Coinciding with the Science Day, President Berdymuhamedov chaired on Wednesday (12 June 2019) a special session of the government to discuss the future directions of the education, science and research system in Turkmenistan.
The session was held at the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the participants included the deputy prime ministers, ministers, members of the parliament, heads of many institutions related to education, science and research, and prominent educators, researchers, scientists, scholars, etc.
A number of steps were announced to adjust the pace and direction of development and transformation in the sphere of education, science and research.
Addressing the session, the president called for several steps to synchronize the school system (kindergarten to twelfth grade) with the changing requirements of the country.
The ministry of education was asked to prepare the programme for the improvement of the pre-school institutions.
The president underlined the need for improvement and expansion of the vocational training of the youth in the age group 16-18. He said that district and city administrations across the country should create the training centres for the secondary school students. Among the intended purposes, there is the recognition that new and yet-not-fully-defined professions are emerging fast and the students should be given the entry-level skills in those professions. This will serve two purposes: 1. The students who would decide to go for full time employment after the secondary school would have the skills to start at the bottom of their chosen profession; and 2. The students who aspire for higher education would be able to make informed choices.
Layers of educational system
There are several layers of the educational system in Turkmenistan:
- pre-school education (including preparation for primary education);
- secondary education (primary education, basic education, general secondary education);
- secondary special education;
- higher special education;
- postgraduate special education.
Education and economy
The president said that the educational system should be in synch with the programme of the digitalization of the economy.
In order to improve the quality and content, the higher educational institutions would gradually switch to a fee-based system with the aim of being self sufficient.
New, improved educational establishments
- In order to increase the competitiveness of the industrial and communications complex, modernize information and communication facilities, introduce digital technologies in various sectors of the economy and train specialists to serve them, the Decree “On the establishment of the Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics of Turkmenistan” was signed.
- In order to develop digital structures of the economy, improve the training of qualified engineers and technologists for the transport industry and housing and utility systems, the Turkmen leader signed the Resolution “On the renaming of the Institute of Public Utilities of Turkmenistan into the Institute of Engineering, Technical and Transport Communications of Turkmenistan”.
- The Resolution “On the renaming of the National Institute of Sport and Tourism in the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sport” is aimed at the development of mass physical culture and sports of the highest achievements, improvement of training of top-level specialists, sports masters, coaches and athletes in Olympic sports.
- As the President noted, we attach great importance to the development of international tourism. In this regard, and with a view to expanding the geography of tourist routes in our country, improving the quality and forms of services, and improving the training of qualified specialists for this industry, a decree on the modernization of the Turkmen State Institute of Culture was signed.
- The management of higher specialized educational institutions, the improvement of the training of highly qualified specialists, the intensification of the interrelationship of production and industries, the development of science in higher schools are aimed at bringing the Resolution “On the approval of the structure of higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan” to the higher education standards.
Scope of research activities
The president said that the nature of developments in the country and the speed of technological transformations in the world demands a new look at the research activity in Turkmenistan.
He called for greater attention to the training of highly qualified scientific workers and the conduct of scientific research.
He mentioned the areas that are in need of result-oriented research activity:
- Creation of new materials for construction, industrial, textile and social purposes
- New types of agricultural fertilizers
- Breeding of plants and animals
- Creation of genetic fund of flora and fauna
- Study of the positive impact of the Turkmen Lake “Altyn Asyr” on the ecology of the region, study of the flora and fauna of the lake and its water resources
- Creation of new ecological zones
The president issued instructions for the better utilization of the communication satellite of Turkmenistan, creation of modern transport and logistics centers, and the scientific substantiation of the political and economic importance of international transport and transit corridors.
Science Development Fund of Academy of Sciences
In order to improve the funding for scientific conferences, scientific visits, scientific innovation discoveries and joint international scientific projects, the president signed the resolution “On the establishment of the Science Development Fund of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan”.
The initial allocation is Manat 35 million (about USD 10 million).
Closer cooperation with Academy of Sciences
Starting next year, the academy of sciences and the ministries and departments would work closer together for the sake of better productivity and efficiency.
Intersectoral commission on research
An inter-sectoral commission has been established to ensure the effectiveness of scientific research in Turkmenistan.
Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics of Turkmenistan established
In place of the Institute of Transport and Communications, it has been decided to establish the Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics of Turkmenistan. It will absorb the structure and resources of the abolished Institute of Transport and Communications.
It will be a fee-based institution.
Nurnepes Kuliev has been appointed as the rector of the Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics.
Rector of institute of engineering and transport communications
Allaberdy Ashirov has been appointed as the rector of the Institute for Engineering, Technical and Transport Communications of Turkmenistan.
Speech of President Berdymuhamedov at special session of the cabinet of ministers
Here is the unofficial, slightly paraphrased translation of the speech of President Berdymuhamedov at the special session of the cabinet of ministers focused on the development and transformation of the education, science, and research sector:
Dear members of the Cabinet of Ministers!
Dear scientists, professors and teachers!
As you know, the development of human society is directly related to science and education. As in the developed countries of the world, in our independent neutral country, science and education are the key means of building the capacity and capabilities of our state, and the driving force of the society.
The outstanding successes achieved in the dynamically developing economy of the Fatherland, the high frontiers it has won, the systematic strengthening of its role in the world community are inseparably linked with these spheres.
The long-term target state programs for the socio-economic development of the country that we have adopted, fundamental transformations, first of all, are based on a solid scientific base and educational potential of the society.
Science and education are our wealth, consolidating society in the name of achieving great goals, increasing the potential of our independent state. We are successfully implementing reforms aimed at bringing the domestic scientific and educational sphere to the level of developed countries of the world.
In recent years we have radically strengthened the material and technical base of science and education.
As you know, on May 14, 2010, at the meeting of the Council of Elders, as a priority, we proclaimed the reform of science and education systems, including academic, higher, secondary vocational and secondary schools.
To implement these tasks, we have allocated about 16 billion US dollars to strengthen the material and technical base of science and education systems. We built 623 objects equipped with modern equipment and technology. These facilities include kindergartens, schools, colleges, institutes and universities, including the modern Technology Center.
As part of the scientific and technical transformations governing the legal, economic and organizational relations in the field of science, we have fundamentally strengthened the material and technical base of research institutions and higher educational institutions of the country. We identified key areas and objectives of science. We approved the relevant regulations, special program and regulations. And we also adopted the Law “On State Science and Technology Policy.”
Such urgent tasks as the development of the basic sciences, the enhancement of scientific and technological potential, the formation of a new generation of scientists, the involvement of young people in scientific activities are reflected in the Law of Turkmenistan “On the legal status of a scientist.”
The construction of the Technology Center in the city of Ashgabat has led to scientific research in industrial-innovative and information-technological areas of scientific research.
To this end, we opened the Oguz Khan University of Engineering and Technology. In this school, a lot of work is being done to train highly qualified engineers and future scientists in such important areas as the technology of new materials, nanomaterials, chemical technologies, mechatronics, robotics and innovation.
We also strengthen cooperation with the UN, other major international organizations, foreign countries in the field of science, education and innovative technologies, which further enhances the credibility of our independent state in the international scientific and educational space.
The funds we invest in the field of science and education are already yielding positive results. Modern cities are growing before our eyes. Using the latest achievements of science and technology, we build powerful factories and plants. We successfully implement environmental and international projects. We create environmentally friendly waste-free production and economic clusters, which are concentrated in advanced scientific experience and modern technology.
As you know, new technologies form the basis of the global economy. And so we are successfully implementing government programs to create the electronic industry, manufacture import-substituting products and increase exports.
Currently, as a result of the use of the most advanced equipment in our country, a widespread communication system is functioning. The possibilities for this were opened up by the launch of our national artificial satellite “Türkmen Älem 520E” into orbit. Soon we will put into orbit a second artificial satellite.
Information and communication system, computer technology all over the world are the most dynamically developing areas. High-tech industries, theoretical and practical knowledge, and information technologies directly affect the output of the world economy to a qualitatively new level.
And therefore in state policy we attach great importance to the digitization of the economy. In order to transition to a digital economy, we are improving computer systems and modern means of communication, automating production, creating information systems and introducing electronic document management, thereby further strengthening our economy.
To this end, in the future we envisage the development and implementation of projects in the field of information technology, and organization of marketing and consulting services. We intend to increase the number of information technology centers in this area, as well as educational institutions for the training of specialists for the digital economy.
New branch structures with modern technologies are being created in our country. In such conditions, the importance of the most relevant areas of science, generating new ideas and solutions, based on a completely new technique and technology, is gradually increasing.
We are making great strides in the energy sector, in industrial production and fuel economy, in the field of chemical technology, in the production of new competitive products, in new production technologies and in energy saving. And I want to note with pride that all this serves not only our national interests, but also contributes to the solution of the most important issues related to the development of the countries and peoples of the region.
The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Resolution initiated by us on ensuring the security of energy transit is a clear indication of the triumph of our energy diplomacy in the world. We will continue to create all the necessary conditions for a scientifically based continuation of work in this area.
Our Fatherland possesses not only natural resources, but also rich biological diversity. A thorough study of the issues of agriculture, medicine, the medicinal and food industry, the development of molecular biology, genetics, bioengineering, biomedicine, and the training of specialists in these areas are also extremely important for the economy of our country.
Carrying out the selection of crops, animals, the creation of new varieties, hybrids using modern biotechnology methods, establishing the production of various food products and medicines are an integral part of our future economic development.
Effective research works are being carried out to create new seeds of highly productive agricultural crops adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of our country, to preserve the valuable species of the Karakum desert flora and fauna and the Caspian Sea, to determine how to use in agriculture the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr and its collector-drainage systems, as well as adjacent territories, which has a positive effect on the ecological situation in the region.
As a result of field research carried out on an artificial island near the Turkmenbashi International Seaport, it was established that an ecological system was formed there, where all favorable conditions exist for flora and fauna, including the habitat of waterbirds.
More recently, we laid the foundation for a new modern village in the region of the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr. I would also like to note that vegetables and fruits grown on Turkmen soil at the last international exhibition held on May 29-30 in India received a high award as an environmentally friendly product.
At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio + 20”, at the 7th World Water Forum, held in the city of Tegu in the Republic of Korea, and at the meetings of the heads of states of the Aral and Caspian countries, we proposed to the world community our initiatives for the benefit of humanity on effective and rational water use, and, in general, on water diplomacy.
Also at the United Nations World Rio + 20 Conference, we proposed to develop a special program for the Aral Sea. As a result, the Resolution “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for the Aral Sea Saving” was adopted.
In August of this year we will hold the 1st Caspian Economic Forum. At the forum we will bring to the attention of the international community the work carried out by us in the main areas of water diplomacy. We will also outline our new initiatives on trade and economic cooperation, development of multimodal transport corridors in the Caspian region.
The widespread introduction of advanced scientific and technological progress, innovative technologies in modern urban planning, in laying roads and pipelines contribute to the creation of a unique architectural appearance of our cities and villages.
The scientific foundations of the use of mineral waters, curative mud, medicinal plants of the Turkmen land, which heal many diseases, are being developed. Production of high-quality medicines from local raw materials is being established.
Purposeful and thorough development of medical sciences indicates the introduction into production of scientific achievements. In the near future, we will adopt an appropriate program in digital medicine, which will give a new impetus to large-scale cases in this direction.
In the successful implementation of programs of socio-economic, cultural, humanitarian, socio-political reforms aimed at the prosperity of our independent homeland, an important place is given to the field of education.
Therefore, in our state policy we attach great importance to the potential of education in terms of creating the necessary conditions for the successive transfer of all sectors of the national economy and public life to a digital system.
It is known that the primary task facing the sphere of education is the education of the younger generation with a broad outlook, dedicated to the Motherland, the people and the great values of the ancestors.
And therefore, through education, we transform our cultural and spiritual life, comprehensively strengthen the position of our independent state in the world, and build our great future with a solid foundation.
As is known, in this direction, first of all, we carry out our state policy based on the interests of people, society and the state, national and universal values, on humane traditions.
We successfully implement national programs, concepts and large-scale transformations.
At the state level, we attach particular importance to consistent modernization, improving structure and management, increasing efficiency, and strengthening the material, technical and legal base of the education sector as an integral part of our economy.
Dear participants of the meeting!
Here I want to draw your attention to another circumstance. As you know, our era is the era of the triumph of knowledge, technology, intellectual and creative means. Speaking about this, I want to note that in dozens of countries in Asia, Europe, America, including our independent state, special importance is attached to the training of highly qualified specialists and the creation of modern educational institutions. This activity is aimed at consistently building up human potential based on modern technologies, digital knowledge, and best practices – in general, on the innovative development of education.
Proceeding from these goals, in 2019, proclaimed the Year “Turkmenistan – the Motherland of Prosperity”, we transferred some research institutes of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan to higher educational institutions to further strengthen the interrelationship of education and science, to stimulate students work under the guidance of experienced professors and teachers, targeting research and design, pilot work on the most important areas of the country’s economy, and in particular, to strengthen the role of science in our m society.
And in the future, in order to strengthen the interrelationship of research institutes with universities, the integrated management of research projects aimed at solving the most important issues of economic sectors, we will continue to expand the network of research and production centers in higher education institutions.
For in-depth familiarization, on a scientifically-methodical basis, of students with our international initiatives on energy, transport, and water resources, put forward at the sites of international and interregional organizations, their widespread publicity, especially among young people, to ensure a creative approach to research work by young scientists, we will create educational and methodological centers in higher educational institutions.
As a result of radical reforms in the system of national education, today our happy young people receive education in selected specialties. Taking into account modern conditions and prospects for the development of our independent state, we consistently increase the number of students admitted to study in secondary vocational and higher educational institutions.
Given the development of economic sectors on a scientific basis, only in recent years we have opened several new universities. They train technologists, engineers, economists, lawyers and diplomats. In universities, new disciplines are also opened.
In addition, we created the conditions for training our students in the most prestigious leading foreign universities.
Abroad, young people receive education on the basis of intergovernmental agreements, and agreements on the preparation of popular specialists for the sectors of our economy.
Dear participants of the meeting!
In order to stimulate the pursuit of science for schoolchildren, to discover, develop and encourage their talent, specialized schools of foreign languages, precise, natural, humanitarian, music, military, sports, as well as children’s art schools and art schools operate in our country. We are working to expand the network of such specialized schools, and we open universities with teaching in foreign languages.
Our talented schoolchildren, student youth, participating in subject competitions held at the state and international level, achieve remarkable results and increase the authority of our country.
I am convinced that our youth will direct their scientific and engineering ideas, industrial and innovative, information and technological research to strengthen the scientific and technological base of our state. In order to achieve great success for our happy youth in the world of creativity, we will make all the necessary efforts in the future to increase the authority and glory of our Motherland!
The introduction of digital media, advanced computer and multimedia equipment to the education sector, the transfer of secondary schools to 12-year education gives a new impetus to a targeted increase in the educational level of our society, the development of young people’s skills in the basics of knowledge, mental and physical labor, and the identification of their aspirations and interests , and the ability to find their place in life and consciously choose a profession.
We recently approved an improved twelve-year study plan. We approved the Regulations on state kindergartens and public educational institutions. This is an important step in improving the national education sector.
Dear members of the Cabinet of Ministers!
Dear scientists, professors and teachers!
But time does not stand still, time moves forward. Therefore, our sovereign Motherland must confidently move forward – in the new technological epoch through progressive development and large-scale transformations. In the coming years, the education system in the world will survive a revolution, during which a number of professions will disappear, new subjects will appear, and social networks may replace traditional teaching formats. Currently, the economy is moving into the era of digital transformation.
Dear members of the Cabinet of Ministers!
Dear scientists, professors and teachers!
Today we had a very fruitful meeting. The decisions adopted and the proposals put forward will form the basis for the further reform of the national system of science and education.
In our country, we look with great confidence into the great future of science and education. For this we have specific programs and plans, as well as great potential. All this is an excellent opportunity for further prosperity of our state.
Science is the power of the state. And therefore we are doing a lot of work aimed at ensuring the dynamic development of our independent state, increasing its competitiveness in the political, economic and cultural arena of the world.
Guided by the tasks of training specialists who are well versed in the achievements of scientific and technological progress, new technologies and innovations, we invest in these areas capital investments.
Modernizing the structure, management and legal base of the science system in accordance with the requirements of the time, we are successfully carrying out fundamental scientific and technical reforms. We create all the necessary conditions for the training of highly qualified engineers who are able to deeply master modern knowledge and science, talented scientists.
Directing the possibilities of science in the interests of peace and friendship, Turkmenistan systematically strengthens, and will continue to strengthen cooperation with major international organizations in the field of science, technology and innovative technologies!
The rank of a scientist is a high rank. Being a scientist and achieving concrete results also matters for the future of our country. To be a scientist and to put into practice the achievements of science means to contribute to the further advancement of an independent, permanently neutral Turkmenistan forward with the swiftness of a horse.
Once again, with all my heart, I congratulate you on the Day of Science!
I wish you all good health, family well-being, great success in your work in the name of the further prosperity of our sovereign homeland!
Ashgabat, June 12, 2019 /// nCa, 13 Jun /// nCa, 13 June 2019