1 Geography

Ashgabat formerly Ashkhabad, city (1991 pop. 412,200), capital of Turkmenistan, near the border with Iran, on the Trans-Caspian RR. The city has textile, motion picture, and crafts industries. Ashgabat was founded in 1881 as a fortress. From 1919 to 1927 it was named Poltoratsk. An earthquake in 1948 virtually destroyed the city, which stands in a major fault zone. The Turkmenistan Academy of Sciences is there.

2 Demographics

Population 4,867,000 (2003 est) Population growth rate 1.3% (2000–15) Population density (per sq km) 10 (2003 est) Urban population (% of total) 45 (2003 est) Age distribution (% of total population) 0–14 36%, 15–59 58%, 60+ 6% (2002 est) Ethnic groups 77% ethnic Turkmen, 7% ethnic Russian, 9% Uzbek, 3% Kazakh, 1% Ukrainian, Armenian, Azeri, and Tartar Language Turkmen (a Turkic language; official), Russian, Uzbek, other regional languages

3 History

Akdepe, a big hill (depe), is located at Bikrova settlement, in the south-west of Ashgabat. The lower layers of this unique memorial date back to the fifth millennium B.C., and the upper ones to the late middle ages. In the past, it was believed that people deserted the main center of Akdepe as early as in Bronze Age, i.e. in the second millennia BC, and the medieval city emerged to the north and north-west of the hill. However, the excavations have proved that in the X-XI centuries, i.e. thousand years ago, the life still went on here.
There are all grounds to assert that the town in the location of contemporary Ashgabat and its outskirts was founded during the emergence of the Parthian Empire. It was a chain of fortresses (about 20 settlements) connected with the single system of defense and administration. Akdepe is one of such settlements situated at the Ashgabat stream. This "White hill" attracted our attention by the fact that all cultural layers, from the V millennium BC to the XVII century AD can be found there. In fact, the whole history of Ashgabat can be "read" in Akdepe.

4 Education

Higher Education
After completing secondary school, students may continue their education at one of the dozens of specialized institutes or at Turkmenistan State University in Ashgabat. Admittance into higher education institutions often is extremely competitive. Like all the other tests and evaluations in the educational system, this examination consists of both written and oral parts.
Completion of a course of study in higher institutions may take up to five years. Graduate study is an option for outstanding students at the university or in one of the Academy of Science's many research institutes.
The republic's eight institutes, and its two pedagogical institutes; these institutes are located in Ashgabat.

4.1 Public schools

There are lot of public secondary schools in Ashgabat. They are free.

4.2 Private schools

The Ashgabat International School (AIS), founded in 1994, is a private, non-profit day school which offers an accredited educational program from a 3-4 year-old program through high school for students of all nationalities. High school students have 2 options for course work. They may participate in courses offered in our high school program or they may choose to take courses by distance learning through the University of Nebraska High School Correspondence Program. The School is fully equipped with Internet access that makes distance learning possible and school staff monitor all distance learning courses. The School comprises 3 terms extending from early September to mid-June. The 180 day calendar includes a 2 ½ week winter break, a 1 week summer break and several long weekends. AIS is the only English speaking school in Turkmenistan.

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