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Educational System in Turkmenistan

The one tip that you hear expats living in Turkmenistan repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Turkmenistan. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Turkmenistan is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Turkmenistan.
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Understanding the educational system of a new country is a crucial aspect for expats moving with their families. The educational system in Turkmenistan is unique and offers a variety of options for both local and international students. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the educational system in Turkmenistan, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures for newcomers, language requirements, availability of bilingual and private schools, and options for homeschooling and online schooling.

What are the main stages of education in Turkmenistan?

The education system in Turkmenistan is divided into four main stages: preschool, primary, secondary, and higher education. Preschool education is optional and caters to children aged 3 to 6 years. Primary education is compulsory and begins at age 7, lasting for four years. Secondary education is divided into two stages: basic secondary education (5th to 9th grade) and secondary specialized education (10th to 11th grade). Higher education includes undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies.

Preschool Education

Preschool education in Turkmenistan is not compulsory and caters to children aged 3 to 6 years. It focuses on the child’s overall development, including physical, emotional, and social growth. The curriculum includes activities that promote cognitive development, creativity, and basic social skills.

Primary Education

Primary education in Turkmenistan is compulsory and begins at age 7, lasting for four years. The curriculum focuses on basic literacy and numeracy skills, as well as introducing students to subjects such as science, social studies, and the Turkmen language.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Turkmenistan is divided into two stages: basic secondary education (5th to 9th grade) and secondary specialized education (10th to 11th grade). The curriculum includes a broad range of subjects, with a focus on preparing students for higher education or vocational training.

Higher Education

Higher education in Turkmenistan includes undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies. Universities and institutes offer a wide range of programs in various fields. Admission is based on entrance exams and high school performance.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Turkmen schools by submitting an application to the desired school along with the necessary documents, which typically include a birth certificate, proof of residence, and previous school records. It is advisable to contact the school directly for specific enrollment procedures.

My children are still learning Turkmen, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Turkmen can enroll in public schools. However, it is important to note that the medium of instruction in most schools is Turkmen. Some schools offer additional language support for non-Turkmen speaking students.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are a few public bilingual schools in Turkmenistan that offer instruction in both Turkmen and Russian or English. Admission to these schools is typically competitive and may require entrance exams.

What types of private schools are common in Turkmenistan?

Private schools in Turkmenistan are not as common as public schools. However, there are a few international schools that offer instruction in English and follow international curriculums. These schools cater primarily to expat families and are more expensive than public schools.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Most expats in Turkmenistan opt to send their children to private international schools due to the language barrier and differences in the educational system. These schools offer a familiar environment and curriculum for expat children.

How expensive are Private schools in Turkmenistan?

The cost of private schools in Turkmenistan varies depending on the school and the grade level. However, they are generally more expensive than public schools. It is advisable to contact the school directly for specific tuition information.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Turkmenistan?

Homeschooling is not common in Turkmenistan and the regulations regarding homeschooling are not clear. Expats interested in homeschooling should consult with local educational authorities for guidance.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Turkmenistan?

Online schooling is a viable option for expat families living in Turkmenistan. However, it is important to ensure that the online school is accredited and that the curriculum meets the educational standards of your home country.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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