A school day in Tajikistan

We look to the wider world with Mufazzal Kalandarov, 16 years old, year 10, from Shurmashk in north-west Tajikistan


What is the name of your school?

It’s school number 18. It has this name because village schools were simply given a sequential number in the Soviet era. But since then the school has gained a nickname: Abu Ali ibn Sino, as in the Persian scholar.

How large is your school?

We have 11 classes, 16 teachers and about 200 students.

How long does it take you to get to school?

It’s only a ten-minute walk. Our village is very small, so it never takes long to get anywhere.

How large is your class?

There are 19 of us.

What’s your favourite subject?

Geography. I find it exciting to learn things about the rest of the world. We’re going through the history of Africa right now.

Who is your favourite teacher and why?

Our English teacher, Khudoyorov Khudoydod. Nobody else in the village speaks English as well as he does, and he’s very funny. Maybe that’s because he drinks so much.

Do you use computers at school?

No, hardly anyone owns a computer in our village.

Do you study foreign languages at school?

We all start learning Russian at a young age, a language that is just as important as Tajik in Tajikistan. And we study English – but sadly, it’s not enough for us to make ourselves properly understood in English.

What do you want to become in life?

A sportsman. I’ve set up my own small gym in a room with equipment that I built myself, and I work out there every day.

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