Tajik Teachers Baulk at Uniform Plan

The education ministry is seriously considering making teachers as well as schoolchildren wear a uniform.

Tajik Teachers Baulk at Uniform Plan

The education ministry is seriously considering making teachers as well as schoolchildren wear a uniform.

Friday, 25 September, 2009
Sohiba Olempour reports that to complicate matters, officials are wavering over style issues – whether teachers should wear western-style suits, or Tajik national dress.



Deputy education minister Farhod Rahimov confirmed that uniforms were likely to be introduced, with a range of designs in sober colours now under consideration.



“Teachers must set an example for their pupils to follow,” adding that those who currently wear traditional Tajik costume should avoid bright colours and sparkly bits.



Teachers say that if they have to conform, they are more concerned about the form the uniform should take than about how much it is going to set them back, given that they earn a pittance.



One issue of particular concern to women from more traditionally-minded backgrounds is whether headscarves will be made compulsory, optional or forbidden.



Instead of voicing a view on what constitutes acceptable clothing, Hikmatullo Saifullozoda of the Islamic Rebirth Party said the education ministry had better things to be spending its time on than teachers’ external appearance – for example, it would do well to focus on the learning they delivered to their charges.



Saifullozoda was especially critical of the ministry’s plans to issue regulations on beards.



“My beard grows on my own chin,” he said. “Does this mean that my chin would be under the control of the education ministry?”
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