Thousands of senior school students as well as students of local Teacher’s Training and Medical Colleges and the Tajik Pedagogical Institute in Panjakent are involved in lengthy rehearsals for events to meet the president.

A local resident has told Asia-Plus on the basis of anonymity that the rehearsals are being carried out from morning to evening, and therefore, classes are practically not held in schools.

The chairperson of the Panjakent Education Department, Ms. Shohida Mukammalova, has confirmed in an interview with Asia-Plus that 6,000 students are involved in the rehearsals.  “They have been participating in the rehearsals both during classes and after them,” Ms. Mukammalova noted.  

According to her, neither the Ministry of Education nor any other authorized agency has made a decision on involving students in these rehearsals.

“The students have been involved in the rehearsals on the basis of a letter from the Panjakent Culture Department,” Ms. Mukammalova added. 

Local residents say that from morning to evening, the central square and the streets of the city are filled with schoolchildren and students having a rest before their turn to march in the central stadium.  Teachers are also involved in these rehearsals.  

Such obligatory displays of national pride are a long-standing tradition in Tajikistan and show little sign of being phased out.