By Akbar Mammadov
President Ilham Aliyev has praised the development of education system in the country, saying that reforms in this sphere must further deepen to allow education system catch up with the country’s growing economy.
Aliyev made the remarks during the video meeting with the newly-appointed Education Minister Emin Amrullayev on July 27.
“Reforms carried out so far in the field of education must be further deepened. Education must develop in accordance with the general development of our country and meet the most modern requirements… Our education system must harmonize with the overall economic and industrial development of our country,” Aliyev said.
The president also praised the worked carried out in the country’s education system under his administration.
“For about 17 years now, upon my initiative, reforms have been carried out in Azerbaijan on the principle of turning black gold into human capital. Over the years, a completely new, modern generation has grown up, and today young people are showing themselves in all areas,” the president said.
Speaking about the education reforms, the president highlighted the following points. “I can say that a major rejuvenation of the material and technical base of education has already been completed; over 3,500 schools have either been rebuilt or overhauled. The vast majority of universities in Azerbaijan meet modern standards, new buildings and buildings have been built, new universities have been established. I think that most of the work has been done in this area,” the president stressed. He reminded that branches of three foreign universities have been operating in Azerbaijan for a short time.
Touching upon the resolution of some pending issues, the president emphasized that they must be resolved by 2022, in particular, the project to build modular schools in mountain villages must be completed within the next two years.
“This project is now being implemented in many villages. Both villagers and children are very pleased. This program is implemented through the state budget, and therefore I repeat, its completion should be completed in 2021-2022,” the president said.
Speaking about raising qualification of Azerbaijanis teachers, Aliyev said: “In 2015-2018, a new approach was applied - a diagnostic assessment of teachers was conducted. The salaries of teachers who successfully pass this diagnostic assessment have been doubled on average.”
Furthermore, the president spoke about the program adopted upon his initiative a few years ago that allowed Azerbaijani youth to receive education abroad, adding that thousands of Azerbaijani youth have studied in leading world universities at the state expense as part of this program.
“You are one of these youths and you are covered by this program. As you know, we implemented this program through the State Oil Fund,” Aliyev said, addressing the minister Amrullayev.
The president reminded that some government officials had suggested that young people studying abroad with the government funds must be required to return to the country after graduation and work in a mandatory manner in the country for 5-10 years.
“I did not take a positive approach towards this suggestion,” the president said.
Addressing the minister, Aliyev said: “You see this as someone who has studied abroad through this program. You returned, worked here, despite your young age, you have been entrusted with great responsibilities, and today you are an appointed minister.”
Another important issue Aliyev touched upon was related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the ongoing digitalization trends in the world. Emphasizing the importance of this issue, he noted: “There is no need to train specialists in those professions that will not be available in five years. At the same time, new professions that are non-existent today, will emerge. However, it is expected what professions will emerge, and specialists must be trained in these specific professions. At the same time, the elimination of some professions may create another problem for us. Because Azerbaijan is a demographically developing country, our population is growing. Unemployment may increase as a result of the elimination of occupations.”
The president stressed that the government must ensure that Azerbaijan citizens are provided with jobs.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Education, together with the relevant agencies, must pay great attention to this issue of special importance, develop and submit concrete proposals, and raise public awareness on this issue,” noted the president.
Moreover, Aliyev spoke about the importance of vocational education given the fast development of Azerbaijan’s economy.
“Today, our country is developing so fast that staff training cannot develop in accordance with the industrial and economic development of our country,” said Aliyev.
The president also touched upon the rejuvenation policy of the country.
“Our country pursues a policy of rejuvenation, young people are appointed to very important positions, and I think that Azerbaijan has a very positive experience in the field of governance. The synthesis of the experience of the older generation and the modernity and innovation of the younger generation affects the successful development of our country,” noted Aliyev.
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