The bases for creation of modern national school and democratic media were launched in Azerbaijan in the XIX century. However, the education, science and culture areas have mainly developed in the XX century. During this period, the illiteracy rate in the country was eliminated; the full compulsory secondary education was introduced, as well as network of educational establishments was created and developed. Moreover, there was established the Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, as well as newspapers and magazines began to publish in the thousand of copies.
From this point of view, the 1930s of the past century could be described as a period of dynamic development. By the end of 1930s the literacy rate of the nation and the network of higher and secondary specialized schools in Azerbaijan have significantly increased. Moreover, the number of scientific research and cultural enlightenment establishments had risen significantly. In 1937, the Constitution of Azerbaijan was passed, and the comprehensive enlightenment programs entitled “Cultural Revolution” began to be implemented. As a result, until the World War II more than four thousand of primary schools and 16 universities have already functioned in the Republic.
In the mid 1930s, the increase in the number of population, development of national enlightenment, training new scientific-pedagogical staff and expansion of knowledge for enlightenment created conditions for the establishment of educational media.
The newspaper “Communist enlightenment” was established on 2 September, 1934. The main objective of the newspaper was to promote Cultural Revolution and play the special role in training of national scientific and pedagogical staff, as well as develop the education. The newspaper was established as a mouthpiece of communist ideas and Bolshevik enlightenment. However, from the first day of its publication the newspaper strayed far from existing frames and captured attention as a national press body. Articles printed in the newspaper were much about pedagogy issues. Therefore, in 1938 it was renamed “Teacher’s Newspaper.” From June, 1941 to April, 1946 the publication of newspaper was stopped due to the war, and its staff was sent to the army.
It should be noted that the period from 1941 to 1946 was the most difficult period of the newspaper’s fate. Some of the authors of the newspaper became a victim of the Stalin’s repression. Some of them were thrown into prison of NKVD as a “public enemy”, and some of them died in the Great Patriotic War.
From April, 1946 the newspaper began to publish under the name of “Azerbaijan Muallimi” (Azerbaijan’s teacher). However, its style and purpose remained unchanged.
Certainly be recognized as an intellectual and try to keep this name was very difficult. According to the unanimous opinion of all, beginning from the average teacher to famous scientists and statesmen, the newspaper Azerbaijan Muallimi plays a matchless role in the development of the Azerbaijani education, science and culture, as well as continues this tradition in the period of comprehensive reforms implemented in the education area.
In the letter of congratulations, sent by nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev to the staff on the 60th anniversary of the newspaper, he gave a decent assessment to the activity of the newspaper and highly appraised its role in our social-political life. The principals set out in the letter will define the main activity direction of the newspaper for a long time and put a new spirit in its staff. As he said: “Azerbaijan Muallimi is not just a newspaper which describes one area of our life; it has influenced on the social-political events in the country as well. The newspaper has played the important role in the development of journalism. And today it is true to its traditions and continues its activity in the pedagogical field.”
Azerbaijan Muallimi serves to the building of the national education of the country, and forming the new education system based on the national and spiritual values. Undoubtedly, the renewed society needs people with the fresh ideas, rational thinking ability, democratic spirit, and young people with a modern outlook. This demands new form and content for the secondary school education
Since 1999, Education Reform Program has been implemented in the country. The program was launched and authored by national leader Heydar Aliyev and has played an important role in creating a democratic community. From the first day of publication the newspaper has made lots of work for delivering the innovator teachers’ work method to the pedagogical community by summarizing them, as well as assisting to solve existing problems. Articles of famous scientists, educators, and teachers reflected their suggestions on the education reform and comments on different aspects of building the modern education are periodically being printed by the newspaper.
Azerbaijan Muallimi has taken important steps to educate and prepare youth for active life by studying the political heritage of the great leader Heydar Aliyev that based on his rich and meaningful way of life and multifaceted activities. In recent years, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev radical changes were made in the Azerbaijani education; hundreds of modern schools and extra buildings were built, and educational establishments were supplied with the new equipments. All these changes are being reflected in the newspaper. Moreover, unexampled care for the education field of the President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, MP Mehriban Aliyeva, positive impression from the community on projects implemented by the Foundation are being reflected in the newspaper’s articles and presented to the public as a good example for kindness.
As national leader Heydar Aliyev had noted the newspaper Azerbaijan Muallimi has influenced on all areas of our political life. In 1981, speaking on the VII Congress of Azerbaijan Writers Union Heydar Aliyev said: “Bloody tsar and shah’s regimes have divided our people. However, there just one land and one literature…” Up to that moment, a most majority of people was scared to pronounce such words: words, which were on the minds of all Azerbaijanis. After this speech, the South and Tabriz themes that were prohibited during almost for the century have become urgent. Azerbaijan Muallimi was the first who reacted to this call. In the Sounds from the South column of the newspaper begun to publish literary works of the South Azerbaijanis and that made the newspaper even more popular. After this speech, everyone could talk about South Azerbaijan, and become acquainted with problems and cares of southerners.
Azerbaijan Muallimi has always been the platform for intellectuals, scientists and teachers. Articles of academician Mehdi Mehdizadeh, famous scientists Ahmad Seyidzadeh, Mardan Muradkhanov, Shovgy Agayev, Nuraddin Kazimov, Zahid Garalov, Bashir Ahmadov, Misir Mardanov, Aliheydar Hashimov, Yahya Karimov, Aziz Afandizadeh, Huseyn Ahmadov, Akbar Bayramov, Abdul Alizadeh, Ajdar Agayev, national teachers Zahid Shoyubov, Israfil Shukurov, labour heroes Masma Atakishiyeva, Zarbaly Samadov, Mahar Guliyev, Isa Mammadov and others were printed in the newspaper. The newspaper has played an important role in the delivering of their ideas to the public.
The contribution made by chief editors (Rustam Huseynov, Agaali Badalov, Mirabbas Aslanov, Shahin Safarov, Mahammad Baharli, and current editor Bayram Huseynzadeh) to Azerbaijan Muallimi has been reflected in the successes that achieved the newspaper. Today, we can confidently say that, the newspaper responds to all important demands for the modern journalism. In its activity, the newspaper is based on the objectivity, accuracy and efficiency principles. Azerbaijan Muallimi has achieved a serious progress in terms of the richness of the content and variety of the articles. The website of newspaper has positively influenced on widening of the reader audience of the newspaper and improving pedagogical enlightenment work. Pursuant to the high public interest in the newspaper its circulation has been increased sharply.
The staff of the newspaper is continued to expand and develop its activity. Each of them clearly understands that their work to decently promote the state educational policy is a very honourable and difficult work. There should be no doubt that the newspaper Azerbaijan Muallimi will do its best to strengthen our statehood.