Friday, February 21

I consider myself lucky- I never suffered from the post-Azerbaijani-education-system-stress-disorder!

I consider myself lucky. Why?! Well, because I didn't have to suffer from post-Azerbaijani- universities- stress- disorder and the country's long outdated education system. I consider myself lucky, because I took my exams, I got good grades, I never had to pay a penny. I consider myself lucky, I had a parent who too was a professor but who never took a bribe. And I am proud I am his daughter. I cannot even imagine how children of school teachers and university professors feel when they carry the heavy burden over their shoulders of parents who take money every day (that is if they care of course). I consider myself lucky, I never had to endure the unwillingness and disinterest of people who supposedly become teachers because they want to teach (not sure what is there to teach but a bad lesson over and over, every day. Yes, well done, one thing our students learn is currency conversions while the rest of important life equations remain on the pages of books that no one even reads these days). I consider myself lucky, because hearing horrid stories from my friends and cousins who were studying back home, reminded me of how privileged I was for having the chance of actually learning something new every day. 

I consider myself lucky, I was allowed to think, to analyze, to create, to procrastinate when I was at the school. My time was spent in libraries, talking to professors, discussing new opportunities and most importantly being encouraged. Encouraged to read more, to ask challenging questions, to write critical and alternative papers. 

Azerbaijan's corrupted education system is not a surprise. The fact that students are obliged (yes! obliged) to pay bribes to pass exams isn't big news (otherwise, not paying a bribe requires painful fights and lower grades). We all know, in Azerbaijan anything is possible, including a pre-paid diploma. And while many students complain about this, nothing seem to change. Education establishments remain indifferent- because everyone is happy to make an extra penny, even if its at the expense of poor parents who are barely surviving, let alone need to cover the bribes of their children. 

So, when several hundred students of the Baku State University (allegedly one of the most corrupted education establishments in Azerbaijan) decided to finally raise their voices, the provost- Abel Maharramov decided to make a point! No one, not him, not anyone at the school is going to put up with the capricious behavior of "few"students [AZ] who are not even Baku State University students! 

Yes, I consider myself lucky because I never had a conversation with any of my professors or the provost telling me that "had I given the money, I would have passed the exam!"or that "I should keep quiet, otherwise no one would even find the trace of me". 

Well, we all know the trace Mr. Maharramov is leaving behind...

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