Student movements in the context of transformation of civil society
The case of Tajikistan
Nasiba Miravazchonova (Technological University, Z. Shahidi Museum of Musical Culture, Dushanbe)
Post-Soviet Tajikistan crucially changed the life of the students. That change, however, substantially differs from those of Western post-socialistic associates. Countries of Central and Eastern Europe had an obvious university programme of evaluation, integrating West-European Union system of knowledge and that target is consciously adopted by majority of students. In compare with that situation, the post-Soviet Central Asian states still are stagnated within the projects of building their ‘own’ national identity. That project, imitating an old and odious Russian policy of education, instead of re-thinking and re- reforming from two dimension: insight and outside. That lack of creativity widens the gap in between the system of education in Central Asia and EU.
To bridge the gap means to evaluate student movements for reform of education system. The current situation, such as technical and financial problems of the functioning universities, the aging of the research community and the obsoleteness of their research equipment, gives a real reason for that evaluation, but isolation and poverty keeps awareness of students on the very law base. The weakness of official policy of the national programme of educational and scholarly systems gives no real hopes for the young specialists. It applies analogously to the aging of research potential and equipment.
I am a graduate of the comparatively new Technological University of Tajikistan, (opened in 1991 as a College and then in 1994 has been reconstructed into University), the department of programme-economist. That department has been projected in cooperation with the Nebraska University of US, but the project was not really actualised. There were different reasons for that, which have to be analysed. What is obvious, the chip and morally old equipment made a chip result after the five-year studying, based on ‘second-hand’ equipment. Because equipment is expensive to replace, university seek ways to extend the “life” of their equipment, keeping what they have for longer.
It is clear that government intervention is required to arrest and reverse the changes in the educational system, but it seems that resources are so incomplete that further fail is foreseeable. That the main reason of the ‘brain-drain’ and majority of my co-courses dream is to find a place to continue their education at the Western universities. At the same time it is clear that without corrective action, the efficiency of the system will continue to fall, with depressing consequences for the economy as a whole. That is the main treat for security of national system and the national state-building as a whole.
The crisis in Tajikistan’s educational system could be solved only by co-ordinated work of the international student and scholarly solidarity in working the real project of integration of the student potential in Tajikistan and other countries of Central Asia into European system of education with all its health security and openness for creativity. The challenge to government policy is how to construct remaining national educational capabilities into a pattern which will contribute better to processes of educational and creativity recovery.
So, the educational reform as the problem of national/global security is one of critical importance for student movements as well as the academic and research system of the country. But there is a gap in between generations in understanding significance of globalization as an instrument for modernisation of the stagnated life in the country. While for the official policy globalization is a treat for the national standards and traditions of family-based system of governing, the young generation meets globalization for integration for modernisation and security of national values in their inner dynamic and creative potential. Thus, the young people are looking for different ways of surviving in that crucial period of the history of Tajikistan and Central Asia as one geographical niche. For Tajik student and graduators movement integration into European system of education, which is taken as constantly developing and reforming inwardly, is a good model to adopt. Existing schemes of nationally motivated educational system are not very efficient. At the same time, leaders of the state have to understand that creativity at the system of education have to be based on the liberalisation of students from the old and traditional perception of the world via vision of the old generation thought the financing and technological modernisation of minds and movements.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and