Residents of Turkmenistan panic stricken over a tenfold increase in kindergarten fees

As has been previously reported, monthly fees in Turkmenistan’s kindergartens have increased tenfold from 8 to 80 manats a month per child.

For families with 3 and more children the fee rose to 40 manats per child and 10 manats for single mothers.

This resulted in spontaneous acts of protest organized by outraged parents in front of khyakimlik’s offices (town halls) across towns and villages of Dashoguz velayat.

Radio “Azatlyk” reports that a group of protestors initially convened in front of the regional education board.

However, they were informed that their complaints must be submitted to the khyakimlik’s office.Later, according to the radio, criminal charges were initiated against the official who recommended that the protestors complain to the municipal administration.

He is accused of “instigating protests against the state and disrespecting the President’s aspirations to improve the well-being of residents”.

According to correspondents at “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”, however, this indignation has not brought about any changes.Representatives of the khyakimlik’s office said that the decision to impose revised fees had already been made and those who are not content may address their complaints to the prosecutor’s office.

At the same time, they cautioned that the decision had been initiated by high-ranking authorities and, hinting at potential consequences, asked: “Are you against the government?”

Many panic-stricken parents started taking their children out of kindergartens, which led to a reduction in the number of pre-schoolers in groups. Kindergarten principals fear that this might lead to staff reductions and that some kindergartens could be closed down altogether.

To improve the attendance, at least on paper, kindergarten teachers and nurses were warned that each of them will have to have to pay for two children, under the threat of the complete closure of the kindergarten. Some educators are negotiating with parents to pay the fees fifty-fifty.

The editorial office of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” is receiving many messages from our readers who are concerned about the rumors of fees to be imposed in schools 100 manats per student. As of today we are unable to confirm this information.

Let us recall that article 55 of Turkmenistan’s Constitution runs that “General secondary education shall be compulsory; everyone shall be entitled to receive it in public educational institutions free of charge”.

At the same time, according to our sources, starting from the next academic year, the introduction of fees in specialized schools (schools which focus on Maths and Physics, language schools etc) is now under discussion.

Positive rumours are also being disseminated which claim that children’s allowances will be paid for children up to 6 y.o.

rather than 3 y.o.This is explained as a compensation for the increased kindergarten fees.According to our sources, however, for the time being only allowances in the amount of 156 manats a month are paid to children under 3 y.o.

and no changes are envisaged.

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