New president of Turkmenistan keeps his promises
Successor to the Turkmenbashi is already keeping his promises to voters. President Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov signed the decree "On the system of education in Turkmenistan" on February 16. Secondary schools will revert to a ten-year curriculum on September 1, 2007 again (it was eight-year long under Saparmurat Niyazov).
The head of state signed the decree and amendments to the law "On education" in the presence of a delegation of Chinese journalists representing Xinhua news agency and Central TV.
Berdymuhammedov made a point that he was keeping his word given voters and said that other promises would be kept too. The first Internet-cafe was opening in Ashkhabad on February 17, he said, and others would soon open in all regional centers.
Reorganization of the national system of education was one of the provisions of Berdymuhammedov's presidential program. His other promises included reforms in the system of pension, slackening of taxes, lower prices of petrol, dough, and other bare necessities, symbolic tariffs of communal and housing services and transport fares, free gas, electric power, salt, and water.
Shortly before election of the president in Turkmenistan, UNICEF hailed the intention of the new Turkmen authorities to reinstitute internationally accepted standards in the national system of education.
Turkmen system of education and dictator's "experiments"
Diplomas of foreign colleges and universities (save for Ukrainian, Malaysian, and Turkish) were not accepted in Turkmenistan under Niyazov. Studies of foreign languages at schools were abolished. The Ruhnama, a book by Niyazov, himself became the principal study. Secondary school curricula were shortened from 11 to 9 years, college ones from 5 to 4 years. Night schools and correspondence educational courses were closed.