Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

High School Pupils Take to Teaching

Tajikistan is so short of teachers that 400 final-year pupils have stepped in to teach their younger schoolmates.
As reporter Ismatullo Azizzoda found out, an education ministry scheme has identified top pupils and set them to work taking classes in Tajik language, science and mathematics in the afternoon after they do their own schoolwork in the morning.

One of the amateur teachers, Shahnoza, enjoys the challenge even though sometimes she gets asked things she does not know, and has to find the answer in time for the next lesson.

However keen they are at the moment, school-leavers like Shahnoza are unlikely to opt for a teaching career.

“To be honest, this is a temporary thing,” said Gairatsho Ikbolov, deputy head of education in the Sino district of Dushanbe. “We can’t hang around; we need to train up qualified teachers so that they’ll come and work in the schools. The truth is that right now, not all teacher-training graduates actually go into the profession. The reason for that is obvious – the pay is low.”