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Special attention is paid to education at a state level

Interview with  Member of MIlli Majlis Science and Education Committee, rector of Odlar Yurdu university Ahmad Valiyev

Q: A couple of days ago President Ilham Aliyev signed an order endorsing a plan of action related to the implementation of the State Strategy on the development of education in Azerbaijan. What contribution will this document make to the development of education in the country?

A: Much has been done to develop education in Azerbaijan in the past 10 years. The President attaches a particular importance to this area. At the same time first lady, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva is tirelessly working on this front. Huge work is being carried out to turn material capital into human capital as said by our president.

From this point of view much has been done to strengthen material and technical infrastructure of education, and improve logistic system of educational facilities. A lot of schools, kindergartens and other educational facilities have been built, reconstructed and repaired in our country in the past 11 years. These facilities are built and modernized in line with international standards. And all these issues are priorities in the State Strategy on the development of education in Azerbaijan. 

I would also like to emphasize the efforts of our education minister, who is doing great job toward ensuring the implementation of the state strategy. And the presidential order endorsing a plan of action related to the implementation of the State Strategy on the development of education in Azerbaijan is one of the key parameters of this strategy.

Q: President Ilham Aliyev has recently signed an executive order to increase salaries of teachers of secondary schools who passed knowledge and quality assessment. How will this order impact the quality of education and welfare of teachers?

A: The State Strategy on the development of education in Azerbaijan envisages the improvement of the quality of education in the country to highest standards. Every teacher, education worker should change his or her activity under this strategy. Financing is one of the key issues in the process of building normal education system. So the order signed by President Ilham Aliyev is of particular importance. Raising the wages of teachers at a time when the world is struggling with economic and financial crisis is highly appreciated not only by educational workers, but the entire people of Azerbaijan.

The document defines mechanisms related to wages. I absolutely support this decision, and I have repeatedly said that people fulfilling the same activities should not receive the same wage. Everybody should receive for his abilities and knowledge. As you know the Ministry of Education is carrying out eh assessment of the abilities and knowledge of secondary school teachers. Under the presidential order, wages of the teachers who passed assessment will be increased. And this will be another stimulus for teachers to be more responsible in their work.

Q: The Milli Majlis committee discussed the draft Law on science last year. What is the importance of this law?

A: Yes, this draft law was widely discussed at our committee. It is very important that we adopt the Law on science. This document will greatly contribute to the development of science in the country. It envisages a lot of issues, including the increase in salaries of scientific workers, solution of their social problems.

Science and education should integrate into each other. This is one of the key government priorities in our country. So much attention should be paid to scientific activity both in higher educational institutions and at the National Academy of Sciences.

Q: What are you doing in Odlar Yurdu university to increase the quality of education?

A: Odlar Yurdu university has adopted its own program for the development of the quality of education. And we are implementing it under the strategy defined by our President. We are doing much to prepare highly-qualified specialists. This is one of our main goals. Therefore we attach particular emphasis to developing science.

There is a quality provision center at Odlar Yurdu university which supervises the activities of each teacher and student. We carry out attestations of teachers each semester. Those who cannot pass the assessment successfully are excluded, and we involve new, highly-qualified teachers instead of them.

Our university enjoys broad foreign relations. We study the experience of the world`s leading higher educational institutions. Our students receive education at foreign universities under different programs. We enjoy close cooperation and carry out joint programs with the universities of the USA, Turkey, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Northern Cyprus, Georgia.

Q: As an MP what about the situation in the region that you represent in the parliament?

A: As you know I am an MP from Gazakh region. As an educational worker, I study educational problems in the region. President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly visited Gazakh, and reviewed the construction activities. As an MP I applied to appropriate government authorities with regards to some problems in the region, for example, there were 15 schools in very poor condition in the region. I applied to relevant authorities, and those schools have already been reconstructed. There are also new schools and educational facilities.

The government is doing great job to solve education-related problems in the region. Gazakh has historically been one of the important scientific and educational centers of our country. So I reiterate at all meetings that special attention must be paid to preserving this tradition and improving the quality of science and education in our region.