School dress codes and grooming standards are the talk of the day for educators in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
The Tajik Education Ministry has introduced guidelines for teachers that ban jeans, miniskirts, and see-through tops, along with tight-fitting dresses and colorful T-shirts.
The restrictions allow male teachers over 50 years old to grow moustaches and beards, just so long as their facial hair is neatly trimmed and no more than three centimeters long.
Younger teachers are banned from growing beards and moustaches.
But they can still wear galoshes to work if they so choose.
The same ministry has in the past sparked outcry
among Tajikistan's conservative Muslims, banning Islamic head scarves for both students and teachers.
While the ban on the Islamic head scarf is still in place in Tajikistan, nearby, Kazakhstan's justice minister has been outspoken in favor of hejab in schools.
Kazakh Justice Minister Rashid Tusupbekov boasted on his blog that Kazakh legislation does not outlawed the Islamic head scarf at educational institutions.
Which is interesting, because other education officials insist that hejab is prohibited for students and teachers alike on campus, and that student uniforms are recommended for all Kazakh schools.
-- Farangis Najibullah