School preparation for first-graders costs up to 2,000 manats (about $550). The list of necessary school supplies includes pens, pencils, notebooks, covers, rulers, and plasticine. A school uniform is also required: for boys, it is a suit and tie, and for girls a green dress, jacket and apron. An important part of the clothing is also the headdress – the tahya.
Not all families can afford the expense of buying school uniforms. According to journalists, more and more families refuse to buy new clothes and prefer used ones. Financial problems are one of the reasons for this situation, as well as insufficient quality of goods. For many people, higher quality clothes and shoes are unaffordable, but cheaper options do not justify the money invested.
Prices for goods vary. For example, inexpensive pants at state fairs cost about 140 manat, and a shirt 100 manat. The cost of better quality pants in private stores is 300 manat, shirts made in Turkey cost about the same amount.
With high unemployment and rising prices, some families find themselves unable to raise the necessary amount to provide for all the needs of their children, and in some cases, there are several children in one family. Some people buy used clothes or remake last year’s clothes, while others have to ask relatives or acquaintances for old uniforms.
Aynur, a resident of the Ilyala district of Dashoguz province, told Turkmen.News: “I have to save money on everything,” she said. “I buy one pair of shoes for my two sons because they are yearlings and wear almost the same size. The same for my daughters – one pair of shoes for two. And otherwise, you can’t get enough of shopping. I also have some old shoes, so they will alternate.
Villagers come to the school bazaar in the city. There is more choice here, they say. They look first at prices and then at quality. They prefer cheaper products, which, as a rule, are made of low-grade material and therefore do not last long – for one season at most.
New goods, even if you make them yourself, still cost not cheap. Approximate prices are as follows: school dress: fabric – 40-60 manat for 1 meter; you can take 20, but the cheapest; yaka (embroidery) on the collar – from 20 manat; sewing – 30-50 manat. The total cost of a dress is 200-250 manat on average, depending on the cost of fabric and the seamstress’s requests.
The situation with higher education in the country is also not particularly rosy. There are only 23 universities in the country. This could be enough for a small population, but due to the backwardness of the economy, most of the people go to work in the agrarian sector, not in the technological sector. The largest university is the Saparmurat Niyazov State Agricultural University. Saparmurat Niyazov State Agricultural University.
Education in this way does not give any way of life to the young generation, but only consolidates the now enslaved status of a citizen of Turkmenistan.