The biggest challenges for the education system, which is struggling with
shortages of teachers and teaching aids, concern a revision of the content of
education as well as a strengthening of vocational education. Teaching is mainly
in Turkmen, while Russian, Uzbek and Kazakh are used in 16% of schools
(1996). approximately 2% of the adult population is illiterate.
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The public, free education system, which has nine years of compulsory
schooling, consists of a four-year primary school for 6-11-year-olds, followed
by a seven-year superstructure divided into a three-year and a four-year
level. Higher education applied for by approximately 12% and presupposes passing the
entrance exam, takes place at the University of Ashgabat, founded in 1950, and
at a few higher education institutions.
OFFICIAL NAME: Turkmenistan
CAPITAL CITY: Ashgabat
POPULATION: 5,040,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 488,100 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Turkmen, Uzbek, Russian and others
RELIGION: Muslims (especially Sunni Muslims) 89%, Russian Orthodox 9%, others el. no 2%
CURRENCY CODE: TMM
ENGLISH NAME: Turkmenistan
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Turkmen 77%, Uzbeks 9%, Russians 7%, Kazakhs 2%, Tatars 1%, others 4%
GDP PER residents: $ 8098 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 59 years, women 67 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.724
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 105
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .tm
Turkmenistan, (from Pers. Turkmān, egl. 'Turkish-like', and ostān 'country'),
republic of western Central Asia. Turkmenistan, like the other Soviet republics,
became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was then
and still is a state that in many ways is comparable to a colony. The country
has large exports of raw materials (oil, natural gas and cotton), imports of
food and finished goods, an infrastructure designed according to the interests
of the colonial power (Russia), almost no industrial development and only a few
of the country's own residents engaged in industry and raw material
extraction; a society still characterized by a traditional agrarian tribal
Turkmenistan was the most stable post-Soviet republic in the 1990's, and under
the leadership of the former party secretary, President Saparmurad Nijazov, an
authoritarian presidential regime was built with strong cult of
personality. After his death in 2006, the regime has been softened a bit, but
the country still has an authoritarian regime. Turkmenistan has sought new
avenues for its raw material exports, but remains dependent on traditional
markets and the Russian oil and natural gas distribution network.
Turkmenistan - language
Official language is the Turkish language Turkmen, spoken by approximately 3/4 of
the population. In addition, Russian and Uzbek are spoken, as well as a number
of minority languages, including Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Tatar and Ukrainian.
Turkmenistan - Constitution
The Republic's Constitution is from 1992. Legislative power is formally
vested in the Parliament, Majlis, which has 50 members elected by
direct universal suffrage for five years, but the People's Council has
overall powers to decide on legislation and adopt constitutional amendments. for
discussion; the council may express distrust of the president.
The president is the chairman of the People's Council, and it includes
Majlis' 50 members, ten designated regional representatives, 50 members elected
by direct election, the ministers, the president of the Supreme Court and other
senior officials. The president, who has the executive power and heads the
government, is elected by direct election for five years.
Turkmenistan - literature
The oldest oral tradition can be traced back to the 900's. I
1300-1700-t. literature was strongly influenced by Islam, but in folk poetry the
main theme was the struggle of the Turkmen tribes against Uzbek and Iranian
enemies, for example in the great epic Kör-oğly (Son of the Blind) from
Makhtum-Kuli (approximately 1730-80/90) founded the classical Turkmen poetry, which
combines philosophical, religious and patriotic reflections with depictions of
everyday life. In the late 1800's. made many writers common cause with the
socially critical Russian literature.
The first Turkmen-language newspapers and magazines were published in the
1920's, and in 1929 the first theater opened in Ashgabat. Among the most
important writers of the Soviet period was Berdy Kerabayev (1894-1974). His
contemporary historical novels The Decisive Step (1940-47) and Nebitag (1959)
have also been published in the West.
Mikhail Gorbachev's reform course of the mid-1980's paved the way for a new
national and religious consciousness in literature.