The achievement of universal primary education by 2015 seems to be doubtless, provided there will be appropriate measures taken towards this direction. More than 92% of school-age children are enrolled in general, primary and secondary vocational education. The graduation ratio is sharply reduced at each subsequent level: in primary school, enrolment is close to 100%, in basic school already at 83%, and in complete secondary education, it falls to 48%.
While universal primary education is achievable in Tajikistan – considerable effort needs to be given to marginalized groups of children, including children with disabilities, of which only 20% are enrolled in school.
Quality and status of the education system heavily depends on the financial capacity and the prioritization of the sector by the Government. The state budget expenditure over the last nine years for education in absolute terms has increased 26 times (from TJS 42 million in 2000 to TJS 1.070 billion in 2009). In 2009, from all sources of financing, the construction and reconstruction of 218 schools were completed, with 40,000 new teaching places commissions for students. The financial crisis has inevitably affected the education system; in 2009, the education budget was reduced by TJS 31 million.
In rural areas, irregular power supply is one of the causes of lower educational level of rural residents, because it disrupts schooling, affecting quality and total classroom hours as many schools have to close for periods during the winter months due to insufficient heating. Low salaries in the education sector fail to attract teachers to the profession and lends to increased migration of qualified teachers to other countries. Ensuring national energy security will significantly improve the situation in education sector.
In Tajikistan, mountains occupy 93% of its territory. Some people live in remote mountainous areas in small towns and settlements with limited transport communications, particularly in winter. This barrier prevents children in these areas from access to general secondary, vocational and tertiary education, with all its consequences.