Despite some progress, Tajikistan, a post-soviet emerging nation, faces several obstacles today as a result of poor performance from its education system. Compulsory education in Tajikistan (primary and lower secondary) is free for all children, but, according to the Global Partnership for Education, there are many issues with the education system. Issues include problems with curriculum, minimal teaching and learning resources, deficient learning environments and an “insufficient use of the information system for decision-making and strategic planning.”
Like many other countries, Tajikistan has taken an initiative to solve these issues through the adoption of The National Strategy for Education Development (NSED). The NSED, which will continue until 2020, was approved by the Government in July of 2012. The strategy is separated into three general goals consisting of specific actions to be taken in the near future. The goals are: changing the structure of education, implementing a structural adjustment of the education system and business mechanisms and ensuring equal access to quality education.
While these goals are vague and appear to be far off, the strategy also outlines specific steps for following through with the developmental plan. For example, in the past, education in Tajikistan was based on a knowledge-based model. Part of the “structural” change to education will be constructing the system on a competency-based model instead.
Additionally, in order to implement a structural adjustment of education and business mechanism (another overarching goal), the NSED specifies introducing more early education programs. This would also allow students the liberty to choose which supplementary classes they would prefer to take. Additionally, it discusses “establishing a national education quality monitoring system for all levels” in order to implement these “adjustments.”
In terms of guaranteeing equal access to quality education, the NSED specifies greater access to education for children with disabilities and special needs. It will also ensure that minority students receive education in their native language. Furthermore, there will be a greater focus on providing incentives and means for girls to continue their education beyond the compulsory years.
In Tajikistan, the management of education is a task shared across all levels of government. The federal government takes charge of overall planning, the Ministry of Education monitors state policies and standards and establishes the curriculum. Meanwhile, the local governments supervise primary and secondary education. These levels of government must work together to follow through with the NSED if they wish to achieve its goals by 2020.
– Melanie Snyder