There is 11-year compulsory schooling in Azerbaijan, which is divided into 4-year primary school and 7-year secondary school.
Almost 100% of children attend primary school, 80% in high school and 20% in higher education. The country has 48 higher education institutions, as well as a number of private institutions.
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Due to a well-developed school system in the time of the Soviet Republic, illiteracy in Azerbaijan is considered to be below 3% (2000).
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In April 2006, Aliyev visited Washington to discuss oil, economic development and democracy. President Bush indicated that the superpower was no longer interested in the 2005 assaults. The United States has significant interests in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas resources.
In May 2006, the new oil pipeline from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey was inaugurated to Europe. The pipeline must transport DKK 50 million annually. tonnes of oil to the European market from the Azerbadjan fields. At the end of the year, a parallel gas pipeline was inaugurated, which will carry up to DKK 296 billion annually. m 3 gas.
A June 2007 report by Amnesty International stated that although the situation of internally displaced people in the country had improved, they continued to face discrimination.
In April 2008, the President declared that “Nagorno Karabakh will never gain its independence”.
In October 2008, Aliyev was re-elected as President with 87% of the vote. The following year, a referendum on constitutional amendments was conducted that removed the restrictions on how many periods a president may sit, and at the same time introduced instruments to limit freedom of expression. The changes were adopted by about 90% of the vote.
Following negotiations in Moscow in November 2009, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Amnesty reported in 2010 that the human rights situation remained extremely serious. Demonstrations are being attacked by police, human rights activists and journalists are being harassed and torture continues to be widespread.
In November 2010, parliamentary elections were held. 2,500 people reported their candidacy, but only 690 were approved by the Election Commission. Aliyev’s party got 45.8% of the vote and 72 out of the 125 seats in Parliament. A further 38 “independent” candidates attached to the ruling party were elected. The remaining 15 seats went to representatives of some kind of opposition parties. For the first time, the country’s largest opposition party did not get a single candidate elected. Election observers from the OSCE characterized the election as characterized by irregularities and with limited access for opposition candidates to media and registration.
Inspired by the “Arab Spring”, opposition groups launched protests against the regime in late January 2011. Demonstrations and actions continued throughout the spring and early summer, but never reached more than a few hundred participants. The regime met the demonstrations with arrests. In a single demonstration on April 2, 200 demonstrators were arrested. In October, four of them were sentenced to 18-36 months in prison for «organizing mass protests».