Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back to School

Turkmenistan's President, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, recently ordered members of his government back to school with the threat that they must pass exams in order to keep their jobs. (I imagine that the Capitol Building would be unusually quiet if this standard was applied to our own government).

In all fairness, if Turkmenistan's officials don't make the grade then surely some of the blame should be placed on Mr. Berdymukhamedov's totalitarian predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov. The late Turkmenbashi destroyed higher education during his two decades in power. He made his spiritual book, the Ruhnama, required reading for all students and public servants and cut higher education from five years to two years. He also renamed the months of the year after members of his family. Suffice it to say that Sam Kinison would not be pleased.