In Turkmenistan large-scale work is under way in order to modernize the national educational system, develop university science and raise it to the level of the developed states.
Science and education are what the people accumulated for thousands of years and passed it down from generation to generation, this is our priceless heritage, the President noted.
The “Law on Education” was adopted in the framework of the large scale support given by the state. The intensive construction of new children’s preschool establishments, secondary schools and higher educational institutions is carried out throughout the country. The latest information and communication technologies have been introduced into the educational system in order to improve the quality and effectiveness of the teaching process. Schools and universities have been equipped with modern computers and multimedia tools of teaching.
A significant event held in 2019 was the International Exhibition and Scientific Conference "Education and Sport." Particular emphasis was placed on the use of the latest technologies and the implementation of digitalization trends in the field of education. The pavilions were designed as futuristic cabins that sent guests to the future of science. The forum brought together about 120 representatives of ministries, leading educational, sports institutions, international organizations, reputable universities, doctors of sciences, and professors.
On February 26, the 18th meeting of the EU-Turkmenistan Joint Committee was held in the capital of Belgium, where the headquarters of the European Union is located. The agenda focused on the improvement of ties in various fields that were considered during the development of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia.
The key vector of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the EU is the scientific and educational sphere. Taking into account the tasks in the field of training highly qualified specialists, the Turkmen side, within the framework of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia, proposed to strengthen this area, including primary, secondary and higher professional education. It is also advisable to intensify exchanges between universities in Europe and Central Asian states, and internship programs for young professionals. Introducing international standards into the educational process, our country is increasing humanitarian cooperation with the UN.
This topic was also touched upon during the meeting of the Head of State with the deputy corps of the country on February 7, 2019. The President called the parliamentarians to work towards the implementation of new education standards and advanced teaching methods.
The Concept of Developing the Digital Education System is also aimed at the updating of this sphere, which provides all its levels with an electronic information base.
Particular importance is attached to the development of higher education, arranged to prepare highly professional personnel for various sectors of the national economy. In recent years, the number of students studying in domestic and foreign educational institutions has significantly increased in Turkmenistan, a number of new specialties have been introduced in the country's universities, and this process is continuing.
At the meeting held on June 12, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a number of documents, including the Decree “On the establishment of the Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics of Turkmenistan” in order to develop the digital economy and train highly qualified specialists who are well acquainted with the information and technological achievements.
The Head of State also decided to reorganize the Institute of Public Utilities into the Institute of Engineering, Technical and Transport Communications of Turkmenistan.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the Decree “On Renaming the National Institute of Sports and Tourism of Turkmenistan to the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports,” initiating its reorganization in order to further develop mass physical education and sport of the high achievements, improve the training methods for high-level specialists, masters of sports, qualified trainers.
The Head of State also signed the Decree “On Improving the Activities of the Turkmen State Institute of Culture” in order to combine training for the tourism industry with the sphere responsible for culture, which is consistent with the development trends of the global travel and leisure industry.
In addition, the Decree “On the approval of the structure of higher education institutions of Turkmenistan” was signed, which defines concrete measures to carry out the reforms taking into account the realities of the time, and to create a perfect training system of national personnel in accordance with the international standards.
In order to execute the Law of Turkmenistan on Education, the Head of the State signed the Resolution on March 24, 2018, having approved the following samples: certificate of secondary education, diploma of initial professional education, diploma of initial professional education with honours, diploma of secondary professional education, diploma of secondary professional education with honours, Bachelor’s diploma, Bachelor’s diploma with honours, Master’s diploma, Master’s diploma with honours, specialist’s diploma with high professional education, specialist’s diploma with high professional education with honours, diploma of further professional education, diploma of further professional education with honours, diploma of improvement of qualification.
The basis for development of education and science initiated and approved by the President of Turkmenistan includes the national programme for socio-economic development for 2018-2024, the programme of development of innovative work in 2015-2020, the programme of training of scientific personnel in Turkmenistan and others.
Turkmenistan steadily improves scientific, technical, innovative and technology cooperation with leading foreign organizations and centers. Today, cooperation with major scientific and educational centers of the world, international organizations and foundations has significantly expanded. Introducing the world standards into educational process, our country increases the collaboration in humanitarian sphere with the UN, European Union. Joint work is carried out with competent organizations working in Turkmenistan like the UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP and UNESCO. Our state positions itself in the world as one of the strong world powers that harmonically develops in all directions. New historical milestone of comprehensive progress of the country requires steadfast improvement of educational system together with other spheres of the economy.
Turkmenistan gained rich experience in education in the context of current demands. Construction of modern secondary professional and high education institutions provided with latest computers, study and technical equipment, interactive multimedia technologies as well as pre-school facilities and children recreation and health improving centres, expansion of cooperation with international organizations and leading scientific and international centres of the world, improvement of teaching foreign languages demonstrate special attention that the Government pays to fundamental reformation of this system.
Fulfilling the instructions of the Head of State on intensifying international partnership, national scientific and educational organizations and establishments raised the scientific and technical collaboration with Far East, Asia Pacific regions to a new level, including the profile centers of Middle and Near East, Europe and America. The election of Turkmenistan to the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development for the period of 2017-2020 is one of the achievements enhacing the reputation of our state on the international scientific and educational arena.
