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Private children's education centres closed in Ashgabat

Last week all privately-owned education centres for pre-school age children were closed in the Turkmen capital. The shut-down was initiated by the Ministry of Education without explaining the reasons.

These centres offered teaching and development courses for children of pre-school age on a fee paid basis. The centres charged a tuition fee which varied from 430 manats ($150) to 600 manats ($210) a month per child.

Children attended the centres five times a week and had classes in four to five subjects a day. The subjects including Maths, the Turkmen language, Grammar, Writing, Reading, Environment, Crafts, Drawing, Music, PE and Logical Thinking were adapted for children aged 3 to 6. Children were allowed to bring their own toys.

Parents were very satisfied with the performance of teaching staff and the overall services provided by the educational establishments. Now they fail to understand why education centres for children were suddenly closed down.

According to one version, the centres curtailed their operations as some of them did not have permits (licenses) for private teaching. However, the authorities also shut down those centres where all required documents were available.

The Constitution of Turkmenistan provides for the operation of non-governmental educational establishments. However, observers note that many laws adopted in Turkmenistan are not supported by by-laws, regulations, instructions and hence, the endorsed laws are virtually not valid.

Source: TIHR