In Uzbekistan, wide opportunities are being created for the development of industry, agriculture, services, construction and other industries. New enterprises are opening.
To provide them with qualified workers and specialists, the system of higher and secondary specialized education is being transformed. “Ishga Markhamat” monocenters have been created in the regions. They train young people in popular professions.
The Development Strategy defines the next steps in this direction – to provide everyone with the opportunity to master a profession, to reduce poverty by half.
There are all resources for this. For example, in 2022 alone, more than 9,000 large and medium-sized projects are being implemented for $16 billion. They need about 300,000 skilled workers.
At the same time, graduates of schools and secondary special education institutions will enter the labor market this year – 404,000 and 151,000 young people, respectively. The issue of their professional orientation and employment is acute.
However, the system of 330 vocational schools, 173 colleges and 207 technical schools is not yielding the expected results. Their capacities are used only by 40-50 percent. Monocenters “Ishga Markhamat” cover only 10 percent of the unemployed.
Curricula in many colleges and technical schools are outdated. There is a lack of professional textbooks and literature of 1,350 titles. As a result, employers are forced to retrain workers.
In this regard, a decision was taken to introduce a new system for adapting vocational education to modern requirements.
Thus, 45 colleges will be transferred to the system of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations with the creation of monocenters on their basis. The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education will be responsible for the management and methodological support of vocational and technical schools.
Councils for vocational education chaired by hokims will be formed in each region, district and city. The councils will include heads of state agencies, banks, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, rectors, and, taking into account the specifics of the district’s economy, heads of industrial, agricultural, construction and service enterprises. Based on the need for specialists, the councils will determine the professions trained in monocenters and colleges, organize internships for young people at manufacturing enterprises.
Positive experience in this direction was noted at the meeting. For example, a dual form of education has been introduced in 57 institutions of vocational education, based on the experience of Germany. This gives a result in the system of preschool education: students of pedagogical colleges receive theoretical knowledge for 2 days, and for the rest of the days they work in kindergartens and receive a salary.
Or another example: by the order of the Saudi company ACWA Power, training of young people in such professions as a technician, operators and managers of alternative energy stations has begun in the energy college of the city of Shirin, Syrdarya region. To do this, the company built a workshop, laboratory and dormitory at the college for $2.8 million.
The Head of the state gave recommendations on establishing such work in other industries, assigning vocational education institutions to large industrial enterprises and clusters.
As the analysis shows, some specialties taught in the higher education system can now be transferred to technical schools. This will save youth time and money.
“In general, it is necessary to change approaches to technical schools. They should not be an easy way to enter the institute, but a system that gives a difficult profession and forms a competitive labor market”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
From January 1 next year, it was instructed to equate the wages of technical school teachers with an academic degree with the salary of university teachers, and introduce preferential educational loans for students of colleges and technical schools from the new academic year.
The practice of admission to technical schools twice a year will also begin. This will increase vocational education enrollment by 35 percent.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations was instructed to organize training in modern professions and foreign languages in newly created monocenters, as well as to attract specialists from Turkey, South Korea, Germany, India and Japan.
The issue of stimulating teachers and masters working in vocational education institutions was considered.
From January 1 next year, their salary will be equal to the salary of school teachers. The difference between the allowances paid for the qualification category will double. Depending on the results achieved, a bonus of up to 50 percent will be introduced for selfless and enterprising teachers. Next year, an additional 150 billion UZS will be allocated from the budget for these purposes.
At the same time, a new system of advanced training for teachers of professional education institutions will be created. Instead of advanced training faculties in universities, professional training centers will be created in each region. These centers will improve the qualifications of teachers based on studying the needs of employers and foreign experience.
Several benefits have been announced to increase the share of the private sector in vocational training. Thus, the requirements for obtaining a license by private professional educational organizations will be eased, and the minimum license amount will be reduced by 2 times. They will be able to take vacant buildings on a long-term lease. Textbooks and equipment imported from abroad will be exempted from duties. For each graduate who received an international qualification certificate, 1 million UZS will be paid. Low-income youth will be reimbursed 30 percent of the contract payment amount.
Ministers, hokims, heads of vocational schools and monocenters presented information and made proposals on the issues discussed at the meeting.