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Inspiring the Next Generation of Teachers

Tajik teacher Zebo Murodova explains importance of female educators

01 July 2011
Zebo Murodova standing behind her seated mother (U.S. Embassy Dushanbe)

Zebo Murodova (standing) and her mother, Zuhro Murodova, are both English teachers in Tajikistan and are passionate about educating girls.

Zebo Murodova is a secondary school English teacher in southern Tajikistan. Her mother is also an English teacher and encouraged her daughter to join the profession. Murodova studied education in university and then taught at an Internet learning center sponsored by the U.S. State Department and Relief International Schools Online. She also traveled to the United States as part of a teacher exchange program to further develop her teaching skills.

Question: Did you encounter any obstacles in becoming a teacher?

Murodova: My mom is a teacher [and] she insisted [to] my father that “I will educate my girls because I want that they become somebody in life and they find their way.” But my father … disagreed with it and he said, “Why a girl should study? We will either marry them and they will go leave our house.”

But my mom did very a good job: She persuaded my father. So my father now says, “I am very proud of you and it’s good that I listened to your mother. Now you have your own profession.”

Q: What challenges have you faced as a teacher?

A: I wanted [my girl students to] stay longer at school and learn some leadership skills. But their parents were not pleased with it and they didn’t allow the girls to come to [school] clubs.

Q: Were you able to change their minds?

A: Yes, I did, but only at my fifth and sixth years teaching, when I [became] like a model for them. When I began my trips, like two times I was in [the United States], everyone [saw] if you can have knowledge, it can take you everywhere. So it changed their minds. And they wanted to bring the girls by hand to my classroom and say, “Please, teach her.”

Q: What effect do you think you have had on your students, particularly the girls?

A: I think that I become a role model for them. I can inspire them that they can achieve if they will learn. Recently, a parent came to me and said, “I want my daughter [to] be like you. And all other daughters, I married them, but my last daughter, I don’t want to marry her. I just want that she study and go abroad and see the world and meet different people.” I become very happy to hear such words. I hope that my students — especially girls — will find their own way in life and also become educated. And I hope that in [the] future our girls will be very educated, and will work in all spheres to develop our country.

Q: Do you like being a teacher?

A: I am very happy that I chose this profession. This is a very noble profession. We are changing people’s lives and we are putting students on the right path. And I’m very happy that I am a very useful person. Thanks to my students, I have a lot of achievements with the teacher’s profession. I realized all my dreams.

I am very thankful to my mom; she struggled to educate her children. And I can say that it’s very, very important that girls study, get education and have a profession.

Read more from Zebo Murodova and watch an interview as she and her mother discuss the importance of education (in “A Passion for Education”).

The opinions expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. government.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)