When it comes to education, Tajik officials are willing to cite statistics, no mater how dire. Indeed, the education sector is one of Tajikistan’s few trouble spots that President Imomali Rahmon discusses openly.
“Along with all our achievements [in education], there are lots of problems, mainly the lack of professionals,” Rahmon said at a school opening in September, the state news agency reported.
The commencement of the academic year saw 3,780 schools welcome roughly 1.6 million school-age children. Included in those figures were 184 new schools capable of educating 35,000 students, local media outlets reported. That’s a substantial achievement for a country as economically hard-pressed as Tajikistan. But the education sector is still struggling to keep pace with the expanding number of students. More serious than the lagging pace of school construction is a shortage of qualified teachers.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.