High Schools in Tajikistan Continue Experiencing Acute Shortage of Teachers

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Radio Liberty reports that countries in Central Asia face a shortage of teachers, schools, and textbooks, except for Turkmenistan, which struggles to find pupils.

RFE/RL notes that Tajikistan’s population has skyrocketed to more than 10 million people in recent years and 2.2 million schoolchildren reported for school on September 1.  Officials reportedly claimed the government constructed 312 new schools and nurseries in preparation for the new academic year. But the education system is reportedly some 4,000 teachers short of the total needed.

Muhammadsodiq Abdurazzoqov, an expert on education in Tajikistan, is unhappy with new schools.

“Magnificent schools are being opened, but there are no worthy teachers in them,” he said in an interview with RFE/RL.

Abdurazzoqov reportedly also expressed concern about recruiting young graduates to teach in schools.  “When a university graduate comes to school to complete an internship and does not even understand the curriculum of an elementary school, then what can he or she teach to schoolchildren as a teacher?”

Recall, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Ziyodullo Abdulzoda, told reporters in Dushanbe on August 1 that schools in Tajikistan are continuing to experience an acute shortage of teachers of chemistry, physics and mathematics.

According to him, Tajikistan now has 3,434 teaching vacancies.

Abdulzoda said a special commission had been set up at the Ministry of Education and Science to tackle the problem of shortage of high school teachers in the country.

“4,347 people have already been competitively selected and after appropriate procedures they will be sent to work with schools,” Abdulzoda noted.

According to data from the Ministry of Education and Sciences (MoES), 3,967 highs schools now operate in Tajikistan.

126,354 teachers reportedly work with them; 81,822 of them are women. 

A total number of school students in Tajikistan is 2,232,114 people, with 1,079,197 of them being girls.

This year, 260,000 children in Tajikistan started school at grade 1 on September 1, which is 60,000 children more than last academic year.

Some experts warn that the shortage of teachers in Tajikistan is largely influenced by emigration.  Many teachers have left the country seeking better employment opportunities and many specialists do not want to work with schools because of low monthly wages in the education sector. 

Situation in high school sector has become critical across Tajikistan.  High schools, which were already straining to deliver an acceptable education, are being decimated by the teacher exodus.

Many teachers in Tajikistan reportedly quit over the summer to search for work in Russia, and Tajik schools are currently experiencing an acute shortage of teachers.

Teachers’ salaries were always horribly low in Tajikistan but living costs have soared since the pandemic began.

Tajik teachers leaving for Russia seeking better employment opportunities mainly work as street cleaners or delivery workers.

Source: Asia Plus