A statement released by the school administration said the school had to discontinue all its educational services in Uzbekistan as of Jan. 1, 2011 “without any purposeful bad intentions or intending harm to anyone.” The statement also listed the reasons the school was forced to suspend its educational activities in detail, which pointed to bureaucratic obstacles the school has been facing as well as security concerns.
One of these reasons listed was that bureaucratic obstacles such as procedures for permits, customs clearance, transportation and payments that the school had to deal with while importing educational materials, textbooks, laboratory equipment, computers, etc. Difficulties and bureaucratic procedures endured by the school while renewing its staff's work permits due to recent changes that took place in the educational system at the national level was another reason given.
“It has become impossible to manage the risks that came along increasing problems and difficulties in the arrangements of our expatriate staff's visa, registration, accommodation, flight tickets, health services and salary transfers. Although shopping and making payments in a foreign currency in the country are not permissible, we were directed to make payments in US dollars for visas, registrations, rent of accommodations and some health services, which made these services impossible to receive,” read the statement.
As the statement explained, according to current laws in Uzbekistan, shopping and making and receiving salary payments in a foreign currency are not permissible. Therefore, parents are required to pay school fees in som, the national currency, and the National Bank of Uzbekistan is supposed to convert the amount necessary in order to pay the salaries of the school's foreign staff. “Ever since our school was founded in 1995, we have experienced serious delays and difficulties in converting and transferring our foreign teachers' salaries; the final transaction we received was for the salaries of March 2009, which means our salaries have not been transferred for twenty-one months up until now, even though the money is available in our school's Uzbek Sum bank account. When we contact the relevant bank, the answer we always get is, ‘We are short of US dollars'.”
According to the statement, during this period the school administration strove to maintain its educational services without delays and interruptions even though they were experiencing serious financial difficulties. However, it became financially impossible to sustain the school. The statement said the relevant authorities had also failed to provide any kind of assistance to the school.
Meanwhile, since they had not been able receive their salaries for months, many of the international and local staff of the school have been left stranded in Tashkent without the financial resources to return to their home countries.
The school administration also cited security concerns for the suspension of the school's educational activities. The statements adds that some foreign investors in the country are adopting an increasingly negative attitude towards them and that they have experienced ill-treatment such as numerous anti-terrorism team raids and inspections although they have no links to terrorist activities. The statement added that the Silm Corporation believes its institutions are very likely to face similar pressures and that the corporation has serious concerns about the safety and security of services and staff alike.