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Preparation of new textbooks for Azerbaijan primary schools in the years of 1920-1931

Aytakin Mammadova

Abstract: The proclaming of the Azerbaijani language as the main language was one of the most important changes in the reform of new schools in Azerbaijan in the 1920s. Preparation of textbooks in the native language for primary schools has become one of the actual issues. The development of national culture depended on the application level of the mother tongue. The purpose of the research is to study preparation of new textbooks for Azerbaijan primary schools in the years of 1920-1931. It was not possible to develop national schools without creating textbooks and additional teaching resources in the national language. It was difficult to develop new textbooks in all subjects for all groups (classes) in a short period. There were various reasons of the difficulties: 1) lack of professionals and teaching staff for designing textbooks in all subjects; 2) lack of scientific terminology in Biology, Physics, Mathematics other subjects; 3) lack of experience in the field of printing and publishing issues; 4) lack of professional translators; 5) the Arabic alphabet which hinders cultural progress, etc. The article identifies the nature of these difficulties and analyzes the solution methods. Textbooks for primary schools based on the new Turkish alphabet (Latin script) are analyzed in the article. In 1922, the New Turkish Alphabet Committee was established under the Central Excutive Commission (CEC) of Azerbaijan. Then Jalil Mammadzadeh, Mammadagha Shahtakhtli and others were also appointed to the committee. The committee organized its activities in three directions: 1) editorial and publishing department; 2) training and science department; 3) organizational department. As a result, a lot of issues regarding the compatibility of the new Latin alphabet with our language, harmony, and pronunciation were discussed; and finally, on July 22, 1922, it was decided to switch from the Arabic alphabet into the new Latin alphabet.
Keywords: primary schools / language / Azerbaijan / committee / alphabet / Latin / new textbooks

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