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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Penjikent School

While in Penjikent, Tajikistan, we visited a remarkable school.  It is a "college" where students learn English, math, and several other specialities.  The students focusing on English studies and their professor opened the facility for us on a Sunday and proudly showed us their classrooms.

As I mentioned in my prior post about Penjikent,here, the area is very poor and virtually all construction stopped some 20 years ago after the Soviet Union disintegrated.  The school, is no exception; it's physical plant is in bad shape and you can smell crumbling concrete dust in the hallways and on the stairs, but everything else is neat and orderly.  The sign above the hallway arch says in Tajik and in Russian: "Quiet! Classes are in Progress."

The professor of English was a kindly and impressive gentleman, and his students were an enthusiastic group.  One of them took out a boom-box and showed us a sample of ethnic dance.  Others told our group about their lives and their favorite authors -- Mark Twain and Jack London.  Then we got to ask some questions. Naturally, the girls were more outspoken than the young men!
The visit was great fun.  Here are some photos of signs in the classrooms.



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