A new generation of schoolbooks: the principal factor of assuring quality of general secondary education

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Народное образование. Педагогика

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M. D. Abralova
This article describes the experience and current status in the Republic of Uzbekistan of reforming the system of development of schoolbooks and learning aids, the steps of improving their content as well as providing them to secondary school students.
Key words: education, schoolbook, pedagogy and psychology, content, structure, upbringing, practicing teachers.
The skill of working with information occupies a prominent place in contemporary society. This skill is fundamental and the level of a secondary school student'-s preparedness for continuing his or her education and determination of the path of his or her development depends on how well it is ingrained. The skill of working with information is shaped from primary school, and the role of schoolbooks in its formation is important. The skill of working with information is shaped through the ability of working with information. The level of development of this skill directly impacts both on the quality of education as a whole, and the level of a school student'-s achievements.
That is why since the first days after gaining independence, our country has placed special emphasis on the provision of general education of school students, with modern schoolbooks that promote the shaping of critical thinking and creative approaches to information. During the years of independence, we have performed a large amount of work, aimed at reforming school education, and in particular reforming the system of creation of schoolbooks and teaching and learning aids. Understanding the fact that a schoolbook, as one of the principal sources of information, renders a certain impact on the quality of education, we have put forward a number of requirements for the system of schoolbook creation. The new generation of schoolbooks has been created with regard to those requirements. Special priority was accorded in them not towards reproductive tasks and questions, but towards the tasks that help to shape the skills a 21st century student needs. The whole work focused on creating schoolbooks of new generation and teaching aids for teachers was carried out on the ground of a number of decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic.
The beginning of the first stage, aimed at the development of a system of creating a new generation schoolbooks, was marked with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan & quot-On Improvement of Provision of the Continuous Education System with Training Literature and Schoolbooks& quot- (1998). The Resolution provided 100% free provision of all the 1st form students, as well as the inmates of Mekhribonlik homes and disabled children residing in specialized asylums, with schoolbooks and learning aids.
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan & quot-On Measures Aimed at Implementation of the Project of Improvement of the System of Publishing Schoolbooks and Training Literature for General Educational School
(1998) was the next, second stage in reforming the system of schoolbook creation, and providing general education school students with them. In furthering its provision, the introduction of the lease system of providing general educational school students with schoolbooks started. Since school year 2001−2002, experimental work aimed at the introduction of the lease system has started, and the results of the experiments have been studied and integrated. Since the school year 2005−2006, the provision of general education schools with schoolbooks has been fully transferred onto a lease basis. The introduction of the lease system afforded an opportunity to fully supply general education school students with schoolbooks, and rendered substantial material aid to their parents.
The resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan & quot-On the Program of Editing Schoolbooks and Teaching and Learning Aids for General Education Schools for the Years 2005−2009& quot- (2004) became the third stage of improving the content of schoolbooks and teaching and learning aids and, determining their scientific core. Under this document, a tender and a two-stage competition were introduced into the schoolbook creation system. These steps contributed to the improvement of the scientific content of the schoolbooks and their enrichment from the perspective of didactics. The fact that schoolbooks are now created by collectives consisting of scholars, educators and practician teachers is also worth noting.
The development of the schoolbook creation system opened new perspectives, and required refining. The adoption of a new decree that become the fourth stage in improvement of the system of schoolbook creation was connected just with those requirements. The Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of May 31, 2006 No. 362 & quot-On Additional Measures Aimed at the Improvement of the System of Provision of General Education School Students with Schoolbooks& quot- established a new procedure of the creation and publishing of schoolbooks. For example, under this decree, schoolbooks for 1st form students of general educational school started being published annually, for 2−4th form students — biennially, and for 5−9th form students — quadrennially.
To assure the rights and meet the needs of national minorities, sets of schoolbooks are published not only in the official language but in seven national languages of tuition: Uzbek, Russian, Tadjik, Turkmen, Kirghiz, Kazakh and Karakalpak. It should be noted that such an approach in the organization of the training process in the schools of the Republic was noted by many foreign organizations and specialists, and at international seminars and conferences analyzing the experience of Uzbekistan. The total number of titles of schoolbooks and learning aids published in 2005−2014 is 3490, and their circulation amounts to 1,578,976,945. At present, 99. 3% general educational school students are provided with schoolbooks. The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, the Ministry of Public Education and the Istedod Fund hold annual competitions, such as & quot-The Best Schoolbook of the Year& quot-, with the goal of improving the quality of education, encouraging the authors of schoolbooks, and improving their quality.
All the above are activity aimed at the creation and improvement of new generation schoolbooks, and are focused on improving the quality of education. Thanks to this activity, a national school of authors creating schoolbooks and
learning aids for general education school students has been created over the last few years, and a mechanism of creation of modern schoolbooks and teaching aids for teachers, multimedia learning aids, electronic textbook and a host of other things have been formed. The improvement of the schoolbook creation systems must become a continuous process. It should be noted that a quality modern schoolbook, a new generation schoolbook, is a way to ensuring the high quality of education and in the final analysis, the progress of the country'-s society and economy.
1. Постановления Кабинета Министров Республики Узбекистан № 4 от 5 января 1998 года «О совершенствовании обеспечения учебной литературой и учебниками системы непрерывного образования».
2. Постановления Кабинета Министров Республики Узбекистан № 187 от 4 мая 1998 года «О мерах по осуществлению проекта усовершенствования системы издания учебников и учебной литературы для общеобразовательных школ».
3. Постановления Кабинета Министров Республики Узбекистан № 548 от 22 ноября 2004 года «О программе издания учебников и учебно-методических пособий для общеобразовательных школ на 2005−2009 годы».
4. Постановления Президента Республики Узбекистан № 362 от 31 мая 2006 года «О дополнительных мерах по усовершенствованию системы обеспечения учебниками учащихся общеобразовательных школ».
Translated from Russian by Znanije Central Translastions Bureas

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