THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN

The history of the Ministry

The first Ministry on the national education was established by the order of the Democratic government of Azerbaijan as the Ministry of National Education and Religious Belief on May 28, 1929 and it was confirmed as a structure comprising three departments (secondary education, higher education and vocational schools) by the order of the Ministers' Council on June 30, 1918

The Ministry of National Education and Religious Belief was again renamed the Commissariat of National Education by the decree of the Ministers' Council on April 28, 1920 and the country's educational institutions were transferred under its jurisdiction. The Committee of Technical Vocational Education was established within the Commissariat of National Education in 1921.

The Department for Man Power was established by the order of the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR in 1940 and all the technical vocational educational institutions were transferred under its jurisdiction. The State Technical Education Committee was established on the basis of the aforementioned organization by the order of the Ministers Council in 1959 and it operated till 1988. The Committee of Higher and Professional Education was created under the Ministers' Council by the order of the Ministers Council in 1959 and all institutions of professional and higher education were transferred under its jurisdiction.

The Committee for Higher and Secondary Professional Education was transformed into an independent Ministry in 1964 and operated till 1988. On the whole, two ministries related to education had operated in Azerbaijan from 1959 till 1988 (The Minister of National Education and the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Professional Education). These three structures were eliminated by the order of the Ministers' Council of the Azerbaijan SSR in 1988 and the Ministry of National Education was established instead and its structure confirmed.

The Ministry of the National Education was renamed the Ministry of Education by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev on September 3, 1993. The regulation of the Ministry was approved by order No 58 of February 10, 1994 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The functions of the Ministry

The Ministry has the following functions:

- to form a single state policy in the sphere of education:

- to define the concept of education system development in the Republic of Azerbaijan, to work out prospective programs in the said direction and to ensure their implementation

- to protect the constitutional rights on education of the citizens and to create equal conditions in the education system for the purpose;

- to carry out state control over the education and to ensure the state control over the level of education;

- to create organizational and economic model of the education system conforming to the present-day requirements;

- to apply the mechanisms of democratic management;

- to consider the demands of the labor-market in the training of specialists;

- to strengthen permanently the scientific and methodical maintenance of education

- to arrange and develop the international cooperation in the sphere of education;

- to fulfill other duties stipulated for the Ministry by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The rights of the Ministry

The Ministry has the following rights in its activity:

Reforms in the system of Education

1. for the establishment of the new legal and standard economic and informational base of the education system;

2. for the development of all the educational institutions and the establishment of new type educational institutions, centers and complexes;

3. for the establishment of organizational mechanisms and creation of scientific and methodical bases ensuring the development of the education system;

4. for the establishment of mechanisms for specialists training, provision, raising level of skills and retraining;

5. for the establishment of mechanisms ensuring the arrangement of database of education system;

6. for the establishment of mechanism of the democratization of management, separation of powers in the control over the education system;

7. for the determination of standards related to the transition to new economic model in education and creation of due conditions.

STAGE 2

1.for integration of different type and level educational institutions, establishment of new type scientific and educational centers and reconstruction of the educational enterprises network;

2. for the establishment of the content of education in accordance with the capacities of pupils and students and on the basis of the state, community and private demands;

3. for the establishment of a mechanism to programme human resources;

4. for the establishment of the educational, scientific and methodical and informational maintenance in the sphere of education.

International Relations

The international relations of the Republic of Azerbaijan in education mainly concentrate on the involvement of students, pupils and postgraduate students to the scientific researches, international and interregional educational programs and their exchange.

As a result of the effective activity of the Ministry of education that is the main coordination center of the country's international relations in education the Republic of Azerbaijan joined a number of international conventions in education and maintains cooperation with the international organizations.

Thus, the educational institutions of Azerbaijan take an active part in the activity of structures engaged in the educational problems such as UNESCO, UNISEF, UNEVOC, ISESCO, and European Fund for Education, European Council and European Union and other influential international organizations. As a result of the effective cooperation with international structures the high schools of Azerbaijan get involved in the program TEMPUS/TACIS financed by the European Union.

