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Kyrgyz Abandon Uzbek For Secondary-School Graduation Test

Students outside a Bishkek university
Students outside a Bishkek university
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Education Ministry has announced that as of this year students will no longer be able to take the national secondary-school graduation test in the Uzbek language.

Ministry spokesman Amantur Akmatov told RFE/RL on March 13 that graduates of secondary schools in Kyrgyzstan will now be able to take the test, which helps determine admission into Kyrgyz universities, only on Kyrgyz or Russian.

Until last year, secondary-school graduates could also choose Uzbek as the language in which to take the test.

Akmatov says the number of students using Uzbek for the test is too low to justify its continuation.

Some 14 percent of Kyrgyzstan's population of 5.6 million are ethnic Uzbeks.

Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations remain tense after mass Kyrgyz-Uzbek clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010 left more than 400 people, mostly ethnic Uzbeks, dead and thousands more displaced.