual potential, moral strength and noble qualities of our people, we will certainly further our great goals.
Dear teachers and mentors!
In the construction of the new Uzbekistan – a well-off and prosperous democratic country, we are like-minded with you, esteemed teachers, professors and instructors, and you are the most important support for me on this path.
As President, I consider it my sacred duty to deliver everything essential to support and develop your exceptionally important activities, to ensure decent work and life for you.
Once again, I sincerely congratulate you on the wonderful holiday, wishing you all sound health, every success in your noble and responsible work, harmony and happiness to your families.
May the love and respect of your children and students, of all our people always accompany you!
Thank you for attention.