You can't make this stuff up, folks. President Karimov envisions 2010 as the year of the "Harmoniously Developed Generation," and has signed a package of instructions to his government to bring this about. I wonder if harmonious development includes a few months hard labor in his cotton fields?
The decree stipulates:
cardinal improvement of the quality of education in schools, professional colleges, lyceums and universities through wide introduction of the new information and communication technologies, providing educational establishments with the modern educational and laboratory equipment and computers, as well as stimulation of the teachers and tutors;
expansion of measures to raise healthy generation, including the “Healthy mother – healthy child” program, improvement of the system of protection of reproductive health of mothers, children and teenagers, development of preventive healthcare;
As Uzbek analyst Sanjar Saidov has noted, these programs are largely if not wholly propaganda exercises. Last year, after all, was the year of Rural Development and Well-being (!). But since the realities of life for most of Uzbekistan's young people are so wildly removed from the puffery of such decrees, does no one in the regime worry that they might make people more cynical, more angry?