Uzbekistan: Teenager Death Prompts Education Reforms
The death of a young college student earlier this month has shocked Uzbekistan into greater awareness about the scale of bullying in the nation’s schools and energized the agenda for comprehensive reforms to the education system.
Zhasur Ibragimov was savagely beaten on May 3 by fellow pupils at a medical college in Tashkent and died of complications from his injuries several weeks later. The furor sparked by that grim episode is still dominating the public conversation — and in ways unusual for a country where debate about state policy has traditionally been strongly discouraged.
In the days after the 18-year old’s death, which occurred on June 1, members of the public embarked on a petition campaign to press the president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to take a direct role in bringing the culprits to justice.
The impact has been even greater than many could have expected. As the wave of indignation intensified, the suspected attackers were arrested. Authorities provided bulletins on the progress of their investigations, which is also unusual.
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