All conditions have been created in our country so that young people, having received an excellent education and upbringing, would worthily serve the country and the people. As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov notes in his speeches: "Our main task is to grow a highly educated generation of true patriots who know the history of the people, take pride in today's high achievements of their country and strive to multiply the glory of independent Turkmenistan."
Particular attention is paid to the construction of high school buildings and other educational institutions in the country equipped with modern equipment. By the beginning of the school year, the opening of five new secondary schools in the regions and a kindergarten in the capital was timed.
Another important event occurred on the first day of the school year at the Joint Turkmen-Russian Secondary School named after A.S. Pushkin in Ashgabat. A teleconference was held here with the Makhtumkuli Fraghi school in the village of Funtovo of Volga Region of Astrakhan Region of Russian Federation.
Quality modernization of educational sphere also introduced topical novelties in school timetable, which together with basic studies includes such disciplines as the bases of economy, cultural heritage of Turkmenistan, world culture, modeling and graphics, information, communication and innovative technologies.
Due to transfer to the 12 years of school education and in accordance of the Concept of developing digital education system prepared upon the instructions of the President of Turkmenistan, effective measures are realized including the hosting of seminars on digital management and programme support, creation of electronic educational information fund. The linkage of higher educational institutions to the single educational network is being implemented.
Decision on the expansion of the spectrum of foreign languages studied by the students was another important step in this direction. Educational institutions with deep study of English, French, German, Japanese and other languages successfully work in the country.
Yearly victories of Turkmen university and school students at prestigious contests in different disciplines became visual results of innovative changes in educational sphere.
The state competitions “Teacher of the Year” and “Educator of the Year” are organized on a permanent basis in the country by the Ministry of Education in assistance of the National Center of Trade Unions with the aim of creating opportunities for self-realization and unfolfing of the creative potential of teachers, enhancement of the prestige of their profession, and popularization of best practices.
From year to year, the number of students admitted to higher and secondary professional educational institutions of Turkmenistan is increasing. At the enlarged meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on July 5, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the Order on approving the plan for admission in the country's universities in the regions and the city of Ashgabat, as well as in secondary vocational schools in 2019. So, 12 thousand 242 young men and women became first year students. Compared to 2018, admission was increased by 3 thousand 392 student places, which were created due to the introduction of new specialties in a number of universities.
Thirty-three new directions of training specialists appeared in the existing higher educational institutions of the country. For the first time, students were recruited to the Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics of Turkmenistan.
Taking into account the needs of various sectors of the national economy for qualified personnel, the number of specialties in secondary vocational schools has increased. In the current academic year, 42 professional schools accepted 9 thousand 63 students.
Geography of foreign educational institutions where Turkmen youth gets the knowledge expands every year. Training of our compatriots abroad is also carried out under intergovernmental agreements by the assignment of the Ministry of Education, profile ministries and departments.
According to the Presidential Decree of February 19, 2019, the representatives of relevant universities were authorized to sign the Action Plans for the years 2019-2023 on the implementation of Memorandum of Understanding between the Turkmen State Institute of Architecture and Construction and the Bucharest Civil Engineering Technical University, as well as between the Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management and Bucharest University of Economic Studies.
The aforementioned Memorandums were concluded in October 2018, during the working visit of the Turkmen delegation to Romania composed of representatives of the Ministry of Education and rectors of higher educational institutions.
Then, on February 20, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the documents according to which representatives of the university faculty were sent to foreign countries to exchange experience with the colleagues from the Republic of Korea, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, Romania and the Republic of Austria.
On June 23, a working visit of the President of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation took place, within the framework of which a number of documents were signed. Three of them are between the leading higher educational institutions of two countries that once again confirms the important role of scientific and educational cooperation in Turkmen-Russian relations.
Many educational institutions of the country have established close partnerships with dozens of foreign educational institutions. Among them are Japanese universities.
The examples of successfully continuing fruitful contacts are: the Agreement on Academic Exchange and Cooperation between the University of Tsukuba and the Turkmen National Institute of World Languages named after D.Azadi, as well as the Agreement for Academic Exchange and Cooperation between the International University for Humanities and Development of Turkmenistan and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, signed in 2013 and 2015, as well as the collaboration between the Tsukuba University of Japan and Oguz Han Engineering and Technological University, where specialists from Japan teach.
Since 2016, as prescribed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Japanese language has been studied in twelve secondary schools and five higher educational institutions of our country.
For several years, Turkmen youth has been actively participating in Japan’s Friendship Ties Programs - MIRAI, which brings together representatives of the young generation from around the world and gives them the opportunity to exchange valuable experience in various applied types of scientific research.
In the 2018-2019 school year, thousands of young men and women from Turkmenistan became owners of student cards of prestigious universities of Russia, Belarus, China, Malaysia, Romania, Turkey, Croatia and other countries. At the same time, international universities of Turkmenistan also accepted students from around the world to study.
The qualifications of teachers who master advanced educational methods and informative technologies are also improved, while the international contacts of educational facilities of local and foreign countries are expanded. Having established close contacts with prestigious educational and scientific centres of Europe, Asia and America, Turkmenistan achieved considerable growth in the number of its students in these regions.