• Kyrgyzstan: Tongue-tied Schools

    Kyrgyzstan: Tongue-tied Schools

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan | The exodus of native Russian speakers out of Kyrgyzstan shows no signs of slowing.

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  • Uzbekistan: Do You Speak Russian?

    Uzbekistan: Do You Speak Russian?

    TASHKENT, Uzbekistan | I had a misunderstanding over an Internet card I was trying to buy from a young merchant in one of Tashkent’s stores not far from the Russian […]

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  • Moldova: Misleading First Impressions

    Moldova: Misleading First Impressions

    This past spring, Mariana Diaconu from Yaloveni, a town around 15 kilometers south of Chisinau, passed her final exams with flying colors. Those results at her lyceum carried new importance […]

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  • Macedonia: Learn to Forget

    Macedonia: Learn to Forget

    SKOPJE, Macedonia | Ivana’s homework has a familiar refrain: she memorizes lessons from physics, chemistry, math, and history classes. She does this until her head aches, she complains, “and that’s […]

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  • Romania: One More Chance

    Romania: One More Chance

    CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania | It is 11:10 on a Thursday morning when a slightly unusual science class, the last of the day, begins at Nicolae Iorga School in the Iris industrial […]

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  • Bulgarian teachers staged demonstrations in front of the Parliament in Sofia.  Photo by Kozzmen.  Creative Commons licensed.

    Bulgaria: Classsroom Blues (and Grays)

    SOFIA, Bulgaria | At the German Language High School, the teachers’ lounge is a gloomy room with faded sofas, drab chairs, and dust-covered computers that no longer work. Time stopped […]

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  • Moldova: Diplomas for Sale

    Moldova: Diplomas for Sale

    CHISINAU, Moldova | Ion speaks with quiet resignation about the corruption in the Moldovan school system. Ion recently graduated from a lyceum in northern Moldova and paid 450 Moldovan leu […]

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  • Macedonia: Go to the Head of the Class

    Macedonia: Go to the Head of the Class

    SKOPJE, Macedonia | Kire Krstevski admits that he doesn’t like to study. The first-year university student from the city of Bitola said he was lazy about keeping his grades up […]

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  • Macedonia: Class Struggle

    Macedonia: Class Struggle

    SKOPJE, Macedonia | The Albanian students who attend Zef Ljus Marku High School don’t know the Macedonian students at Nikola Karev High School, even though both groups attend classes in […]

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  • Estonia: Twisted Tongues

    Estonia: Twisted Tongues

    TALLINN, Estonia | It’s a warm September day in central Tallinn, but the heat inside the hotel conference room has nothing to do with the baking sunlight. Fiery exchanges fly […]

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