Tajikistan: Saudis Give Loans to Build Schools, But Why?
Saudi Arabia has pledged to fund to build 66 schools in Tajikistan in a formidable gesture of soft power projection.
Asia-Plus news website reported on October 2 that the lower house of parliament has ratified a loan agreement with Saudi Arabia to provide $35 million toward the building of the general education schools.
Shortage of school places has for many years been an acute problem in Tajikistan. Even in Tajikistan, teachers at middle schools routinely find themselves with classrooms holding up to 40 students.
That the money to solve the problem should have come from Saudi Arabia has come as something of a surprise in view of the fact that the Tajik authorities have long been fighting a robust rearguard action against the perceived ascendancy of Islamic piety is society.
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