April 6, 2006

A ceremony devoted to presentation of the second phase of the 'A New School to a Renewing Azerbaijan' Program

Round Table was held on April 6 at Heydar Aliyev Foundation upon presentation of the second phase of 'A New School to a Renewing Azerbaijan' Program.

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva opened the event in which were present reps of the government, embassies, international humanitarian organizations and NGOs.

Speech by Mehriban Aliyeva:

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

First of all I greet you at Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Welcome to the Round Table.

The role of education is great in the modern world for development and integration to the world community of every country. Just because of this since the first day of its establishment Heydar Aliyev Foundation had announced the assistance to the education the priority of its activity. If you remember, last June we took part in the ceremony of presenting the 'New school to new Azerbaijan' Program, the biggest project developed by Heydar Aliyev Foundation in field of education.

We aim to help the innovating education system, create modern education complexes, provide normal conditions for every schoolchild in every place of the country, including the remotest village. In addition, by directing attention of the society on the education problems we invited them to take active participation in their solution. We advanced such a proposal in that meeting and applied to the businessmen, local and foreign companies, NGOs, diplomatic corps functioning in the country and invited them to actively partake in this project. Very short time passed and this proposal caused great resonance in the country. First stage of 'New school to new Azerbaijan' Program ended very successfully due to the joint efforts of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the people supporting us, joining our initiative. Over the last year 132 school buildings were built and commissioned in 52 districts of the country, they were supplied with the very modern appliances. More than 22,000 new pupil seats were opened.

Taking this opportunity I express my gratitude to everyone, every organization participating in that project, supporting us, helping us, joining this wonderful work.

As President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation I studied the course of the construction works in different districts of country, listened to the ideas and suggestions of experts, local population - schoolchildren, teachers, attended opening of some schools. I think construction of 132 schools within a year is success of all Azerbaijan, all the society. Except such a great success we also gained a rich experience implementing this project. I believe this experience will effectively be used in future programs and projects of Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

At the moment there are hundreds of schools needing new building, modern appliances. We cannot be pleased of level of education at the schools without heating, closed in wintertime, unsuitable for education. That is why Heydar Aliyev Foundation has decided to continue works in this direction and we start the second stage of 'New school to new Azerbaijan' Program.

The working group created by the Foundation has already started to function and the new list containing 100 schools has been made. This list includes schools located in Baku, Absheron and other districts of country. Those schools are to be commissioned by the new school year.

I would like to emphasize many of the schools included in this list are located in settlements around Baku and seat 500 and more pupils. Naturally such big schools should contain sport complex, library, dining room.

I believe together we will successfully implement the second phase of this program. And now the floor is given to education minister Mr Misir Merdanov to speak about development of general education schools of the country in 2005.