TWO BANKS OF KNOWLEDGE RIVER
The Turkmen-Russian comprehensive school named after A.S. Pushkin in Ashgabat and the secondary school named after Magtymguly Fraghi in the village of Funtovo in Astrakhan region of Russia connected via teleconference on the first day of the school year.
First Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Pavel Zenkovich and Governor of Astrakhan region Igor Babushkin delivered welcome speeches for the teleconference participants from the Russian territory. Then, the Ashgabat participants of the teleconference watched the festive lineup at the Magtymguly Fraghi secondary school in Russia on the occasion of the beginning of the school year. In turn, the teleconference participants in Astrakhan's village of Funtovo watched the first school bell ceremony at the A.S. Pushkin Turkmen-Russian School in Ashgabat. The heads of the two schools also exchanged greetings, wishing schoolchildren the academic achievements.
In conclusion, schoolchildren read out poems by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin and Magtymguly Fraghi and performed Russian and Turkmen folk songs and dances.
The very fact of the start of the school year in the new Astrakhan school makes it possible to make far-reaching generalizations. Having just opened its doors for the first schoolchildren, the school has already managed to teach many adults the great sciences of partnership, understanding and goodwill.
Funtovo is a village in the Volga district of Astrakhan region. It is the administrative center of the Funtovo village council. The village is located in the southwestern part of Volga district on the bank of Tsarev Yerik. It stands 13 kilometers away from the city center of Astrakhan and 14 kilometers away from the regional center of the village of Nachalovo. The majority of the population are ethnic Turkmens.
It was more than three hundred years ago that nomadic Turkmen tribes were granted the Russian state citizenship by the decree of Peter the Great and settled in the area of Astrakhan and Stavropol. The descendants of those first Russian Turkmens still compactly reside in two Russian regions, preserving their national identity, language and folk cultural traditions.
In the recent history, it was largely for this reason that the administration of Astrakhan region and the government of Turkmenistan established a robust trade, economic and cultural dialogue. In fact, the main Russian city in the Caspian Sea became the first regional center in which a monument to the great Turkmen poet and thinker, Magtymguly Fragi, was erected. Nowadays, hundreds of students from Turkmenistan study at the higher education establishments of Astrakhan. A number of enterprises with Turkmen capital operate in Astrakhan region in the sphere of trade and construction.
The emergence of the new school in the Caspian delta should not be seen as an exceptional phenomenon. It is only part of the comprehensive process of establishing fundamentally new multifunctional international contacts. A village populated mostly by ethnic Turkmens has not had its own school for a long time, and children had to go to the school in the neighboring village. In 2014, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to build a new school in the village of Funtovo-1 at Turkmenistan's expense. The idea was to present it as a gift on the 300th anniversary of Astrakhan region.
The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan was commissioned to ensure the school construction. Turkmen private construction company "Myradym" with extensive experience in construction of complex architectural structures erected a modern general education complex over the period of two years, which has no analogues in the entire Astrakhan region.
The new white-marble school is designed to accommodate 190 children to meet the needs of the village of Funtovo. It has a conference room, a multifunctional sports complex, a canteen for 100 children, a language laboratory, a computer class, workshops for labor training and restrooms for first-graders. It is fully equipped with facilities for children with disabilities. The facade of the building features a plaque saying that the school is a gift of the President of Turkmenistan.
The commissioning of the new school was awaited with great expectations, as it was intended to become a significant event not only for the Russian regional education system but also for the whole process of mutually beneficial cooperation that is rapidly developing as part of the interstate partnership of Turkmenistan and Russia. That is why it is no accident that the commissioning of the school building can be regarded as an event of international importance for Turkmenistan and Russia.