1. Description of Our Community
Tashkent International School is located in the Heart of Central Asia –Tashkent city, the Republic of Uzbekistan. The city has a unique history and although it is located in predominantly Muslim region the city is very multicultural and comprises representatives on many nationalities and religions. The major ethnic groups of the city are Uzbeks, Russians, Koreans, Tatars and Tajiks.
Historically Tashkent was always a place in which many great Empires wanted to establish their rule. As a result throughout history Tashkent was a part of Alexander the Great, Persian, Parthian, Kushan, Samanid, Tamerlane and Russian empires. It was also a part of Arabic Caliphate, Mongol state of Genghis Khan and the USSR. In the 19th century the city was in the center of a Great Game the famous completion over the Central Asia between Russian and British Empires. In 1991 the city became a capital of independent Uzbekistan.
All of those events have left their mark in the mentality of the people of Tashkent and in its architectural heritage. People of Tashkent are very hospitable and tolerant to other cultures and customs. It is amazing to see how one city can speak two languages at the same time Russian and Uzbek, and how Western and Eastern cultures are mixed in it.
The education system in Uzbekistan allows free access to schools for children. For that reason literacy rate in the republic is very close to 100%, people of Uzbekistan like their history and respect the traditions of their land. This young country is building its future by underlining and reviewing its past and present.
2. Summary of Our Project
Tashkent city has a long 2200 years history and it has seen many hard and happy days in the course of it. At the moment this is the largest city in the Central Asia and probably the most ambitious one as well. Tashkent is building its future without forgetting the past. This unique spirit of the city has encouraged many people to write books and film movies about Tashkent and it also encouraged us to do this project in order to pay tribute to the unique place where our school is located.
We have decided to choose the Khast Imam architectural ensemble for our project because it best represents how people of Uzbekistan see their future. The monument has a lot of buildings all of which were built in different times from 15th to 21st century, and yet the whole complex represents a single architectural ensemble where all of the buildings share common design elements and common spirit. By exploring this monument we really understood how valuable it is to respect and preserve the past in order to build a prosperous future. Uzbekistan is relatively young country, and after obtaining its independence people of Uzbekistan started to recover their old traditions and history to build their national identity. One of the slogans that can be seen in the streets of Tashkent states “ajdodlarga munosib avlod bo’laylik”, which translates from uzbek as “Let our ancestors be proud of our generation”. This statement truly reflects the perception of the future by the people of Uzbekistan. Many historical monuments were restored during the independence and many books were written about our ancestors such as Avicenna, Ulugbek, Al-Xorezmiy, Alisher Navoi, Al-Bukhariy etc. The square Khast Imam was built around the mausoleum of Kaffal Shashi the great religious figure who lived in Tashkent in the Middle Ages. It was restored in 2006-2007 and to commemorate the choice of Tashkent as a capital of the Muslim World in the year 2007.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
The School is connected to the Internet, however the speed of the internet is not always good and there are days when the internet is down. At the moment ICT area in Uzbekistan is developing very rapidly and there were a lot of improvement in the services provided. For example many people are having ADSL lines at home. However still most home users of the Internet use dial up connection that limits their internet activity.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The main problem at the beginning was the lack of information available though the internet. The monument that we devoted our website to is a unique place that contains the world renowned Koran of Usman the most complete oldest Koran written on the lamb skin soon after Mohammad’s death. However because Uzbekistan is not very well represented online we had experienced difficulties with finding out the relevant information. However after we have visited the place we have got more complete and full understanding of the place and its relationship to the Uzbek community and actually its importance for the world community as well.
Another challenge that we faced was putting all of the information together and communicating it on our website. It was challenging because we wanted to give facts and our own opinions on the websites and we were very cautious about making mistakes in historical dates and facts since most of the information that we have picked up was taken from the interview with the local community representative.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The exciting exploration of the old and new Tashkent. The future in Uzbekistan is being built though the discovery and respect of its past, its rich history and its traditions.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
During this year, grade 8 students looked at different concepts of the website development in their technology class and covered the Middle Ages history in humanities class. This project gave them an invaluable experience of exploring some of the outstanding examples of the medieval architecture and applying their technology skills to share this experience not only with other students at school, but to a wider community of international schools. Students have learned a lot about history of Uzbekistan and have acquired a deeper understanding of the community that the school belongs to. During the investigation stage students looked at many different online and printed sources and were also able to get answers to their questions from the experts of the local community. Students have understood that much of the information on history can be obtained from personal experience and not only from reading books and analyzing historical facts. During their work on the website they also benefited from working with different types of software to extend their knowledge of real life application of technology skills. During the implementation stage students’ motivation have grown a lot and they wanted to share the information with other people and create a professional website that will not only demonstrate their understanding of the values, but will also promote the historical monument to the wider community and will help people around the world to understand the ambitions of the people of Uzbekistan for the future.