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Part  II – Analytical Section

6. Progress in Solving Problems and Achieving Goals of EFA in the period of 1990-1999

From 1990 to 1999 the education sector of the Kyrgyz Republic was substantially reformed. Major focus of these reforms was in basic education. These changes emphasized developing the student’s aptitudes and talents, and democratizing the entire school system.

These reforms produced noticeable achievements such as the formation of legislation base aimed to protect children and develop children of junior school age, providing accessibility for all citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic of a free basic education, expanded basic education through a series of additional education services of both free and paid education, and the use of partnership relations and international support to increase the literacy the Republic’s people.

Expansion of Activities on Care for Children of Junior Age and their Development

Problems of childhood in the Kyrgyz Republic are considered to be state problems of high importance. Special attention is paid to development of children of junior age through programs of pre-basic education. The programs are designed for children of 3 to 6 years. Pre-basic education is provided by a network of state educational institutions and education centers of different non-governmental organizations. At present there are 468 non-governmental kindergartens in Kyrgyzstan, where 46600 children receive pre-basic education. After 1992, private pre-school institutions appeared in the republic, but their role is still insignificant. According to the data of the National statistic committee, only 44 children are involved in programs in private pre-school institutions.

The figures indicate that there was gradual (year to year) decrease of participation of children in pre-school programs during the analyzed period. So, gross indicator of participation of children in programs of pre-school education amounted in 1991 to 0.3 for the republic, and in certain areas (Chui oblast, Bishkek) it reached 0.5, but in 1992 it dropped to 0.2 for the republic and to 0.1 in 1998. Today in some areas of the Republic (Osh, Talas, Naryn oblasts) it equals almost to zero.

In some areas on this level of pre-basic education some gap in gender priority is observed. For example, in 1991 in Chui oblast and in Bishkek boys in pre-school education programs was 0.5 and 0.7 respectively, and participation of girls amounted to 0.4 and 0.5. In 1995 this indicator for Jalal-Abad and for Issyk-Kul oblasts was 0.1 and 0.0 respectively. In 1998 the gap is observed in Issyk-Kul, Talas oblasts and in Bishkek, where it amounted to 0.8. For the whole republic, gender participation index in 1991 amounted to 1.0, in 1992 – 0.9 and since 1993 – 0.8.

As mentioned, this situation occurred because of unfavorable social-economic conditions, caused by collapse of the USSR. Decrease of the network of pre-school institutions in rural areas was the most considerable. The drop continued until 1996, when the trend reversed and is now rising. The process has been speedier in more populated areas. The table given below describes the dynamics of development of pre-school institutions in rural and urban territories.

In spite of small amount of pre-school institutions, in 1990-1999 programs of pre-school institutions were actively reformed. The main focus of the reformation of child care programs was in shifting from authoritarian pedagogic in favor of person oriented programs of greater interactions of teachers with children, formation and development of personal peculiarities of children of pre-school age on the basis of ethnic-cultural and social orientation of the pedagogical process.

A considerable part of child care programs consist of teaching skills of correct speech habits in native language, ability to think logically, to count to ten, know and differentiate letters, read simple small texts, understand and be able to express ideas in the state language. Much attention in childcare programs is paid to development of skills of drawing, singing, choreography, constructing, modeling, teaching of healthy way of living and hygiene. Enculturation to labor: housekeeping, gardening, domestic animal care is also a part of the program. In the last few years child care programs included sections with study of state symbolism, development of tolerance, and abilities to communicate collectively.

Much attention on this level of education is paid to issues of succession of pre-school and school education programs. There is a practice of creation of complexes kindergarten – school.

An orientation towards diversity grew out of new models of alternative preschool institutions: evening kindergartens, playgroups, and governess service. Alternative educational programs of pre-school level are being tested and probated. One of the most promising is "Mother School" program, to be implemented in 14 experimental regions.

To support children in lower income and long families (with many children) part-time farms are created. This work is most actively performed in Jalal-Abad region, where these farms have been created under 20 kindergartens. One part-time farm is functioning in Issyk-Kul oblast.

The work resulted in participation of certain percentage of children, enrolled in the first grade of primary school both in formal and in informal child care programs. There are no official statistics about informal pre-basic education, since the whole system of informal education began being renovated. Analysis has been conducted on the basis of formal pre-basic education only.

During the analyzed period it is clearly seen, that there is a tendency of reduction of percentage of children enrolled in the first grade with experience of child care programs. If in 1991 the percent amounted to 19.3, in 1992 it was already 11, in 1993 dropped down to 9.4, in 1994 to 6.4, in 1995 to 5.1, in 1996 changed to 5.2, in 1997 to 5.1 and in 1998 to 5.2. In 1996 some stabilization took place, because new private child schools with formal child-care programs were opened, and some departmental pre-school institutions were transferred to administrative education bodies. However, the percentage of children with childcare experience by the time of enrollment to the first grade is very small. Some areas have an extremely low percentage of participation of children in childcare programs. Issyk-Kul oblast, for example in 1991 had an indicator of 18.8, and by 1998 it dropped down to 4.5, Chui oblast had 23.1 and 5.4 respectively. Even the most well off region – the capital of the republic has a decrease of index from 59.3 in 1991 to 25.2 in 1998.

Data about children, enrolled in schools with childcare program experience, have some differences in gender parity: gender index in the republic in 1991 amounted to 0.9, and in 1998 to 0.8. In 1994 Issyk-Kul oblast and Bishkek indexes amounted to 0.7 and Talas oblast index in 1995 amounted to 0.5.

Therefore, participation of children of pre-school age in childcare programs does not play a definitive role in basic education of population. It may be mainly explained by the fact, that these programs are not approved by the legislation as compulsory level of education. Moreover, there is not any precise age census on enrollment of children in the first grade.

Nevertheless, the republican policy in education sphere reflects pubic understanding of the importance of child-care programs and desire of the state and society to prepare as many children as possible for school education, because it is in school where they obtain vital life experience, values and knowledge.

Formal basic education.

Basic education in the republic is divided into the first and the second stages. The first stage is primary school. The second is basic secondary school. The first level of basic education is implemented in 1939 educational institutions, of which 104 are only primary, 211 are incomplete secondary, and 1,286 are secondary. The first level enrolls 469,488 children, the second 466,332 pupils.

It is traditional in Kyrgyzstan that basic school is an organic part of the whole school sctructure. Therefore general picture of activity in school system of Kyrgyzstan could be considered a picture of its basic part as well.

School education covers the whole territory of Kyrgyzstan both urban and rural areas. The majority of schools are located in rural areas. Today out of 1939 operational schools 1614 are rural. The biggest region of the republic is the Osh oblast which has 696 public schools or 35.9% of the total number of schools in the Republic. Dynamics of development of public school network depending on their location is presented in the following table:

During the analyzed period there was so called "expanded approach" to basic education, that was a search for new educational structures, new content and technologies of education, additional financial, material and human resources. Expanded approach consisted of the following activities:

Education Accessibility and Equality

In the Kyrgyz Republic equal access to basic education is granted independently of age, sex and nationality.

Accessibility of the basic education is provided by:

Massive education coverage

During the analyzed decade one of the indicators of education efficiency in the Kyrgyz Republic was massive education coverage of school-age population. Dynamics of primary school enrollment index shows, that all these years the indicator has been rather high. In 1991 for the republic it amounted 92.6, in 1992 to 97.7, in 1993 to 97.5, in 1994 to 97.7, in 1995 to 96.4, in 1996 to 97.4 and in 1997 to 97.1. However the desired coverage was not achieved by several reasons. 1991 is the year of USSR breakup and beginning of internal and external migration of population. The most difficult situation appeared in the south of the republic in connection with well known Osh events, that took place in 1990 and caused active internal migration. Average index for Osh oblast in 1991 amounted to 91.3 and in Jalal-Abad to 83.5. Process of internal migration continued each year, mainly consisting of people from Naryr, Talas, Osh, Jalal-Abad oblasts moving to Chui valley. An increased migration of Russia-speaking population out of the republic and an inflow of refugees from unstable regions also occured. The peak of migration is 1993-1994, as indicated by migration indexes.

In spite of the fact that migration reduced since 1995, it still exists.

 

Migration Indexes by Years

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Migration outflow (‘000s people)

-120,6

51,1

18,9

- 11,7

- 6,7

Number of registered refugees (people)

 

6360

13311

16707

15276

Number of emigrants (people)

 

71197

37302

27584

19538

All these factors have influenced the general index of enrollment into primary school. For example, index of 1992 for Naryn oblast amounted to 95.8, when the republican index was 97.7; in 1995 it dropped down to 88.8 when republican was 96.4. At the same time population of Chui oblast increased, and primary school enrollment index was higher than republican. For example in 1994 it amounted to 98.8, (republican 97.7), and in 1995 to 99.5 (republican 96.4). Because of the fact, that the main number of migrants concentrated in the capital, indicators for Bishkek city in some years of the analyzed period had the lowest rate. For example in 1993 it amounted to 89.9 under the republican 97.5 and in 1994 to 87.8 under the republican 97.7.

In all years gender equality within enrolled in primary school was preserved.

Migration processes reflected in primary education coverage index

Within the analyzed period these indexes were as follows (by years)

1991 92,8 and 92,3;

1992 90,4 and 89,8;

1993 92,9 and 92,4;

1994 94,1 and 93,7;

1995 94,8 and 94,5;

1996 95,2 and 94,8;

1997 98,7 and 98,4;

1999     97,7 and 97,3.

The coverage diagram indicates unevenness of total and net indexes depending on rural or urban area. If in the beginning of the analyzed period total coverage was higher in rural area: in 1992 – 95.5 against 89.2, in 1993 – 94.6 against 88.6, in 1994 – 95.4 against 90, 1995 – 99.6 against 95.8, 1996 – 100.2 against 98.1. In the second half of 90es index of total coverage in rural area begins to go down, because rural population turned out to be less protected socially. Village-city ratio in 1997 was 98.4 : 99.7, and in 1998 97.4 : 98.4

Gender index keeps parity everywhere.

The Kyrgyz Republic is committed to keeping children enrolled in school and with providing a high quality education. For seven years no school was closed in the country, moreover, their number increased from 1,794 to 1,939. As of today, 1,078,000 of school age children study in public schools. This is 130,000 more than in 1991 (948,300 pupils).

Number of public schools and pupils in them

In addition to day schools in the republic there are seven evening public schools enrolling 1,145 pupils. Four schools and one consultation of them are located in Bishkek, two schools in Jalal-Abad oblast. Teaching is conducted in two languages state language and Russian. These schools offer basic education to young people, who could not receive formal education in day school. As a rule, they reconcile study and work.

Economic and social hardships of transition period have painfully affected schools. Accessibility of education decreased, especially for people with low incomes. In 1993-1996 the decrease of accessibility was the most drastic. By the beginning of 1996-1997 school year about 16.5 thousand children estimated to have stopped going to school. The main reasons for missing the classes were: increased cost of education of a pupil at school, drop of prestige of education in certain part of adult population, growth of social orphanage, reluctance to study among a part of teenagers, closure of boarding schools, no transport for delivering of children to schools from remote areas. Population that has got accustomed to free education has been shocked by the necessity to pay for certain education services. Moreover, in 1993-1996 many families were pushed to the poverty edge.

Many non-attending children have development problems. As the number of such children grows, the number of institutions to treat them is being reduced. Before 1991 there were 30 institutions of this kind, at present – only 19. Besides, about 1.5 thousand children cannot be taught at all.

Authorities have undertaken certain measures to preserve accessibility of education for all. In the result of joint efforts of the President, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and education institutions, by 1997 the process of massive non-attendance of schools by children was seized. In 1997 8,588 children missed school, in 1998 - 5,074.

The data below sows that decline in school attendance was stopped in all regions of the republic.

Territory

Total non-attending in school and other institutions

Among them

Never been to school

Dropped out from 1-4 grade

Dropped out from 5-9 grade

Dropped out from 10-11 grade

1997

1998

1997

1998

1997

1998

1997

1998

1997

1998

Bishkek

330

249

94

61

85

45

113

106

38

37

Chui oblact

3472

2003

1948

1254

255

155

819

396

450

198

Jalal-Abad oblast

1951

823

459

283

251

112

678

291

563

137

Naryn oblast

391

298

185

190

64

52

62

39

80

17

Talas oblast

437

201

64

63

51

66

110

24

212

48

Osh oblast

423

456

257

216

48

71

98

94

20

75

Issyk-Kul oblast

1584

1044

269

220

191

282

637

237

487

305

Total for the republic

8588

5074

3276

2287

945

783

2517

1187

1850

817

Preserving overall school attendance was achieved in part because each non-attending pupil was continuously traced. Ministry of education, science and culture of the Kyrgyz Republic, regional bodies of administering education now systematically analyze situation in the regions and undertake specific measures aimed at getting all children to schools. Today, the situation is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

By oblasts in 1998

1997

1998

Osh

Jalal-Abad

Talas

Chui

Issyk-Kul

Naryn

Bishkek city

Total number of children non-attending school

8588

5074

456

823

201

2003

1044

298

249

Among them children who can not be taught

1401

1107

332

362

62

93

117

174

16

Non attending by the reason of:

Material hardships

1944

948

42

141

66

244

332

73

50

Parent’s will

225

1141

-

78

20

955

57

8

23

Family conditions

99

371

68

64

15

88

116

5

15

Unwilling to study

507

379

5

83

6

174

60

2

40

Troubled families

124

226

-

4

15

71

95

-

41

Work

101

219

5

9

13

74

99

-

41

Illness

513

286

-

30

3

93

115

34

17

Other reasons

3674

197

2

32

1

68

53

2

21

The most difficult situation is in Chui and Jalal-Abad oblasts, where many families are refugees from Tajikistan, and in Issyk-Kul oblast. In these three areas, 717 children cannot visit school because they don’t have clothes and boots. Many children have been revealed who either don’t want to study, or those, whose labor is used by parents as a source of living for the whole family. The majority of such pupils are in Chui oblast. They have been registered and some measures were taken to supply them with necessary clothing and boots, school articles. For example, only funds supporting education in Issyk-Kyl oblast at the beginning of 1998/99 school year assisted more than 26,000 pupils from families with low income and families with many children, and orphans. These pupils were provided with school uniforms and school articles, free schoolbooks from school libraries, food items from school part-time farms. In some cities of the republic feeding and free transportation to education institutions were organized. For example, in Bishkek, leasing of school canteens made possible to organize feeding of 480 children-orphans and children left without parent’s patronage. In Chui oblast 1,208 pupils from low-income families, patronized in families are transported at no charge to education institutions.

These measures helped to reduce number of children not attending school. However, positive changes did not reduce attention of governmental bodies to the problem of accessibility of education. Problem of "hidden screening" has become urgent. This is long absence of a child – one to two months, or when a child systematically misses classes during school week or school day. Selective tests, performed by the Ministry of education, science and Culture in a number of regions (Bishkek and Chui oblast), has established that up to 20% of pupils do not visit school regularly. Appropriate measures were taken in each case.

The said complex of measures provides rather high percentage of pupils reaching graduation. This is indicated in analysis of a cohort of 1000 pupils for 1997 and 1998. In accordance with calculations average indicator of completing of education on the first stage of basic education amounts to 85.3%, level of transition to the next stage amounts to 72.1. Percentage of pupils left for repeated year is 0.3. Level of screening is quite high – 26.7%, and it can be explained by migration processes, described previously in details. Among girls, outflow indicator is higher than among boys, and this is explainable, because the number of girls of school age is 0.5% higher than boys of the same age.

The dynamics of the cohort (see attachments) in the analyzed period varies, because in 1992-1993 two model of basic school were introduced. In the first case, length of education on the first level of basic education was three years, in the second case – four. Therefore the fifth grade enrolled children, studied at the structure 1-3 and 1-4. That is why I is quite difficult to trace dynamics of pupils of different age in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The conditional cohort shows, that in every thousand learners, 853 pupils finish their education on the first stage of basic education.



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