TRANS Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 17. Nr. März 2010

Sektion 8.15. New Approaches, Innovations and Research in Education | Neuigkeiten, Innovationen und Forschungen in der Erziehung
SektionsleiterInnen | Section Chairs: Leyla Esentürk-Ercan and Melek Çakmak (Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey)

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

Religious Education in Uzbekistan Today

Rahimjon Abdugafurov (Namangan State University, Uzbekistan) [BIO]



The law on the religiously-affiliated educational institutions that is adopted in 2003 has had a tremendous impact both on the financial well-being of such institutions as well as the ways in which they conduct teaching and learning. Especially, eleven madrasahs of Uzbekistan now have computer facilities and other modern academic technologies that are characteristic to secular educational settings. Instructors, who mostly graduated from well-known madrasahs of Uzbekistan, now use multimedia to teach religious subjects such as the Koran and Hadith, in addition to languages, logic and history.

As the new law gives graduates of such educational entities the same status as the graduates of other secular institutions, students may go on with their further education in secular institutions if they choose to do so. Considering this fact, new secular subjects, such as natural sciences, information technology and modern languages, Russian and English, were also added into the curriculum. This change has had a positive impact. For instance, the arrival of teachers who teach IT helped both students and teachers in utilization of academic facilities.

The availability of the choices for students, who want to acquire religious knowledge, has been a great stride in the educational system of Uzbekistan. Especially, financial assistance that is similar to tax exemption in some countries has enabled religiously affiliated intuitions to enrich their academic environment.

Below, I will try to delineate various aspects of the new law and its impact on the religious education in more detail:

  1. The impact of the new law on the academic activities of the religiously affiliated institutions.
    1. Uzbekistan has more than ten madrasahs and two Islamic higher education institutions. The madrasahs used to give attestations that were considered to be accepted only by masjids (prayers places) within Uzbekistan. So, the graduates of such madrasahs could go to work at masjids in Uzbekistan. However, the new law gave a right to graduates of madrasahs either to work in masjids or get further education in secular educational institutions. In the other words, attestats or diplomas of such madrasahs were not considered by the secular educational institutions in Uzbekistan and thanks to the new law, their diplomas started to have the same authority as the diplomas or attestats of secular schools. Now, graduates of religious schools can either go on studying in Islamic higher educational institutions or in secular educational institutions.
    2. The new law on religious educational institutions changed the curriculum of religiously affiliated educational institutions. New subjects, such as sciences, IT, foreign languages and natural sciences are added to the curriculum. As a result, students of religious schools can now obtain modern knowledge in addition to studying Koranic and Hadith education. Addition of secular subjects can prepare specialists in the field of religion who are not only knowledgeable in religious matters but also aware of scientific matters.
    3. The new law, as we mentioned above, added secular subjects to the school curriculum, and naturally, madrasahs needed specialists to teach secular subjects. By hiring teachers to teach secular subjects, madrasahs now started an interaction between instructors of religious subjects and secular subjects. Teachers of religious subjects are now able to learn from teachers of secular subjects how to integrate, for instance, Information Technology to teaching religious subjects. Not only students learn how to utilize computers but religious instructors can also use computer technologies in their classes.
  2. The financial impact of the new law on the religiously-affiliated educational institutions.
    1. Uzbekistan has established differing methods of fee payment for the communal services (by communal services, we mean, payment for usage of gas, electricity, water, waste management service, communication and the like). For example, a for-profit organization pays different fees to usage of communal services than a non-profit organization does. In Uzbekistan, organizations are classified as budget organizations, private sector organizations as well as individuals. Private sector organizations pay the highest payment among these three types of payees. Budget organizations pay fewer fees than private organizations while individuals pay the least. The new law entitled religiously-affiliated organizations to pay the least fees for communal services like individuals do. This gave religious institutions an opportunity to save financial resources for other uses.
    2. The new law also indicates that the money saved from the communal services should be used for enrichment of the academic resources of the religious institutions. As a result, religious institutions now can buy educational materials, computer technologies for the saved money from communal services. Today, one can see modern computer technologies and new education materials, such as books, journals and others in religious institutions.
    3. Another impact of the new law which is worth mentioning is the same status given to all religious institutions. In the other words, this law does not discriminate between religions. All religious institutions can take advantage of financial opportunities given by the new law.
    4. However, this law gives the right to pay fewer fees only to religious institutions. We think it will be very useful to secular institutions if they are also given financial leverages as religious institutions have.


In sum, the impact of the new law on the religious-affiliated educational institutions had a positive impact on such institutions. Thanks to the new law, now religious institutions can have both better financial conditions and enriched academic environment. This law also entitles graduates of religious institutions to go on with their studies in both religious and secular educational schools. Their diplomas will be considered equally with diplomas of secular schools within Uzbekistan.

Teaching and learning processes in such schools are also improved after the adoption of the new law. Not only students can obtain necessary secular knowledge but now religious teachers can also interact with secular subject teachers and learn from them and vice versa. Religious teachers can consult, for example, a teacher on the Information Technology on the academic usage of computers in classrooms. 

8.15. New Approaches, Innovations and Research in Education | Neuigkeiten, Innovationen und Forschungen in der Erziehung

Sektionsgruppen | Section Groups | Groupes de sections

TRANS   Inhalt | Table of Contents | Contenu  17 Nr.

For quotation purposes:
Rahimjon Abdugafurov: Religious Education in Uzbekistan Today - In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 17/2008. WWW:

Webmeister: Gerald Mach     last change: 2010-03-04