Uzbekistan, at 30 million, is the most populous country in Central Asia. Uzbekistan was once a part of the Soviet Union, but since the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Uzbekistan’s economy has been challenged by the sudden transition to independence. Due to the economic and social challenges caused by this transition, access to education in Uzbekistan has been difficult. Here are five facts about education in Uzbekistan:
1. The population of Uzbekistan is 26.5 million. Twelve percent of Uzbekistan’s Gross Domestic Product is spent on education. This is the highest spending on education in Central Asia.
2. In 2006, a study focusing on education in Uzbekistan was given to a sample of students and it was discovered that only 30 percent were considered proficient in mathematics and 30 percent proficient in literacy.
3. Education in Uzbekistan is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 18. The average enrollment rate in Uzbekistan’s primary schools is 97 percent while the rate of transition from primary to secondary school is at 100 percent.
4. There is no gender gap in Uzbekistan’s schools — boys and girls are offered equal access to education in Uzbekistan.
5. Despite the social and economic turmoil in Uzbekistan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, while re-building the country, the Uzbekistan government has made educational reforms a priority.
In the future, Uzbekistan is seeking to further improve the education it offers its citizens. Planned reforms for education in Uzbekistan include providing greater access to education for all children in Uzbekistan, improving school evaluations and working conditions for teachers, instating a better program to keep track of which children are and are not enrolled in school and developing “second chance schooling” for students who drop out but then return.
— Lily Tyson