Uzbekistan Table of Contents
In the early 1990s, the thirty-six technical schools and six teacher colleges produced about 20,000 new teachers annually for the primary and secondary levels, and another 20,000 for higher education. In 1993 the ratio of staff to students was 1 to 12 in preschool institutions, 1 to 11.5 in primary and secondary schools, 1 to 12 in vocational schools, and 1 to 6.8 in institutions of higher education. The range of these ratios indicates that Uzbekistan prepares too many teachers for the needs of the existing student population, but experts do not consider the existing staff adequately trained to deal with upcoming curriculum changes and with the need to teach in Uzbek.
Experts have noted that the teacher training program must be reduced to concentrate government funds on a few high-quality research and training centers. Such a shift would free resources for material support, salaries, and administrative and supervisory personnel, all in short supply in the mid-1990s. Currently, teachers for preschool and grades one through four are trained at technical schools; those for grades five through eleven must train at the university level. The technical school program is five years beginning after grade nine, and the university program is four years beginning after grade eleven. Both programs combine pedagogical and general courses.
In the early 1990s, the government made significant improvements in teacher salaries and benefits. Many top teachers were lost to other sectors, however, because salaries still were not competitive with those elsewhere in the economy. In higher education, salaries were competitive with those in other occupations in Uzbekistan but not with those on the international teaching market.
Data as of March 1996