There are a few schools with one or several classes with Russian as the language of instruction left in Turkmenistan.
Due to the fact that parents of school graduates try to send their children to the CIS countries to obtain higher education, the demand for vacancies in Russian-speaking classes is huge.
This has led to the fact that the amount of a bribe for getting a child admitted into the aforementioned schools in some cases reached 20 thousand manats (equivalent to approximately $1111 at the black market rate).
Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan interviewed Ashgabat residents, who were choosing schools for their children this year.
According to one of the parents who managed to secure a place for his child in the class with Russian as the language of instruction in an Ashgabat school, he paid 20 thousand manats. His family member, whose daughter is studying in the same school, had to pay 14 thousand last year. In general, according to parents' accounts, the amount of a bribe ranges from 10 to 20 thousand. It should be emphasized that a refugee status or Russian citizenship had been previously required to get admitted into the Russian class. Such certificates are currently no longer needed.
The Russian school named after Pushkin under the Russian Embassy stands apart. The fee of $3 to 5 thousand manats needed to be previously paid for enrolment. However, the vacancies are now being unofficially distributed by the Ministry of Education or even higher authorities. Mere mortals fail to be enrolled even for a bribe, � an interlocutor of Chronicles of Turkmenistan concluded.
Principals of Turkmen schools also try to coerce bribes. Aside from recommendations from friends and acquaintances, the demand is determined by proximity to the neighborhood a student lives in. It appears that parents try to place their children to a school located nearby but the school administration might say there are no vacancies left but the issue can be resolved for a certain fee. The amount of bribes fluctuates greatly, but, as a rule, does not exceed 2 thousand manats.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan