Uzbekistan: Labour Migration Agency Head dismissed after criticism of those wishing to work in South Korea
The head of the Agency for External Labour Migration under the Ministry of Labour of Uzbekistan Ulugbek Nazarov was released from his post, and Khujabakhlil Asomov, his first deputy, was appointed acting head, Gazeta.Uz reports on 19 April.
Ulugbek Nazarov (the left)
The day before the resignation, it became known about the cancellation of the testing results conducted by the Agency for individuals wishing to go to work in the Republic of Korea which had been preceded by heated indignation of social networks users.
At a press conference in early April, the Agency staff told that for the first time registration and testing of those wishing to work in Korea citizens processed online this year. The whole process took four days: the applicants were to fill out an online questionnaire on 27 and 28 March, and in the next two days to pass tests on the test-migration.uz site.
19,000 people registered in the system on the first day, but on 28 March there was a serious technical failure as a result of the DDoS attack (an attack from a large number of false requests aimed at stopping the server). Data centre of the web-site was forced to close access to it. The test-migration.uz site continued to work, but the intensity of the attack did not decrease. The specialists strengthened the protection and increased the server's channel bandwidth from 10 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s, and then brought it up to 1 Gbit/s.
As a result, 87.7 thousand citizens were registered on the site while the official quota for attracting labour resources to South Korea is 3000 people. The testing took place on 1 and 2 April, and its questions aroused indignation of the tested. Users complained about ‘strange and meaningless’ questions, as well as uneven time for answers. Some assignments were made with grammatical errors, questions in Uzbek language offered answers in Korean, there was no right answer in some parts of assignments, and others were ‘too complicated’.
Initially, the participants of the testing were informed that the tasks would be only about knowledge of the Korean language. However, on the day of registration, people learned that, before passing to the Korean exam, one must answer questions on Uzbek literature, language, history, chemistry, physics, jurisprudence, geography, biology, which are ‘basic questions taken from the programmes of schools, colleges and lyceums of Uzbekistan, since every citizen of our country must have this basic level, and our state and foreign employers are not interested in inviting people to work without a basic level of knowledge.’
Participants were asked to answer, for example, the following questions: ‘In what year did Ahmad die?’, ‘What poetry did the “Go'zalim, bevafo bo'stonim” rhymes of Fitrat [Uzbek poet] have consonance with?’, ‘At what height of the Turkestan [mountains in Uzbekistan] range there coniferous forests are?’, ‘What dynasty was founded by Khubilai Mongol Khan after the conquest of China?’, ‘What distance did Nasir Khosrov [Persian poet] overcome during the two trips that lasted seven years?’ and others.
Test participants called this testing ‘nonsense’, ‘humiliation’, citing such questions like ‘population in Africa in 2012’, ‘types of trees in Africa’, wondering that they would be ‘workers’ not ‘professors’ in Korea.
The Agency's employees told at the press conference that their leadership decided not to involve specialists in drawing up assignments, but used collections of tasks on various sections for 7-9 years of the school programme. When asked how knowledge or lack of knowledge of the above facts will help to successfully conduct labour activity in another country, the head of the agency Ulugbek Nazarov recognised the validity of the comments and the presence of gaps and promised that the agency will thoroughly work on its mistakes and improve the test system in the near future to test skills – ‘Skill Test’.
And on 18 April 2017 the Agency reported on its Facebook page about the annulment of test results of those wishing to work in South Korea ‘due to serious technical shortcomings, and also because the testing of knowledge of those wishing to register caused a lot of criticism and discontent.’ The registration process will be repeated, the exact date is not reported yet.
In 2007-2016, 27 thousand Uzbek citizens acquired the right to work in South Korea; currently there are 17 thousand working. The Agency is establishing cooperation in the sphere of labour migration with Japan, Russia, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Oman and other countries.