It is necessary to invest centralized funds into public education - Shermatov

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- It is necessary to invest centralized funds in public education, rather than in the real sector, the Minister of Public Education of Uzbekistan Sherzod Shermatov said.

“The President sets a specific task for a radical review of the role of the teacher in society. Currently, work is under way to prepare relevant documents,” he said.

“Now, unfortunately, there are over 11 thousand vacancies of teachers and more than 66 thousand teachers without higher education in the system of public education. Less than 30% of teachers are men, and in Tashkent - only 10%,” the Minister added.

“The level of the average salary of the sphere of public education over the past three years was one of the lowest and had one of the lowest rates of growth. So, for example, in relation to the level of salaries in the sphere of finance, the average salary level in public education has decreased from 48% to 42% over the past three years,” Sherzod Shermatov said.

“Compulsory withholding from the teachers’ salary for compulsory subscription to newspapers and magazines (more than 200 titles), purchase of tickets for entertainment events, attestation, etc. lead to a reduction despite the low level of their wages, in comparison with other branches of the economy of the republic,” he noted.

"And then everyone is surprised why the fees in schools are increasing, the quality of education is declining, the upbringing of the youth is deteriorating, the cases of offenses and suicides among students are increasing," Shermatov said.

“We all need to understand that children spend most of their time in school, and it’s those, who have received high-quality education and good upbringing at school, are more likely to become successful in the future. The secret of the success of such countries as Japan, Singapore, Korea is precisely the high status and salaries of teachers, which means that dozens of applicants for one vacant place of the teacher,” he said.

“Therefore, we ask our esteemed financiers this time to approach the execution of the President’s instruction in a different way, trying to find real solutions to the task at hand, and not different excuses why one cannot do this. For a real correction of the situation of wages in the sphere of public education, it is necessary to increase by several times, and not by several percent. It will also stimulate consumer demand and increase in economic activity on the ground,” Sherzod Shermatov said.

“The fact that the state is a bad manager in the real sector of the economy already shows the experience of inefficiently implemented investment projects worth billions of dollars through centralized sources for several years. Therefore, the state should concentrate on investing centralized funds in education and create an attractive investment environment so that private and foreign direct investments are channeled into the real sector of the economy,” he said.

“Young people with their own eyes should see how teachers live better than representatives of other spheres, only then there will be real changes. In the meantime, it is hardly possible to compare the standard of living of the average teacher and the average financier on the ground,” Sherzod Shermatov said.

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