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Berdymukhammedov at his inauguration ceremony last month (ITAR-TASS) March 5, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has scrapped a rule that required high-school graduates to work for two years before they enter university, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reported.


The presidential office says Berdymukhammedov's directive also reinstated university entrance exams, which had been ditched in favor of interviewing prospective students.


The presidential order also calls for broader education for high-school students.


The move is part of a series of education reforms reversing policies set by Berdymukhammedov's predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in December.


Following his inauguration last month, Berdymukhammedov reinstated 10 years of mandatory education, instead of nine.


(with material from AP)

Human Rights In Turkmenistan
Tajigul Begmedova speaking at RFE/RL in Prague on July 21 (RFE/RL)

LIFE UNDER NIYAZOV: On July 21, RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center hosted a presentation by TAJIGUL BEGMEDOVA, chairwoman of the Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (THF). Begmedova discussed the human rights situation in Turkmenistan under President Saparmural Niyazov, focusing on the arrests in June of THF activists and RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova. Begmedova, who graduated from the Institute of Economy in Moscow in 1987, fled Turkmenistan in 2002 and lives in exile in Sofia.


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Listen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English):
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Some RFE/RL Coverage Of Human Rights In Turkmenistan:

Media Coverage Of Leader Distracts From Real Problems

Authorities Cast Wide Net In Conspiracy Allegations

Embattled Turkmen Writer Honored Abroad

RFE/RL Correspondent Recounts Arrest


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RFE/RL coverage of Turkmenistan.


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