About 500 schools in Turkmenistan have been obliged to send two students per school to children's recreation centres in Avaza during the winter holidays. The price for a 10 day travel package excluding transportation amounts to 600 manats ($170 at the Central Bank exchange rate).
On 17 December executives of the local administration in five velayats summoned principals of 100 schools and demanded they collect money and pay for travel packages in the recreation centres Arzuv and Dayanch.
Parents are reluctant to send their children to the seaside in winter time. Moreover, few families can pay over 200 dollars, including transportation expenses. The authorities demand that the cost of hotel vouchers is covered so that the health resorts in Avaza do not stand idle. The schools (teachers) which have been selected have no choice but make money contributions of 1200 manats to pay for travel packages which will not be used.
The recreation centres Arzuv and Dayanch together can accommodate up to 1000 children at a time.
There are about 1800 secondary schools in the country. The regional education boards use a rotation method to decide which of them are obliged to pay for hotel vouchers.
The practice of increasing hotel and resort occupancy in the recreational area Avaza has been long established, and not only thanks to children. All enterprises and organizations in Turkmenistan are also urged to buy travel packages, regardless of whether the staff will spend their holidays there or not.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan