Heads to Roll in Tajik Capital's Schools, Hospitals

School heads and senior doctors in the Tajik capital face the threat of imminent dismissal because the city mayor wants fresh management in education and healthcare.

In a move ordered by Dushanbe mayor Mahmudsaid Ubaydulloev, a specially-created commission will sack the heads of schools and hospitals within two weeks, if they have been in post longer than five years but have little to show for it.

“We’re talking about managers… who have worked for over five years and have done nothing significant to address the development needs of the community,” the mayor’s spokesman Shavqat Saidov said. “Those who’ve always come up with creative actions will, on the contrary, receive incentives. It’s about finding new leaders.”

Experts say the move seems to be a response to concerns about corruption in public services, ranging from embezzlement to demanding bribes in return for people’s normal entitlements.

Saidov argued that that the Dushanbe municipal government was earmarking more and more funding for the education and health sectors every year, “so it’s logical that since the city is providing the funding, it should concern itself with personnel matters, point out where staff appointments are wrong, and get them to sort it out”. 

The audio programme, in Russian, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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