Shamsaddin Hajiyev: “Forget about post graduate course” – EXCLUSIVE

Shamsaddin Hajiyev: “Forget about post graduate course” – <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE  </font>
# 17 December 2008 14:41 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Elbrus Seyfullayev-APA. Shamsaddin Hajiyev, Chairman of MM Standing Commission on Science and Education gave an interview to APA

- When will MM discuss Bill on Education?

There is such kind of opinion in the society that we cannot set up the bill for parliamentary discussion in autumn session. The work is underway. The bill will supposedly be discussed in the Commission.

- You made such kind of reports many times. Autumn session will be over after ten days …

-The Parliament will hold next meeting on December 19. After it there will be two additional meetings. If we concretize the issue, the bill will be raised for parliamentary discussion on December 26. Speaker of MM Ogtay Asadov told me that the discussion of bill would cover two meetings systematically.

-MM raised the Bill on Education for discussion in first reading on December 27, 2007. It is interesting whether serious changes were made on the document or not?

- I want to say that one year term showed importance of the bill. It is very responsible issue. We have concluded it. The document was changed after first reading. Remarks, recommendations and proposals sounded by MPs were taken into consideration. The bill envisaged commitments undertaken in Head of State on implementation of orders on integration of higher education into European standards and conception of development of science. The bill mostly covers Articles on integration into Bologna process. The document cancels several Articles.

-Which Articles do you speak about?

- The most criticized articles… A number of articles were specified. The most disputed issue about uniforms of education workers, students and teachers is not a subject of legislation now. Every education center is free to define uniforms.

-How will the education center resolve this issue willfully?

-There are different structures in Azerbaijan that their uniforms were defined already. This issue will not depend on the will of the education center’s managers. The issue will be resolved at the general meeting of the staff.

-Supposing some of the schools holds its general meeting and makes decision to allow students to wear hijab (Muslim women’s headscarves)….

-If there will be such a decision, the students will attend the school in hijab. It should not concern you. No one will forfeit rights. The decision should be completely democratic.

-There is concern in the society that if this issue is resolved with such way. Number of students and schoolgirls in hijab will increase.

-I am telling you again this issue should not concern anyone. Azerbaijan is a secular state. We are conducting necessary education work today. There are more than 14 thousands students getting daytime education courses and less 10 of them are attending school wearing headscarves. The legislation contains such articles which give to the students a free choice. The legislation considers that every student is free to choose profession after admission to the school.

-How was the disputed issue about the steps of education resolved?

-We divided the education to three steps. Every step is considered as a complete education course. Earlier they said that Bachelor’s degree is incomplete high education. We consider that the Bachelor’s degree is also complete high education, followed by the Master’s degree and the third step is PhD, which has two steps as well – Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science. Doctor of Philosophy is like a candidate of science. All these were clearly described in the draft law.

-How will the issue of post-graduate be resolved?

-Please forget the post-graduate education. As I mentioned before the high education will have three steps.

- Will there be disputes again when the bill is raised in the second reading?

-There may be disputes. Education process is improving, and everyone has his own outlook. Maybe new issues will arouse. We will take into account constructive proposals.

-When do you think this law will come into effect?

-I think the law will come into effect by the new academic year. If the second reading is over now and it passes the third reading in the spring session, then the law will be effective in the new academic year. We have prepared new structure of Azerbaijan’s education in this law. The main thing is the determination nine criteria of Bologna process. Here includes multi-stage education, quality, parameter of education, mutual recognition of diplomas, launch of career, uninterrupted education etc. The main thing is that after the law is adopted, no illegal process will be observed in Azerbaijan’s education, all the issues will be regulated by law.

-Will this law prevent illegal admission of students to the universities?

-There is an article on the document of state education in the bill. According to the article, the diplomas of the higher schools meeting the certain requirements will be recognized on the international level. There will be admission policy and all admissions will be carried out in line with this policy.

-Can the higher schools failing to meet the requirements be closed after the adoption of the law on education?

-According to the bill, all education establishments must be accredited. The diplomas of the education establishments failing to pass accreditation and attestation will not be recognized in the republic. Accreditation and attestation will be on local and international level. There are special accreditation organizations in the world. We will apply and they will accredit the universities. Only after that we can speak about the recognition of diplomas and other issues, because we accredit ourselves. The diplomas of the higher school passing accreditation will be recognized on the international level.

-There are over 40 higher schools in Azerbaijan. Will all of them be able to pass accreditation?

-I think unification of some universities functioning in parallel would be effective. Accreditation is a process that is applicable to the whole structure of a higher school. All universities try to admit students on some prestigious specialities, but their material-technical base, personnel and other reasons do not make it available to provide high-quality education. Such higher schools may be closed.