Legal aspects of licensing educational activity

The Regulations “On the Licensing of Education and Professional Training Activity” is to regulate the work of private schools in Turkmenistan. The adoption of the new Law "On Education" in 2009 made it possible to open private school in Turkmenistan. The founders of private schools may be the bodies of state power and government, local governments, Turkmen and foreign organizations of all patterns of ownership, public associations registered in the territory of the country, citizens of Turkmenistan and foreign countries.

Atamurad BAYMURADOV, a specialist of the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, Head of the Department of Licensing comments on the major provisions of these Regulations:

“The reform in the national education system aimed at facilitating its integration into the world educational space requires building an adequate legal foundation. The Regulations “On the Licensing of Education and Professional Training Activity” are another important step in this direction.

“According to this document, the main goals of licensing activity in the sphere of education is to conduct a single state policy in education and professional development, the state management of the terms of the educational process (including quality control) as well as protection of the rights of Turkmen citizens to receive education and training, to create legal guarantees for free work and development of educational institutions, expansion and streamlining of the educational services rendered to the local population.

“The parties responsible for licensing are a licensing body, i.e. the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, individuals and juridical entities, for whom this activity is authorized and they have the right to exercise it. An applicant as an individual must have higher education, vocational pedagogical education or education in the field and experience of at least 3 years related to the profile of a licensed activity.

“The license for education and professional training activities is issued to individuals and natural and legal entities in compliance with the relevant codes of the State Classifier of Economic Activities of Turkmenistan. A licensee can start working in the sphere of education and professional training from the date specified in the license and should stop it from the moment of termination of the license or cancellation of license.

“The previous Regulations set forth only a maximum term of a license - up to five years and provide no privileges to individuals. Under the new Regulations the right to carry out education and professional training activities is issued in accordance with the ongoing programme for at least three years; without time limits – to the entities, who render individual educational services.

“Another distinguishing feature of these Regulations is that licensing does not apply to education activities carried out in the form of single lectures, internships, seminars and other types of education are not accompanied by final certification and issuance of certificates of education and training.

“If the previous Regulations provided only the procedures of issuing licenses, then the new Regulations also describe the procedure of re-registration, renewal license, etc.

“License applicants should submit a list of required documents to a licensing body.

“The special licensing commission consisting of qualified specialists verifies the data presented by license applicants and its compliance with the requirements of the Regulations.

“The attachment to the new Regulations includes the list of training programmes, directions and disciplines of professional development and trainings, their level (stage) and focus, standard terms of study; qualification to be given to graduates in educational institution that have a certificate of the state accreditation; control standards and number of students.

“In case of any changes in the rules and standards fixed in a license, the legal form, level and conditions of the educational activity, licensees should notify the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan within 15 days.

“The public authorities in a relevant sector or sphere of activity develop requirements to be incorporated in the training process for medical, agricultural and other education programmes that should be endorsed by the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan.

“The Regulations provide the list of specific violations of licensing requirements and conditions which are the basis to a licensing authority to suspend and cancel a license.

“In case of cancellation of a license, a licensee should notify trainees and (or) their parents within 3 days, reimburse the actual costs to trainees, who haven’t completed the full course of study in accordance with an agreement on training in accordance with laws of Turkmenistan.

“Thus, this document lays the legal foundations for carrying out education and professional training activities as consistent with the science and education policy of Turkmenistan.”