Tajikistan’s public schools are known to be among the poorest in the former Soviet Union. Yet a highly-regarded network of private schools run by a group with ties to an embattled Turkish cleric is facing closure. The schools are caught in the middle of political maneuvering between Tajikistan and Turkey, according to some analysts.
The network of six schools – which offer instruction in Turkish and English and are known locally as “Turkish schools” – are run by a locally registered company called Shalola. The government is holding up the renewal of Shalola’s license. Education Minister Nuriddin Saidzoda announced at a January 5 news conference. that the government would renew the license if the schools adopted a charitable operational model. Right now, tuition costs $133 per month, or $1,330 per academic year.
“This company may provide Tajikistan all the help it wants to on a charitable basis,” Saidzoda said.
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