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30.4.02

Niyazov Takes Students Back To "Middle Ages"
"Turkmenistan's president, Saparmurat Niazov, has announced wide-ranging reforms of the higher education system in his latest attempt to rid the country of its Soviet past and rebuild it in his own image.

"Let's get rid of useless subjects," the president said, setting out clearly defined options for the teaching of chemistry, physics, biology, psychology and ecology. Either abolish them, he told teachers, as they are no longer needed, or, "introduce concrete elements into the teaching of such subjects".

The leader considers Rukhnama - a book he wrote setting out his views and beliefs - a suitable moral code for the nation. "In social disciplines, only the history of Turkmenistan and Rukhnama will be taught," he said. " All the inhabitants of Turkmenistan, from the humble to the great, must read and know Rukhnama; people benefit from it.""

The article has a pretty obvious slant to it (you may notice I'm a big proponent of balance in news stories even when one side is ludicrous), but some of the stuff he's proposing is really incredible. The thing about his book blows my mind.

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