The headline contains the last lines of the “Oath of Turkmenistan” of allegiance to the Motherland and the President of Turkmenistan, which for the sake of interest should be given in full.
my dear land,
And in the thoughts
and with my heart I always
For the slightest evil,
caused to you
let my hand be taken away.
For the slightest slander you
In the hour of treason motherland,
Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great,
to your sacred banner
let my breath be interrupted.
This oath, adopted as a state symbol in the mid-1990s, became a powerful reflection of the entire state ideology of Turkmenistan. It opens all meetings of the parliament and the government of the country, classes in schools and universities, its text is placed in the title of all newspapers without exception, it is read several times on radio and television in several languages. It is not by chance that the mention of the name of the president in the current version of the oath, but it was introduced gradually, at first the president was not mentioned at all. This was followed by such an evolution - “President” - “Saparmurat Turkmenbashi” - “Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great”. And there would be no point once again to focus on this if it were not for another surge in the personality cult of President Niyazov, which showed how much the education system in Turkmenistan was degraded, being completely permeated with all attributes of the personality cult of Niyazov and his and all spheres of public life.
Top of insanity
The last bell in the schools began with the very oath when the festively dressed graduates slandered themselves "... may my hand be taken away ...", "... may my breath be interrupted ...". And on this, seemingly festive day, many schoolchildren and their parents had what to think of such a thing, from which, if the oath were actually enforceable, many would have interrupted their breath on the spot. According to statistics, about 105 thousand people graduate from school this year. Admission to universities is strictly regulated and is about 3 thousand people and the main criterion for admission to universities is Turkmen nationality, the absence of convicts among relatives, and even more so “enemies of the people”, and a thorough knowledge of all the works of Turkmenbashi the Great, including poetry. Going to study abroad is becoming increasingly unrealistic: the nine-year education system in Turkmenistan does not allow school graduates to enter foreign universities, and the generally accepted curriculum decreases all the time as the number of president’s works increases, which are introduced by compulsory subjects to the main course ... But back to the holiday.
Following the pronouncement of the oath followed by the congratulations of the director, parents and first-graders, and ... the “blessing” of the president’s mother who died many years ago. The actress portraying President Niyazov’s mother, Gurbansoltan-edje, dressed in traditional attire, surrounded by other actresses depicting peri angels, with a phonogram, in a grave voice wished the children all the best, including being obedient to her son-president. A good festive set: self-contract for self-harm and the appearance of the image of the deceased. But the ritual of worship was not completed on this either - all the schools in their entirety proceeded to the laying of flowers at the monuments to the father and mother of the president.
But on this test for loyalty of the younger generation has just begun. Among the suggested topics of essays on the Russian language and literature in schools with Russian language of instruction, out of 100 topics 80 were in one way or another connected with the president’s activities, creativity and family. In Turkmen-teaching schools, there was an absolute majority of these topics. At the same time, the teachers were strictly forbidden to put the grade below 4 points for those students who chose the “correct” topic. There can be no bad knowledge in the main subject in the country. Yes, and how bad it is to write an essay on the stated topics:
“May there always be peace, may our Great Turkmenbashi forever be!”;
"The great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi is our eternal President";
"Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great - a pillar of the people, homeland and unity";
“I am proud of the monumental architecture of the beautiful new buildings created by the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi”;
"The Holy Ruhnama - Golden Book of the Golden Age";
"The books of the life of the Great Serdar are our main teaching."
And so all the other 80 essays. But those who think that this is the end of it will be mistaken. Not at all! When preparing for each exam, schoolchildren will have to learn: in biology - the contribution of Turkmenbashi to the development of horse breeding, in geography - the location of the settlements named after the president in various variations. In a specialized English school on the exam in English it is necessary to recite in English an excerpt from the book of the president. An exception to this list is the subject of “Algebra and the Beginning of Analysis”. But this gap is more than covered by a separate exam on the knowledge of the book “Ruhnama”. Here are a few questions from tickets on this subject:
- The creation of the Holy Ruhnama;
- The great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi on the sacred necessity of the Holy Ruhnama;
- The Holy Ruhnama on the national traditions and past of the Turkmen people;
- The great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi on the goal of creating the Holy Ruhnama;
- Books of the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi about the holiness of faith in one Serdar;
- The life path of the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi in the Holy Ruhnama;
- The sacred Rukhnama of the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi is a world model of spiritual doctrine;
- The Sacred Rukhnama of the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi on science and education;
- On the richness of the creation of the Holy Book of the Ruhnama;
- Sacred Rukhnama on the courage of the Hero of Turkmenistan Atamurata Niyazov;
- The Holy Ruhnama of the Hero of Turkmenistan Gurbansoltan Eje;
- Fatherly books of the Great Saparmurat Niyazov - the school of education of the golden generation of the golden age.
"Golden graduates of the era of the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi"
Having passed all circles of ideological processing, every year more than 100 thousand graduates will never be able to continue their studies. Administrative barriers, too narrow a limit of admission to universities, and most importantly - the almost complete lack of outlook, basic education as such, deprive the 100 thousand of any chance of further competitive advancement in life. In the best conditions, of course, there are those who live in cities and with sin in half can master the Russian language not only at school, but also in everyday communication, where Russian is still in use. This gives at least some chance that this person will be able to understand what is going on through the numerous channels of Russian television, which are received by individual satellite antennas throughout Turkmenistan. Alas, programs of not the highest quality of TV become for many Turkmen children a window to the world, and the only one. But the most disastrous situation with education develops in rural areas, from where the culture of the Russian language is already gone, the culture of another, English, for example, will never be, and the whole school curriculum is prepared from the point of view of ideological expediency so that the future graduate can answer questions the content of the "Ruhnama", knew the elementary account and alphabet.
Year after year, the Turkmen education system breeds illiterate young people, who supplement the already huge army of unemployed people, without having any qualifications. The situation became so blatant that the authorities decided to increase the service life in the army to three years from next year in order to avoid a social explosion, and the draft age was reduced to 17 years, and the bulk of soldiers bear labor service in industry and agriculture. But the saddest fate awaits the Turkmen girls, doomed to the dimly existing Turkmen new traditionalism in the statement of President Niyazov, leaving them the role of workers of the cotton fields and the mechanism of reproduction of the population.
It was terrible to look at first-graders who came to congratulate graduates with the "last call." At the first oath of the oath, all the seven-year-old children put their right hand to their hearts and said: "... let my hand be taken away ... let my tongue be weakened ... let my breath stop."
More than once, not two international organizations criticized the educational policy in Turkmenistan, this year the US State Department in its report emphasized the extreme ideology of the entire educational process, from kindergartens to universities. The OSCE Chairman warned Turkmenistan against such experiments in education. But Turkmenbashi, meanwhile, has released the second volume of the book “Ruhnama”, which will further press the traditional subjects of the school curriculum.
The worst thing in the current situation is that despite numerous comments, warnings and advice from the world community, nothing will change. Turkmenbashi is more profitable to have a people who do not know, do not think, and therefore do not resist. Which, like a sheep-herd, will move after its leader-goat.