During the last couple of years the relations between Uzbekistan and UNESCO has reached an unprecedented levels in all spheres of UNESCO’s mandate. The education sector has been among the top areas of bilateral relationship that was discussed during the meetings of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev with UNESCO’s Director General Audrey Azoulay in 2018, 2019 and 2022.
Since 2018, UNESCO has enormously increased technical support in education. With launching several new projects, the education portfolio has reached 13 million USD. Teacher trainings, youth support, vocational education development, etc.
Uzbekistan has contributed a lot to UNESCO’s efforts especially to promote preschool education. UNESCO appreciates Uzbekistan’s leadership in arranging WCECCE in 2022 in Tashkent on the highest level (Tashkent Declaration – roadmap unt9il 2030, future follow-ups, etc).
All the success stories in Uzbekistan-UNESCO cooperation in education have deep roots and strong background in large-scale socio-economic reforms launched under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He proposed some major initiatives – establishment of Ministry of Preschool Education (2017-2022), deep upgrade of entire school curriculum based on advanced experience of developed countries, gradual introduction of free meal system in schools etc.
These bold steps taken by the Government of Uzbekistan, in particular with the support by international community, including UNESCO, have provided some tangible results for a short period. Access to preschool education since 2017 has reached from 27% to 70%, the higher education from 8% to 38%, the number of schools has reached to 10 thousand, universities to 186.
Uzbekistan is committed to expand the efforts aimed at promoting education to reach SDG 4 by 2030. UNESCO stands ready to support the Government of Uzbekistan in its educational reforms.
From the address by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to WCECCE participants: “We have defined the creation of decent living conditions for the people of our country as a priority of the New Uzbekistan’s policy. In this regard, we attach great importance, above all, to the care and practical support of young people and children, raising them physically healthy and spiritually mature generation.”
From the address by Audrey Azoulay,Director-General of UNESCO to WCECCE participants: “Organizing WCECCE conference in Tashkent illustrates the strengthening if not blooming cooperation between Uzbekistan and UNESCO… Uzbekistan building its long tradition of fostering discussions and inspiring progress in science, in culture and education. We all know famous names of great cities: Samarqand, Bukhara, Khiva and we all know scientific knowledge that produced by country from Avicenna, Al-Khwarizmi and Ulugh Beg and many more. This tradition of excellence is matched by an unwavering commitment to education building on this history and building on the future and especially regarding the subjects that brings us together. Indeed, Uzbekistan has made early childhood education and care a priority with a pre-primary enrolment rate that has more than doubled in just a few years. It’s one the best, but also one of the most difficult investment for the future”.