Controversial statements of the Minister of Education spark outrage in Azerbaijan
Controversial statements of the Minister of Education of Azerbaijan
Today, Education Minister of Azerbaijan Emin Amrullayev held a briefing for journalists and some of his statements were met with outrage in society. Minister stated that he did not see the problem with the collection of money from parents in schools on a voluntary basis, and also called it an accident that the class teacher in one of the Baku schools introduced a student with long hair as a girl.
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Azerbaijani Education Minister Emin Amrullayev held a briefing for journalists on December 21. He noted that by order of the President, preschool educational institutions (kindergartens) were transferred under the control of the Ministry of Education. Prior to this, kindergartens were subordinate to the executive authority of the area in which they were located.
According to Amrullayev, currently there are 1,825 kindergartens in the country, of which 1,692 are state-owned, and another 133 are private. 126,509 children are being educated in state preschool institutions.
The Minister of Education also shared his views on the controversial incidents in the field of education, which have caused widespread discussion in society recently. But the official’s comments were also received ambiguously by the public.
Emin Amrullaev was born in 1982. Having received higher education in Azerbaijan, in 2003-2004. He received his master’s degree in political science from the Central European University in Austria. And in 2010-2012 Amrullayev obtained his master’s degree from the Faculty of Administrative Management at Columbia University in the USA. In July 2020, he was appointed Minister of Education of Azerbaijan.
“When I was in school, it was exactly the same”
Recently, an audio recording was distributed in the Azerbaijani segment of social media, in which, as stated, the director of Baku school number 189-190 Jeyran Quliyeva demanded that the class teachers collect money from the students’ parents.
Kulieva stated that if some parent does not give money, then the class teacher himself must pay the missing amount.
A few days after the distribution of the audio recording, the headmaster was fired from her position.
During the briefing, Minister Emin Amrullayev touched upon the issue of collecting money from the parents of students in the country’s schools:
“Fundraising in schools is not a problem today, when I was in school it was all the same.
Parents should not be involved in running the school.
The state does not have the ability to do everything for everyone. Fundraising in schools is illegal. For this, there must be rules.
Education is such a concept that the more resources are involved, the better the result. But such fees should not be illegal, they should be transparent”.
This statement of the minister was met with controversy in the Azerbaijani segment of social media. Here are some typical comments:
“I have a question for the minister: if people are short on cash in the countryside, can parents bring live geese and homemade butter to school instead?”
“In Soviet times, schoolchildren were also taken to pick cotton ‘voluntarily’, allegedly no one was forced, and everyone was building socialism”.
“I wonder, will they pay taxes from these voluntary fees?”
Introduction of a student with long hair as a girl
Journalist Roya Rafili filed a complaint with the police after her son, a 5th grade student in one of the Baku schools, was introduced by the class teacher as a girl to other students because of his long hair.
In a briefing, Education Minister Emin Amrullayev commented on the incident as follows:
“The teacher accidentally introduced the boy as a girl. She did not pursue the goal of humiliating him.
This teacher has a lot of experience and she is an educated person. She admitted her mistake and was punished with a reprimand. She herself admitted that she was mistaken because of the length of the child’s hair, and therefore introduced him as a girl. It is unacceptable to severely punish educators for this. Most importantly, she admitted her mistake and apologized”.
This statement by the minister also sparked controversy on social media. Users of social networks write that the class teacher could not confuse a student named Amil, and accidentally call him a girl:
“This incident can be called an accident only by those who want to see it as just an accident”.
“It’s not a stork who brings a student to class. Before the y appear in the classroom, the class teacher studies their personal file, knows where thye came from, what their name is, who their parents are, etc”.