Within the last few years the TEMPUS program implemented 21 projects covering 16 high schools of our country for the total sum of EUR 4.4 million. The students' exchange, specialists training, teachers' probation abroad and measures for the supply of modern informational technologies and facilities to the high schools were conducted in frames of the program. EUR 2 million was proposed to allot for different projects in 2005-2006.

A number of purposeful works were carried out under the financial and technical support of the said program in the Baku State University, the Azerbaijan University of Languages, the Azerbaijan State Economic University, the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, the State Academy under the Presidential Administration, Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction as well as such private high schools as Western University, Khazar and Tafakkur.

UNISEF is one of the international organizations conducting effective cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Such projects as "Initiative on the preschool children's formation and improvement of parentage", "Active education and school leadership", "Convention on education for development of children's rights", "improvement of analysis and information in the education system", "Children's formation and health" , 'Establishment of parents-teachers association", "Enlightenment on the mine thread" were conducted in 2000-2004 within the framework of the program for cooperation signed between the government of Azerbaijan and UNISEF. The total volume of USD 1.5 million was spent in frames of the program including USD 300 thousand within the last five years. The projects will be continued in the following years.

A two day conference on the development of the national policy for the application of active/interactive education in Azerbaijan was conducted by the Ministry of Education and UNISEF Azerbaijan representation in November, 2004 in frames of the program for cooperation signed between the government of Azerbaijan and UNISEF and the document on the directions of the activity related to the introduction of active/interactive educational technologies in Azerbaijan.

Moreover, the Ministry of Education established direct relations in the sphere of education with USA, France, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, India, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Czechia, Slovakia, Uzbekistan and Poland and continues their development.

The leadership of the Ministry of Education visited France, Turkey, Great Britain, Russia, Iran, USA and Germany within the framework of the direct programs for cooperation with these countries and signed protocols aiming at the expansion of the cooperation.

The high schools of the Republic of Azerbaijan have great experience in the in the training of specialists for foreign countries. The high schools of the country which have strong technical basis and great potential since the Soviet times educated thousands of foreign students from different countries at different faculties beginning from the 1970s. The tradition has been preserved up to the present.

As a result of the purposeful works conducted in the system of higher education, 3438 foreign citizens from 41 countries of the world currently study in Azerbaijan. Such a result has been achieved through strengthening of the technical basis of the sigh schools and the quality of education and due to the stable and sound conditions established in the country.

The number of Azerbaijanis educating abroad has increased through the last few years. Over 3000 young people who finished secondary schools in Azerbaijan are successfully educating at the leading universities of the world.

The foreign citizens obtain B.A. degree, master's degree, doctor's degree from the state funds or by payment at the high schools of the republic of Azerbaijan.

Great success has been achieved in the attraction of foreigners to the educational institutions especially high schools operating in the country on the contract basis. As the education carried out on the basis of contracts between foreign citizens and educational institutions is chargeable, the country receives big volumes of funds from abroad. All that can be assessed as the effective utilization of the scientific progress achieved by the high schools within tens of years.

The programs of such technologies as "Step-by-step" and "Development of critical thinking" of the Institute of Open Society, UN Stable formation of human being and US Project Harmony organizations, UNESCO projects "Associative schools" and "The fraternized schools", the Services of Academic Exchange of Germany and the achievements of the youth are applied in over 200 educational enterprises of Azerbaijan.

The necessary legal basis was created for the regulation and development of international relations of the Azerbaijan education. The Republic of Azerbaijan has already joined the following international conventions on the recognition of the scientific degrees and educational documents in the sphere of higher education;

-The UNESCO Paris Convention of 1979 on the recognition of diplomas of higher education and scientific degrees and the training courses in the European states;

-The regional convention of Bangkok of UNESCO of 1983 on the recognition of the educational diplomas and scientific degrees and training courses in the Asian and Pacific Ocean states.

-Lisbon convention of 1997 on the recognition of the specialties of higher education in the European region.

The Ministry of Education implements a number of projects and programs in cooperation with a number of international organizations and will continue them in the future:

Protocols and contracts singed by the Ministry of Education

The address of the Ministry:

Address: Baku, 49 Khatai Ave
Tel: (+994 12) 96 06 47
Fax: (+994 12) 963483, 963490
E-mail:office@edu.gov.az
Web site:http://www.edu.gov.az
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