PhD Candidate Rashid Gabdulhakov publishes a commentary for EU-Central Asia Monitoring

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed countries to turn quickly to online learning. In Uzbekistan, the challenge is substantial due to insufficient quality access to the Internet and devices; low digital literacy; and the risk of online services being curtailed. This commentary offers a few lessons to be learnt in order to narrow the digital divide in the country.

“In Central Asia, shifting from in-person to online learning has been difficult. Many people do not have access to steady electricity, affordable high-speed and uncensored Internet, or reliable devices. Furthermore, the pandemic has also brought to the fore the urgent need to develop the necessary digital skills among various groups, from schoolchildren to teachers, and from policy-makers to civil society. Central Asian republics have taken divergent responses to the pandemic. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan introduced lockdowns in March 2020; in Tajikistan, quarantine measures were only partially implemented; while Turkmenistan still claims to have zero Covid-19 cases. Despite the different responses and approaches to Internet governance and its availability, all Central Asian countries share some common challenges in shifting to online learning. The case of Uzbekistan could apply to the greater region.”

The publication can be accessed here.

About EU-Central Asia Monitoring

Established in 2008 as a project seeking to monitor the implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, EUCAM has grown into a knowledge hub on broader Europe-Central Asia relations via its research, training, networking and awareness raising activities.