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Uzbekistan’s Vision: Advancing Education and Reading Culture


Ramzidin Nuridinov 

Libraries play a key role in education, culture, and community development. They provide an invaluable resource for accessing knowledge, preserving cultural heritage, and promoting intellectual growth. In the modern information society, libraries remain an important institution that promotes the education and self-development of people of all ages.

During the opening ceremony of the People’s Library under the President of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan emphasized, “Intellectual potential, high morale is what makes a nation strong. The source of this invincible power is books and libraries – the great invention of mankind”.

At the present stage, education has become one of the most important areas of state policy. The government of the Republic of Uzbekistan pays special attention to the development of this sphere, recognizing its key role in the country’s prosperity. In recent years, the republic has achieved significant success in the educational domain. These achievements aim to modernize the system, improve the quality of education and training, and expand access to education for all citizens of the country.

At the same time, special attention is paid to promoting reading and fostering a culture of reading among the population. The Presidential Decree adopted on September 13, 2017, titled “On the program of comprehensive measures to develop the system of publishing and distributing book products, improving the culture of reading,” outlines clear goals for creating an effective system of information and library services.

This decree has propelled the area to a new stage of development, raising the level of social and information culture and enhancing the role of libraries. It has also facilitated the development and implementation of modern innovative and educational technologies, thereby increasing Uzbekistan’s competitiveness in the global market.

In addition, the Presidential Decree “On Further Improvement of Information and Library Services for the Population of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was adopted on June 7, 2019. The main goals of this decree are:

  • Improving the regulatory framework to ensure high-quality social guarantees for the population regarding information and library services.
  • Developing information and library institutions to meet modern requirements.
  • Promoting the sustainable development of information and library services for the population in the regions.
  • Strengthening the material and technical base of information and library institutions.
  • Developing public-private partnerships in the library sector, including a network of private and electronic libraries.
  • Expanding cooperation with internet resources that specialize in distributing electronic books to improve the efficiency of libraries and the efficiency of servicing users, including paid services.
  • Ensuring the safety of information and library institutions and the security of information and library collections as part of the national and world cultural heritage.
  • Forming and enhancing society’s information culture, fostering a sustainable interest in national history and culture, and promoting a reading culture.
  • Staffing information and library institutions with qualified specialists.

The adoption of this decree expands the range of services in the country, including access to electronic resources and the organization of cultural and educational events. It also focuses on improving staff qualifications and introducing modern methods of user service. These changes not only contribute to the development of the information society and economic growth by attracting investment in education and culture, but also promote the formation of a literate and informed society. This is an important step in the overall development of the country.

The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, dated December 14, 2020, approved the National Program for the Development and Support of a Reading Culture for 2020-2025. This program includes the publication of quality books that meet the spiritual, educational, artistic, and aesthetic needs of the population; support for the activities of publishers and artists; the publication of children’s literature; translation of the best examples of national and world literature; simplification of book sales organization; improvement of the delivery system for newly published books and distribution of information sources; and the expansion of international cooperation in the field of online ordering, delivery, and distribution of foreign works.

It should be noted that within the framework of the “Uzbekistan 2030” Strategy, special attention is paid to popularizing masterpieces of Uzbek and world literature. The country’s leadership strives to instill in citizens a love of reading and ensure everyone’s access to libraries and information services.

The “Uzbekistan 2030” strategy sets forth key goals such as increasing the number of young book lovers to five million, annually creating 100 works of art and 50 books for children and adolescents, publishing the multi-volume book “Uzbek Adabiyoti Khazinasidan” (“From the Treasury of Uzbek Literature”), and producing the 100-volume book “Jakhon Bolalar Adabiyoti Durdonalari” (“Pearls of World Children’s Literature”) in Uzbek. Additionally, the strategy aims to digitize a book fund of almost 40 million books.

On November 28, 2023, a Presidential Decree was signed “On Measures to Implement the Project ‘A Thousand Books for Youth’”. The decree aimed at creating a system for translating popular books worldwide into Uzbek, thereby enhancing the intellectual and scientific potential of the younger generation.

At the same time, within the framework of the “Olympiad of Five Initiatives”, the following five projects in the field of reading and intellectual games are implemented annually: “Young Reading Family”, “Poetry Competition”, “Young Reader”, the intellectual game “Zakovat,” and the project “Example of Foreign Languages”. These projects aim to increase young people’s interest in reading and help expand their logical thinking and knowledge through intellectual games.

The “Young Reader” and “Young Reading Family” competitions are important events designed to promote reading, foster the spiritual enrichment of youth, and increase their intellectual potential. These competitions serve to boost young people’s interest in books and broaden their knowledge and horizons.

Within the framework of the project “A Thousand Books for Youth,” the Agency for Youth Affairs will be responsible for acquiring rights to use works from authors, translating them into Uzbek, and preparing them for printing and publishing based on a state order funded by the State budget (excluding books published for state higher educational institutions).

The project operates in two stages for translating and publishing popular books from around the world into Uzbek. First, an Expert Council annually forms a preliminary list of books. Second, this preliminary list is published on the information systems of the Agency for Youth Affairs for public selection through voting, thereby finalizing the list of books to be translated and published.

The annual list of published books must include at least 20 percent of popular science works. The rights to these works, prepared for publication, will be owned by the Agency for Youth Affairs, which will provide them free of charge to publishing houses.

Additionally, there are plans to develop and maintain a dedicated mobile application that aggregates literature in Uzbek and offers free access to a wide range of information for the public. Based on recommendations from the Expert Council, these works will be distributed to information and library institutions, including libraries of public and administrative authorities. Electronic versions will also be donated free of charge to the Alisher Navoi National Library of Uzbekistan and relevant institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ensuring broad availability for readers.

In the Republic, a robust foundation has been established to advance children’s literature and enhance the quality of textbooks and teaching materials, encompassing spiritual, legal, material, and technical aspects. Domestic publishing houses have notably increased the publication of works by authors from both Uzbekistan and around the world. Various documents have been enacted to promote reading among children and adolescents, leading to systematic efforts across all regions.

Over the past four years, several presidential decrees and government resolutions have been implemented to guide the country’s publishing, printing, and bibliographical institutions. These initiatives underscore the critical role of bibliographical information services in promoting public well-being through accessible information, knowledge, and cultural resources.

Moreover, the adoption of digital services, community collaborations, and innovative technologies strengthens libraries as pivotal hubs for learning, information dissemination, and communication. These advancements foster individual capabilities and stimulate a thirst for education, contributing significantly to lifelong learning, self-improvement, and the cultural and spiritual enrichment of the population. Such developments are paramount for modern society’s progression.

*Ramzidin Nuridinov is an expert at the Development Strategy Center, Uzbekistan. 

**The opinions in this article are the author’s own and may not represent the views of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization does not endorse or assume responsibility for the content.

The Diplomatic Insight is a digital and print magazine focusing on diplomacy, defense, and development since 2009.

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