Long since Uzbekistan was a place for islamic religious institutions –madrasahas, as well as world known scholars. It is its precious contribution which is known to be put in the development of science. However, later on, not pure-religious, but semi-literate figures made artificial obstructions to the development of science which was followed by the a slow down in science development and a halt thereafter. By the end of 19th century, “Jadeeds” movement, a movement which was struggling for the science development as well as the colonization, brought up the issues of world science and enlightenment against the illiteracy and colony oppression. The question of an establishment of a scientific higher educational institution – a university, was set in the agenda as a matter of life and death. Jadeeds were sure that it was only science and enlightenment to fight for the prospects of life and country independence. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, the movement members, who were not only religious people, but also well educated, started to express their thoughts of independence through their works, which were mainly poems, novels, and through jadeeds’ publications. Initially, it was the case of the establishment of a university which jadeeds brought up to the agenda of both Tsarist Russian government and then Soviets government.
Moreover, in that particular time, the Russian scientists brought forward the idea of establishing a university, to which the government, in 1918 on the 16th March, issued a decree to set up Turkistan People’s University in Tashkent. And a rapid pace of the university establishment was started by the scientists.
However, the welfare of local Muslim nation was not mirrored in that decree. It was when a person called a Munavvarqori Abdurashidkhonov realized all the points and contents. Thus, on the 9th of April , he invited all keys figures of Jadeeds movement into his apartment and brought up the matter of the establishment of Muslim People’s University. Approved the idea, a committee for the establishment of Muslim People’s University (Dorilphunun) was set up.
The committee started its work at a rapid pace in two fronts. The first and most important was to make the government recognize the committee activity. The last but not least was to start Muslim National University in a part of Tashkent city called “Eski shahar” (Old town). In the first decade of May the committee was officially approved. Moreover, the committee workers were paid a salary stated by the local government.
These actions started by Munavvarqory were supported by muslim nation, and soon after were proved to be efficient. The official and solemn opening of the Muslim People’s University was on the 12th of May in 1918 in a place in the shop building of a man named Vakula Morozov, which was then transformed into “Youth Theatre”. Several members of government and hundreds of literate people were present on that impressive event. The event was officially opened with the speech of Munavvarqory, who was elected as a rector of the University board. It was followed by hot speeches and best wishes of statesmen and national representatives.
The establishment of Muslim People’s University (MPU) was a real historical occurrence which then started to satisfy the requirements of the nation. The Muslim People’s University became an official branch of the Turkistan People’s University, which was officially adopted on the 21st of April, 1918, just before the MPU. Thus, for the first time in our history, a university of two languages and two parts was totally established. From the very first days of its existence, newspapers, “Khalq Dorilfununi” or “Narodniy Universitet” were issued in two languages, Uzbek and Russian. The university was led by a pedagogic and scientific council consisted of 15 people. Then after, it reached 229 people, of which 22 were graduates from local madrasahs, and other 2 were graduates from universities in Russia. The Muslim People’s University became a real three phase educational centre.
Higher phase – “Dorilmuallim” an institute for teachers;
Middle phase – vocational education of different type. (courses and clubs)
Lower phase – primary education
Famous teachers and pedagogues of that time, such as Burkhon Habib, Munavvarqory Abdurashidhonov, Abdurauf Fitrat, Kamol Shamsi, Khaydar Shavqiy, Abdullo Rahimboyev, Abdurahmon Ismoilov were only some of the people who started teaching and educating at the university. Turkistan People’s University also became a three phase educational institution. The higher phase consisted of History, Philology, Social studies, Economics, Mathematics, Agriculture and Technical faculties with a new rector whose name was A.V. Popov. There were also many well known scientists and some of them were R.R.Shreder, S.A.Kochan, G.M.Svarichevskiy, V.I.Romanovskiy.
By the autumn of 1918, The Muslim People”s University was accumulating its pace, when its existence was suddenly ended by the soviet government. The higher phase of MPU, Dorilmuallimiyn, an institute for teachers and Personnel training program, left its print in history for a long time. The National University of Turkistan was given State University status in 1919. Soon after it developed highly. It was then given a name of Central Asian State University from 1923 to 1960, and Tashkent State University since 1960 to 2000. It was an educational institution which made a tremendous contribution not only in all spheres on Uzbekistan, but also to the scientific, educational and technical development of Central Asian region and the countries of post Soviet Union. Many well-known scholars and scientists were educated at the university, which is why it was also known as “Alma mater”.
The patriotic and supreme dreams of Jadeeds became reality after the declaration of the Independence of the country. On the 6th of January, 2000, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov talking with the electorate, proposed to give a national status to the university. After a positive approval of the proposal, the President signed a decree, to give a national status to the Tashkent State University and renamed it to The National University of Uzbekistan.
“The memory of jadeeds who made tremendous deeds and sacrificed their lives for the prosperity of the motherland and the independence” was stated in decree, along with the “rehabilitation of history, education of the sense of patriotism in the hearts of generation and appreciation of national, historical and scientific values.” “The founders of the National University of Uzbekistan were the jadeeds and the foundation date of the university was the 12th of May, 1918.” are the statements which we can declare with heart full of pride.