During school break schools arrange extended daycare groups

Not all parents of Ashgabat's schoolchildren can afford to send their children to summer camps during a school break. In this connection, over the past few years officials from the Ministry of Education have been organizing after-school daycare groups.

In after-school daycare groups students of grades 1 to 8 spend 9 to 12 hours daily. The teaching staff arranges additional classes in subjects where the students lag behind. Children learn and recite poems and songs, go to the theatres 2-3 times a week, play and mingle in their free time.

Such program is envisaged until the end of June.

Meals are provided by parents. The visits to the theatre are also covered at their expense. A ticket for the theatre play costs 5 manats. Students cannot refuse to go to the theatre, although children confess that they do not like all stage productions.

The parents are overall satisfied despite the fact that additional ticket expenses are quite considerable,

� It is a good thing that children are kept busy for a half day or learn some new skills. It is better than hang around in the backyard or watch cartoons. Only father works in the family and therefore tickets for theatre performances, which cost 10-15 manats a week, ice-creams and sweets children buy hit hard in the family's budget. My female neighbor is in a much more difficult situation as she has three kids who attend the daycare group. Those who have higher incomes, send their children to the health resort in Gekdere, � a student's mother said.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan