LONG TERM INVESTMENT
The Joint Turkmen-Russian Secondary School named after A.S. Pushkin is one of the vivid examples of the success and efficiency of the Turkmen-Russian humanitarian dialogue. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of this quite unique educational institution. The school celebrated this remarkable date without excessive pathos, in the standard working mode, which best emphasizes the noble mission of the school - to remain a competitive educational institution, to support the formation of an individual with the high level of knowledge, to remain capable of maintaining the modern level of education by harmoniously combining the cultural heritage of Turkmenistan and Russia.
The school is unique not just for the fact that it is the only secondary general educational institution outside the Russian Federation with the Russian-standard program of education and school leaving certificate. Beginning in January 2002, when the sides signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on the opening of the Joint Turkmen-Russian Secondary School named after Pushkin in Ashgabat, the school brings up and educates the younger generation in the spirit of best traditions of two different and equal cultures (this is the school motto), reflecting our countries' commitment to strengthening the friendly and good-neighborly relations.
Speaking about the curriculum, the school maintains the Russian federal educational standard. It has a Russian license and state accreditation. Teaching is conducted in Russian. The Russian-standard educational program is mandatory for all school subjects. The school has adopted new federal state educational standards of the second generation. The attestation exams are also conducted according to the single Russian standards. It is noteworthy that the school graduates consistently achieve high results. Many of them score 90 or more points at the Unified State Exam, annually receiving quotas for education at the Russian higher education establishments. It is for the second year that the school conducts the All-Russian Test Work that helps to check the quality and level of knowledge obtained. At the school's request such tests were conducted for students of the fourth and fifth grade.
The Pushkin school was awarded the official title of "Best Russian School Abroad" in 2004. Among the most valuable awards are the letters of the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and the Russian Culture Found "For the long service to culture and familiarization of children and youth with the poetic moral legacy of Pushkin."
The educational program provides for the realization of the idea of implementing the educational process in the context of two cultures. It includes subjects such as the Turkmen language and the history of Turkmenistan. In terms of educative work, the school seeks to organically combine the activities related to the landmark national-spiritual dates of the Russian and Turkmen peoples.
The school's assembly hall is never empty. It is the venue of celebration of Independence Day of Turkmenistan and Constitution Day of Russia, Neutrality Day and Good Neighborliness Day, Day of Constitution and Poetry of Magtymguly and Pushkin's Birthday, Novruz and Maslenitsa. The national anthems of the two countries are performed during ceremonial school parades, and the inspired lines of Turkmen and Russian poets are read out during festive school events. The school is also proud of its own anthem that schoolchildren have sung from the first days of its existence. It has a line saying... "Russia! Turkmenistan! School! We will always love you!
The idea of harmonious coexistence, dialogue and mutual influence, mutual respect and interaction between the two cultures also provides the framework for the permanent school museums. The first such museum was named after Pushkin. It opened on October 19, 2010, the day of the Lyceum, which is traditionally celebrated by the school. The museum's priority work is to establish a Cultural Center of the Great Russian poet and familiarize schoolchildren with the scientific and searching work. As of today, the museum boasts an impressive collection of Pushkin-related materials.
Two other museums were set up much later. These museums' exhibits also underscore the inextricable connection between the two fraternal peoples. The cherished objects associated with our famous fellow countrymen are carefully preserved at the Museum of Compatriots. They include cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko's space suit donated to the school museum, a jacket and books by the outstanding Russian actor and writer Leonid Filatov, the works by writer Georgiy Yudin who had a meeting at the school this year. The searching work continues and the pupils hope to collect in this museum a diverse exposition about outstanding people who made great personal contribution to the development of Turkmen-Russian relations.
The Museum of Inspiration aims to expose the boundless horizons of flight of productive imagination of both pupils and teachers. The exhibition features various works that describe the traditions of different nations with different national specifics. This is the best illustration to the words about the importance of respecting cultures and traditions of all peoples. Judging by the number of school talents, the museum will need more than one room.
Nowadays, more than one thousand schoolchildren of different nationalities study at this popular school. Other than young citizens of Turkmenistan and Russia, there study children of staff of the diplomatic missions of the CIS countries accredited in the country. The steady annual rate of school admission, which is equal to admission rates of some universities, speaks of the schools' reputation. The teaching staff was once also recruited on a competitive basis. Many of them are the winners of international professional contests.
The Pushkin concept of upbringing and education has for many years maintained the spirit of nobility and high morality in the school. The school "lives" according to the "Pushkin Calendar". The school year begins with the days of the Boldin Autumn and ends with the celebration of Pushkin's Poetry Day, marking the poet's birthday. The contest of reciters celebrating the Lyceum Day on October 19 became traditional. The month of autumn continues with literary events and literary-musical evenings. The days of the Boldin Autumn do not celebrate only Pushkin. In these days, the school celebrates birthdays of all famous Russian and Turkmen writers, poets, glorious dates in the history of Russian and Turkmen literature. All the events are covered by the local mass media and, above all, by the popular magazine "Bol'shaya Peremena" that receives news reports not only from the current pupils and their parents but also from the school graduates.
The contest among teachers for the best Pushkin lesson is also one of the old and good traditions. The Boldin Autumn culminates in November with an important event - a contest of scientific and art works of pupils on all school subjects - followed by the Lomonosov readings to identify the best works. The school's Minor Academy serves to support the scientific research of pupils. Thanks to the efforts of competent teachers, children have repeatedly won the national and international Olympiads on Russian language. This year, pupils of the school won the awards in several nominations of "Point of Reference" international contest of scientific-technical and innovative works in aviation and cosmonautics.
The Pushkin concept of upbringing and education is only one of the ongoing projects. The school pays much attention to the moral lessons of history, including the topic of "the Great Patriotic War in the history of my family." In this regard, it is important to note that it has become a tradition to hold "Immortal Regiment" action and meetings with WW II veterans on the eve of Victory Day in the territory of the school. The project "Reading Together", aiming to revive the family reading tradition, as well as the contest of experts in Russian and Turkmen fairy tales, which is very popular among younger schoolchildren and their parents, are the most popular library projects.
The school boasts the choreographic, choral, visual studios and various study groups whose works are displayed on the permanent exhibition panel. The all-school art festivals such as "Rain of Stars" and "Spring Dripping" serve as a certain review of talents.
The school's successes in sports are evidenced by participation of the young chess players and mini football team in the World Games of Compatriots.
According to the school teachers, the absence of authoritarianism and respect for all are one of the guiding principles of their educational work. The self-governance mechanism titled "School Grad" is a striking example of this. It was initiated by the schoolchildren. They actively participate in the competitive election campaign and elect their representatives to the Duma and the School-Grad administration. Through these bodies they take active part in the school life. Schoolchildren can also share their vision of school issues in the social video contest "Point of View." This year it was held under the motto "Wonderful School Years."
The importance of the Joint Turkmen-Russian Secondary School named after Alexander Pushkin in developing the interstate dialogue is evidenced by the fact that the foundation stone of the school's new building was laid by Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Vladimir Putin in 2007. Two years later, the new building was inaugurated by the heads of two countries in one of the central avenues of the Turkmen capital.
The school continues enjoying attention of high-ranking officials of Russia and numerous delegations, whose program of stay in Ashgabat by all means features a visit to this educational institution. The long-term and multifaceted teaching and educational work of the Turkmen-Russian secondary school is the best confirmation of the effectiveness of the unifying power of education that provides a reliable basis for enhancing cooperation between Turkmenistan and Russia in the spirit of friendship and trust.