School Wins $10K Presidential Prize, Mayor Pioneers Language Revolution

Winners of the city stage of the school Olympiad will be awarded the prestigious Presidential prize of $10,000 for the «Best School for Teaching English,» an accolade bestowed during the event held in Kokand, a city in the heart of the Ferghana Valley. The 31st secondary school in Kokand secured the top position at the Olympiad, an annual competition organized in accordance with the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, aimed at enhancing the system for conducting subject Olympiads among talented schoolchildren and identifying the most effective institutions for teaching foreign languages.
The organization of the Olympiad and the provision of conducive conditions receive diligent attention and care from the city municipality. Kokand Mayor Maruf Usmanov personally visited the school where the exams took place, delivering motivational speeches and words of encouragement crucial for students in the moments preceding their tests. The examinations were conducted with utmost transparency and openness, monitored by surveillance cameras.

The process of English language instruction is undergoing significant transformation. As per the directive of Mayor Usmanov, all educators in Kokand’s educational institutions must obtain an international IELTS certificate (C-1) by September 1st. Additionally, school administrators will be required to be proficient in English. The mayor’s mandate dictates that each school must ensure that at least 10 students annually acquire international English proficiency certificates. To facilitate this, many schools have designated extra spaces for English classes.

The enthusiasm for learning English extends beyond schools, with neighborhood (mahalla) citizen committees initiating English language programs. Their responsibility includes organizing supplementary English courses with instructors possessing international certificates.
Entrepreneurs seeking to establish training centers adhering to international standards can avail themselves of government facilities rent-free. Furthermore, discussions are underway regarding tax incentives for cafes and restaurants offering discounts to English-speaking patrons, thereby promoting basic English proficiency.

English proficiency is becoming indispensable across various professions, including healthcare. Elevating the medical field to international standards necessitates fluency in English.
Kokand has already demonstrated efforts to promote basic English phrases, notably during the 2019 Second International Festival of Folk and Arts. Common English phrases and translations were displayed on the backs of seats in public transport buses, fostering exchanges among passengers. Given Kokand’s status as a World City of Crafts and a festival hub, English proficiency is paramount.
In summary, it is anticipated that the English language will soon drive development in Kokand, fostering progress across various sectors and enhancing the overall linguistic proficiency of the populace.

By Ulugbek Begmetov