Azerbaijan invests in education infrastructure

| April 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

A former Soviet Republic nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan is growing at breakneck speed thanks to profits from a recently completed oil pipeline. The country’s GDP is one of the fastest-growing in the world, having doubled in the last seven years.

That wealth is trickling down to education in the rural regions, where half of Azerbaijan’s population lives. As a result, small, dilapidated rural schools – some lacking basics like heating, desks and books – are slowly getting a makeover. Non-profit organisations – including Save the Children and World Vision – have banded with the Azeri government to rebuild or refurbish elementary and secondary schools throughout the country.

One such renovation took place in Garadog Sahil Qasabasi, where as many as 20 000 refugees live. In this neighbourhood, the local school stands out for its newness. Pervasive challenges remain in the region, however. Many schools still lack equipment, such as chalkboards. Some students don’t have even workbooks, because their parents cannot afford to buy them. Others may not attend school, because they need to work to support their families.

Another challenge is teacher quality. Though the government is working to develop a new curriculum that emphasises creative thinking and interactive teaching, many educators do not have the resources to execute reforms.

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Category: Autumn 2011

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