Mina Aslan

The Future of Education Development: Spiritual Education as a Cure to Development
Political Economy
Spring 2018

This project explores the implementation of a spiritual education curriculum in the 1997 National Program for Personal Training, Uzbekistan’s large-scale education reform plan, coupled with the its growing vocational education as an essential foundation for thriving social and economic development in Uzbekistan. Since its independence from the USSR in 1991, the Republic of Uzbekistan has focused its education goals on moral and community development as an essential component to contributing to a growing private-sector and knowledge-based economy, however the establishment of Community Learning Centers as part of the Adult Learning and Education policies have not been effective in moving youth away from the informal-sector or self-employment. The modern and popular sectors in Uzbekistan need an education framework that goes beyond the disparity in economic capacity, but foster the spiritual attributes of young people to develop themselves, their communities, and the institutions of the state. This presentation calls for the creation of an Uzbek spiritual education program to be used as early as secondary schools all the way to the Adult Learning Programs will morally and spiritually empower young people to reshape their newly developing economy and society. Both education curriculum and international development’s weaknesses stem from the narrow-minded dependency of a material interpretation of reality and consequently, schooling and education curriculum designed under the human capital approach only aims to produce profits no matter the human cost instead of using knowledge to positively contribute to the advancement of civilization. Drawing on the works of Farzam Arbab and Promilla Kapur, I have taken the underlying spiritual qualities present in all religions as a guide to structure a spiritual education curriculum that can be used within city centers and rural peripheries of the country. Using stories, intellectual writing exercises, community service projects, and artistic expression, education can then be used to strengthen the powers of expression of youth and junior youth in Uzbekistan to positively shape their society using a new conceptualization of development.