Education in Asia

In Central Asia, Corruption Undermining Education System

This article sheds light on a hidden process that is an everyday fact of life for many people in Central Asia wishing to gain a quality education—that of bribery. The article cites Jovid, an 18-year-old high school graduate in northern Tajikistan, as an example: he wanted to become a police officer, but his family couldn’t afford the fee for Jovid to study at the Police Academy. They settled for the thousand dollar bribe for him to study tax law. In Central Asia, this is a common story. The official price tag of a university does not foretell how much the student will really have to pay; especially for studying highly profitable professions like law, students and their families must pay outrageously high bribes.

Officials warn that the high rate of corruption in Central Asia could be deteriorating the quality of life in the region. Many students choose to pay for higher grades or the privilege of skipping classes. “I can’t even imagine what kind of doctors they will become, or how they would treat patients in Kyrgyzstan. I’m afraid that they won’t be able to treat patients, they will kill them,” says Emil Sarybaev, a medical student at Osh University.

Education authorities are at a loss for how to alleviate the problem. Arresting individual professors for corruption has not slowed the issue, and the public insists this strategy won’t work in eliminating bribery. It has been suggested that universities raise the teachers’ wages in order to take away their need for illegally gained money. Regardless, many in the region are desperate to solve corruption in universities. After all, school tuition combined with the required bribes make an outrageous price that keeps countless youth in poverty, away from their dreams of a better future through education.

Najibullah, Farangis. “In Central Asia, Corruption Undermining Education System.” Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty. 6 November 2009.

Asia and Pacific Database on Education Launched by UNICEF and UNESCO

In an effort to eliminate factors that prevent children in Asia from becoming educated, UNICEF and UNESCO have implemented a new database that allows governments in Asia to pinpoint which children are not in school and why.  According to UNICEF, the comprehensive database will record a wide array of information, including outlying poor communities where education is less common. It will also combine globally accepted indicators that monitor worldwide educational goals with localized techniques to find the main causes, as well as effects of weak educational systems.

The six main goals of the Education for All project relate to the Millennium Development Goal of education, and include gender equality in schools, complete access to education for all children, improvement of adult literacy, and security of educational quality to ensure that all children who receive the benefits of education are able to profit from it, live without poverty and acquire important life skills.

UNICEF. “Asia and Pacific database on education launched by UNICEF and UNESCO.” United Nations. 6 November 2009.

Hungry to Learn Across the World: Afghanistan

This article documents one school’s—and in particular, one woman’s—struggle to create a sustainable and reliable place to educate the young girls in Afghanistan. Part of a BBC series on educational struggles around the world, it highlights the fact that Taliban militants target these types of schools all over Afghanistan in an effort to prevent girls from receiving a formal education. Although the militants destroy entire buildings and mangle chairs and desks, Parveen Begum, principal of Kanju Chowk Elementary school, explains that the girls still want an education. Yet, one student feels inhibited by the constant attacks of the militants. She says, “Our school used to be one of the best, but now we’ve fallen so far behind and we’re forgetting all we learned.” However, the Afghan government has recognized the need to help rebuild schools and institutions like Kanju Chowk in the Swat Valley. “I feel bad that the Taliban don’t want us to learn. But we love coming to school,” said Sumeira, an 11-year-old student.

BBC News Online. “Hungry to Learn Across the World.” BBC News Online. 10 October 2009.

WL Logo white on IPJ blueLa Educación Básica en Asia

Asia es la tierra de los grandes contrastes. Mientras el sudeste y el oriente crecen económicamente y se modernizan, el sur del continente vive sumergido bajo la línea de pobreza. La clave para entender este fenómeno está en revisar la educación de sus distintos países.  Este articulo postula que estas diferencias del nivel de desarrollo son vinculados al nivel de educación en ciertos países y examina las estrategias que podemos usar para alcanzar a mas gente con la educación básica.

Zona Educativa. “La Educación en el Mundo: La Educación Básica en Asia.” Zona Educativa, Revista 18, La Educación en el Mundo. 24 Nov 1997. 16 Dec 2009.

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