Tashkent: President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his Address to the Oliy Majlis and the people of Uzbekistan, noted that “improving the quality of education is the only correct way for the development of New Uzbekistan.”
Undoubtedly, this is one of the topical issues on the agenda of our country. After all, it is based on the issue of training highly qualified specialists capable of bringing Uzbekistan into the ranks of developed countries. In this regard, the fact that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted in his Address that education is “the most important investment in the New Uzbekistan” is of deep strategic importance.
According to the results of a linguistic content analysis conducted by experts from the Center for Economic Research and Reforms, a significant part of the presidential speech was devoted to the further development of the educational sphere. In particular, the words “education” and “school” became one of the most used words in the speech of the Head of State (25 and 23 times respectively).
Based on this, the following points can be formulated.
First, the analysis shows that the acceleration of globalization is further intensifying the competitive environment in all regions of the world.
In the modern world, intellectual and social capital occupies an increasingly important place in the development of states. In such conditions, only education based on the provision of modern high-quality knowledge ensures the competitiveness of the country. There is a growing demand for specialists with non-standard, creative and critical thinking, high intellectual potential. This is a continuous process directly related to improving the quality of education.
Secondly, it should be noted that the introduction of quality education and the achievement of high results require great responsibility and dedication not only from specialists in this field, but also from each member of society. In this sense, it is noteworthy that the Address emphasized the need to further improve the status of teachers and mentors, to enshrine the principles of protecting their honor and dignity in the Constitution of the country. Meanwhile, the Head of State put forward a kind of call for education to become a practical movement of the general public.
Thirdly, in recent years, the country has carried out profound reforms in the field of education.
As the President noted, the coverage of children with preschool education over the past 6 years has increased from 27% to 70%.
In the next 5 years, it is planned to increase this figure to 80% by creating another 600,000 jobs. According to the Ministry of Preschool Education (MPE), 20,242 private kindergartens were created in 2018-2022, which made it possible to provide an additional 502,631 jobs. Kindergartens, which started their activities on the basis of public-private partnerships, cover 603,389 children, of which 337,898 (56%) are children from families in need of social support.
Fourth, another important aspect outlined in the Address is a complete reform of school education from 2023 based on international educational programs. It was noted that separate scientific institutes and laboratories will be created in order to develop new textbooks, introduce advanced educational standards and methods in this area. Of course, achieving high results in education requires the creation of comfortable and modern conditions for students and teachers in schools. The Address paid special attention to this aspect, including the construction of 70 new schools in 2023, the expansion of 460 schools. At the same time, it was indicated that next year, with the participation of private investment, it is planned to begin construction of 100 schools, increasing them to 1,000 in the next five years.
Fifth, in his speech, the President noted that the quality of education is directly related to the fact that graduates have modern qualifications and professional skills. In this regard, it was pointed out that there is a need to effectively exploit the possibilities of more
700 existing vocational schools, colleges and technical schools. It was also noted that from 2023, according to the new program, European educational standards will be introduced in one of the technical schools in each region. In the next five years, such a system will cover all colleges and technical schools. It is noteworthy that in order to expand support for talented youth, special engineering schools in the field of the chemical industry, electrical engineering, transport and energy will also be organized. They are faced with the task of creating a system for training engineers of a new formation.
Sixth, the Message also spoke about the changes implemented in the field of higher education in a short period of time. It was noted that the number of universities in our country increased by 2.5 times (their total number reached 198), and the enrollment rate increased by more than 4 times (from 9 to 38 percent). At the same time, the emphasis was placed on the fact that, in order to increase their attractiveness, universities must act independently. Including rectors, professors and teachers should actively participate in these processes, introduce new, advanced methods.
In his speech, the President also noted that serious attention is paid to the development of science in the country. This is expressed in the following indicators: 1) 1.5 trillion soums were allocated for the development of science and innovation, and this figure is almost 6 times more than in 2017; 2) scientists’ salaries increased by 4.5 times; 3) 18 new scientific directions have been created, such as nano- and biotechnologies, digital geology. At the same time, based on the important priorities facing the country, it was noted that scientists now have to show concrete results in such topical areas as saving water and energy resources, soil fertility, geology, industry, and construction.
In conclusion, it should be noted that in recent years the field of education has been developing in accordance with modern trends. In this regard, quality education is becoming one of the important priorities of the country.
Without a doubt, we can state that quality education is the shortest and most rational way leading to the achievement of new heights. This is the requirement of the time. And most importantly, Uzbekistan is ready for such a development of the event. It can be said with full confidence that the ongoing reforms in this area will yield results in the very near future.
Head of the ISMI Department under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan