A solid foundation for the country’s future

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December 21, 2017

A solid foundation for the country’s future

On December 19, a meeting devoted to the analysis of reforms implemented in the system of preschool education and tasks for the future was held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Preschool education is the primary and most important link in the education system. Formation of a healthy gene pool and qualified personnel begins with this.

However, up to now, this system has lagged behind in development. Over the past 20 years, the number of state preschool education institutions has decreased by 45 percent. As a result, only 33 percent of preschool children were covered by kindergartens. In Denmark, this figure is 99, in Japan – 97, in South Korea – 95 percent.

Educational programs on socio-personal, emotional, speech, mathematical, physical-psychological and creative development of children were not introduced in preschool education institutions.

In general, kindergartens have become institutions in which children are looked after while their parents are at work.

The President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev pays special attention to this sphere, which has an important place in ensuring the future of the country and its development. During the trips to the regions, the Head of our state personally gets acquainted with activities of preschool education institutions. Several meetings were held on development of this sphere under his chairmanship.

Current tasks and priority areas facing the sphere are determined in the Decree of the Head of our state “On measures of radically improving the management of preschool education system” of September 30 this year. The Ministry of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan was organized on the same day by a resolution of the President.

Targets were set before the new ministry on expanding the network of state and non-state institutions of preschool education, strengthening their material and technical base, providing with qualified pedagogical staff, increasing the coverage of children with kindergartens, radically improving the quality of preparing children for school through the introduction of modern educational programs and technologies into the educational process.

A corresponding state program has been adopted in this direction, large-scale activity is carried out within its framework. Territorial administrations and district (city) departments of the ministry have been organized, great attention is paid to improving the situation at places, the construction of new kindergartens, including the expansion of the network of non-state kindergartens.

Activity that is being carried out in the sphere was discussed at the meeting.

The President of our country analyzed the state of affairs in the system of preschool education in the context of the regions, pointed out the problems and shortcomings pending solution. In particular, incompleteness of preschool education institutions and inadequate staff potential were noted. More than 57 thousand specialists are working in the sphere, 85 percent of which are staff with secondary special education, which does not allow to ensure the proper level of preparation of children for school.

The fact that preschool education institutions were not provided with children’s imaginative literature for years, parents lost trust in kindergartens, many problems accumulated in the system over the years, were criticized.

At the same time, it was noted that many khokimiyats at places did not create necessary conditions for preschool education institutions, some kindergarten buildings are empty and are not used effectively. The reports of responsible heads regarding the mentioned cases were heard.

A number of strategic tasks have been identified for addressing shortcomings that were noted at the meeting, which are to be implemented in the first half of 2018.

Firstly, the need for accelerated continuation of construction and reconstruction of kindergartens on the basis of the program for 2017-2021 was noted.

Instructions were given on allocating 771 billion sums for construction and reconstruction activities in 427 kindergartens (including construction of 14 new kindergartens, reconstruction of 256, overhaul of 157 kindergartens) in 2018.

It was noted that at the same time it is necessary to revise the projects of kindergarten buildings for 50, 100 and 150 places in a short time, using modern architectural solutions, taking into account the local climate, providing creation of conditions for maintaining optimal temperatures in winter and summer, hygiene, nutrition, classes, games and sleep of children, separate accommodation of a dining room, as well as to take into account requirements on organization of educational process when building new buildings.

Secondly, the need for active organization of preschool institutions of a new type on the basis of public-private partnership was noted. Taking into account the fact that finance is the most important problem in this issue, commercial banks are assigned to each region for providing all-round assistance and allocation of necessary credit resources to non-state preschool institutions.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokimiyats of the regions and the city of Tashkent were instructed to develop regional programs on sharply increasing the coverage of children with preschool education, while organizing 10-15 new preschool institutions in each district and city, including on the basis of public-private partnership.

It was noted that large privileges were granted to private kindergartens, in particular, starting from January 1, 2018, half of private kindergartens’ expenditures on natural gas and electric power will be covered from the State budget within 5 years. This will prevent the growth of payments for services of kindergartens.

Thirdly, it was noted that special attention must be paid to ensuring healthy nutrition of children in kindergartens and the quality of delivered products. Taking this into account, instructions were given on taking measures for increasing the allocation of funds for these purposes.

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the regional khokimiyats were instructed to fix 10-15 farmers for every preschool education institution from 2018 in order to provide kindergartens with qualitative food at affordable prices.

The task was set on organizing a state enterprise for the delivery of ready-made qualitative hot meals to kindergartens and developing a mechanism of organizing a catering service. Fourthly, the need of improving the quality of upbringing and educating children, medical care in kindergartens, including the development in 2018 of standards for equipping pre-school education institutions with methodical aids, didactic games, toys, equipment and other technical means, based on the experience of South Korea, was emphasized.

The need for improving the state standards of preschool education, educational programs on the basis of advanced foreign experience, including on teaching children to read and write in a play form was noted.

Main attention was paid to issues of training and advanced training of teachers and educators, instruction was given on improvement of activities of the Institute for retraining and advanced training of managers and specialists of preschool education institutions under the Ministry of Preschool Education.

The need to continuously improve the potential of managers and teachers in the sphere by organizing modern courses in retraining and advanced training in this institution, as well as developing advanced pedagogical techniques, creating a new generation of educational and methodological literature, was noted.

Instructions were given on setting quotas for admission to institutions on training personnel for preschool education on the basis of real needs and reviewing the requirements for teachers of preschool education.

Fifthly, the task was set on attracting foreign investments to the improvement of preschool education. In particular, the need to develop a draft concept on attracting a grant at the amount of 10 million dollars in 2019-2022 and 50 million dollars of soft loan for the development of preschool education within the project on “Improving the development of children from an early age” in cooperation with the Organization of global cooperation in education of the World Bank.

Sixthly, great attention is paid to radical improvement of normative legal framework of preschool education. To this end, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Preschool Education were given instructions on development of a draft Law “On preschool education” on the basis of advanced foreign experience.

Seventhly, the State Committee for Architecture and Construction was instructed to revise, in cooperation with relevant ministries and departments, the design of construction and reconstruction of kindergartens.

The quality of preschool education is the decisive issue of our tomorrow. Development of preschool education is not only the task of the new ministry, it should become the most important task for each of us – from the President, the Prime Minister and his deputies to the khokims of districts, the leaders of the lowest levels, noted the Head of our state.