Education and schooling in Uzbekistan have been going through continuous reform since 1991 when the country became independent. The local curriculum has been criticised as being too focused on rote learning, but there has been movement towards subjects with a practical orientation.
There are a few international schools in Uzbekistan, most of which are located in the capital city, Tashkent. International schools are usually the best option for expat families as they tend to lessen the disruption of the move, especially if children are able to attend a school that teaches their home curriculum in their first language.
Public schools in Uzbekistan
When it comes to public schooling in Uzbekistan, the most immediate obstacle for expat families is the language barrier. Of the country's close to 11,000 public schools, the vast majority (almost 9,000) teach in Uzbek. The second most common language of instruction is Russian, used as the main language at fewer than 1,000 public schools across Uzbekistan. There are no public schools that teach in English.
Public schooling in Uzbekistan is therefore only recommended for those whose children already have proficiency in Uzbek or who are young enough to still pick up the language easily. Furthermore, local schools are often difficult to adjust to in terms of culture. For this reason, only families staying in Uzbekistan for the long term tend to consider this an option.
Private and international schools in Uzbekistan
Prior to 2017, there was little to no private school presence in Uzbekistan. However, as part of the reform of the education system, the government has recently begun to offer incentives to those establishing private schools. This has resulted in many new private schools opening in Uzbekistan.
Private schools choose their own language of instruction. There are a number of international schools in Tashkent geared towards expats from certain countries. In the case of international schools, teaching is in the language of the school's country of origin, which is often English.
International school fees are usually pricey, so if expat parents are relocating to Uzbekistan for work purposes it's worthwhile trying to negotiate the inclusion of education expenses in the relocation package.