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The Republic of Tajikistan, also spelled Tojikiston, emerged from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Tajikistan was the only former-Soviet republic of Central Asia to fall into widespread violence after gaining its independence. Civil war wracked the country from 1992 until 1997 as various factions sought control. Concerned about stability in the region, its neighbors and Russia formed a joint peacekeeping force and entered Tajikistan. Russian forces remained to counter incursions from militant groups based in Afghanistan. The threat of such incursions still exists as they pass through Tajikistan to attack Uzbekistan.

Tajikistan shares borders with China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The country is landlocked and though Tajiks make up the majority of the population, Uzbeks comprise a quarter of the population. The majority of Russians have emigrated out of the country, mostly due to programs pursued by the Tajik government to aggressively adopt pro-Tajik policies. The official language of the country is Tajik (related to Farsi and Dari), but Russian is still commonly used in government and business. In education Russian is often used alongside Tajik.

Economic issues plague Tajikistan. Five years of civil war have seriously damaged the country's infrastructure and industrial and agricultural production plummeted. Though the country has rebounded since 1997, it has the lowest GDP among any of the former Soviet republics. More than half of its population lives in poverty and 40 percent are unemployed.

Tajikistan faces many hurdles; though it has regained political stability, the country lacks economic assets. The country did not inherit much of an industrial heritage from the Soviet Union. Its capacity to produce hydroelectric power from the rivers emerging from the mountains has been compromised by the neglect and damage dams received during the period of civil war. Cotton is the primary agricultural product, but only a small fraction of the country (less than 7 percent) is arable. To complicate matters the country is in the path of the heroin trade that originates in Afghanistan and is bound for Moscow and Europe. In addition landmines left during the civil war still linger along the landscape.


Despite the uncertainty of the country's future, education remains a strong part of Tajikistan's culture. The citizenry have retained well over a 90 percent literacy rate since the fall of the Soviet Union. The number of higher education institutions has grown from thirteen at the time of independence to nearly thirty; the number of universities has increased from two to eighteen and the number of enrolled students has gone from 23,000 to 62,000 in 2000. At the same time enrollment in the professional secondary institutions has declined dramatically over the past ten years-perhaps a result of the decline in employment opportunities for people trained in a specific trade. Currently, the country's education system is overseen by the Вазорати маориф ва илми Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон.

Seconary Education

Secondary education is free and compulsory until the ninth grade. After completion of grade nine, students receive a сведительство о неполном среднем образовании. Students who wish to go on to university must complete an additional two years and receive an attestat or аттестат о среднем (полном) общем образовании.

Post-Secondary Education

First and Second Cycle

Students who gain entrance to a university may complete a диплом бакалавра after four years or a диплом специалиста after five or six years. A диплом магистра is awarded after two additional years following the диплом бакалавра degree or one additional year after the диплом специалиста.

The system retains the кандидат наук and the доктор наук of the Soviet System.

First Cycle, Vocational/Technical

A variety of professional/vocational credentials are awarded at tekhnikum, colleges or uchilishche. These can range from a Diploma of Complete Vocational/Technical Specialized Secondary Education (three years after grade nine) to a Diploma of Complete Vocational-Technical Education (one year following the attestat) or a Diploma of Complete Specialized Secondary Education (three years after grade nine or one to three years following the attestat). In general "specialized secondary education" includes technical, medical or preschool education fields.

Third Cycle

A student must hold a диплом специалиста or a диплом магистра before pursuing a candidate of sciences. A doctor of sciences is usually pursued well after completion of a candidate of sciences and only awarded after significant publication and contributions to the field of study.



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