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Public institutions with non-governmental form of ownership first appeared in 1992 in the republic. These are private complex schools and private-state lyceums. Some of them are Kyrgyz – Turkish lyceums.

Non-governmental educational institutions

Years

Private institutions

Private-State

Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceums

Republican Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceums

 

Number of institutions

Children in them

Number of institutions

Children in them

Number of institutions

Children in them

1992

-

-

5

216

1

24

1993

3

287

8

712

1

64

1994

7

376

10

1242

1

81

1995

19

1774

11

1659

1

78

1996

25

2568

11

2187

1

64

1997

29

2563

11

1935

1

70

1998

25

2490

11

1912

1

90

The table above shows the process of creation of private schools that took place in 1995-1997. These schools expanded the sphere of educational services for the population and now they are somewhat competitive with state schools. The most competitive were Kyrgyz-Turkish educational institutions – lyceums in which a convergence of education systems of the two countries has occurred. At present in 3 out of 25 private schools education is performed within the frame of primary education. In two schools education is done within basic education framework, and in 20 schools within the program of secondary school.

At the beginning of 1998 – 1999 non-governmental public schools employed more than 600 teachers, 509 of them working in private schools.

The implementation of Education For All programs provided coverage in basic education of all categories of school age children.

Young people, who fail to accomplish basic education program in school age, may use special programs in the system of primary professional education.

The system of professional education includes 115 educational institutions, where learners study more than 350 working professions. Annual coverage is 22,000 learners. Education in the system of professional education is conducted both on the base of 9 grades (basic education) and on the base of 11 grades (general secondary education).

All learners are provided with minimal guarantees: food free of charge, scholarship, and hostel. The majority (more than 50%) of learners are teenagers from troubled families or orphans.

Professional education is conducted both for basic professions (garment, food, agricultural production) and new professions. As social economic reform occurs in Kyrgyzstan, professional institutions have revise their teaching plans and programs to more effectively satisfy the demands of the employer and the labor market.

The concept of adult education was not addressed in previous decades. But because of a changing geopolitical and social-economic situation, basic life skills education became urgent for the part of the adult population. So a system of adult education has been integrated into the Education For All system.

Because rural areas of the country turned out to be more socially vulnerable in the reform period, different educational centers started work in rural areas to help to young people get accustomed to new life realities and obtain necessary life knowledge and skills.

Republican center on preparation of national workers was created in 1991 in Bishkek to protect legal and social rights of the rural population.

Much attention is paid to education of unemployed citizens. It basically aims to teach priority professions in high demand on labor markets, and to expand professional knowledge and skills to increase citizens’ marketability on the labor market. If necessary, programs on basic literacy are also suggested.

Through systematic work to provide all school age children access to education, a high level of education has been preserved for the population of 15+ and 15-24 years old. It is necessary to note, that level of literacy of the age group 15-24 is higher than in the age of 15+. During the whole analyzed period it was not lower than 97%. Level of literacy of urban population was higher than that of rural: 98,0 and 96,2. .

However, high literacy indexes do not mean that levels of functional literacy is also high. According to the results of selective social polls conducted by various associations, funds, and centers (non-governmental, as a rule) during the analyzed period, a gradual decrease in functional literacy occurred among adult population. These circumstances raised the quality issue.

Public institutions with non-governmental form of ownership first appeared in 1992 in the republic. These are private complex schools and private-state lyceums. Some of them are Kyrgyz – Turkish lyceums.

Non-governmental educational institutions

Years

Private institutions

Private-State

Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceums

Republican Kyrgyz-Turkish Lyceums

 

Number of institutions

Children in them

Number of institutions

Children in them

Number of institutions

Children in them

1992

-

-

5

216

1

24

1993

3

287

8

712

1

64

1994

7

376

10

1242

1

81

1995

19

1774

11

1659

1

78

1996

25

2568

11

2187

1

64

1997

29

2563

11

1935

1

70

1998

25

2490

11

1912

1

90

The table above shows the process of creation of private schools that took place in 1995-1997. These schools expanded the sphere of educational services for the population and now they are somewhat competitive with state schools. The most competitive were Kyrgyz-Turkish educational institutions – lyceums in which a convergence of education systems of the two countries has occurred. At present in 3 out of 25 private schools education is performed within the frame of primary education. In two schools education is done within basic education framework, and in 20 schools within the program of secondary school.

At the beginning of 1998 – 1999 non-governmental public schools employed more than 600 teachers, 509 of them working in private schools.

The implementation of Education For All programs provided coverage in basic education of all categories of school age children.

Young people, who fail to accomplish basic education program in school age, may use special programs in the system of primary professional education.

The system of professional education includes 115 educational institutions, where learners study more than 350 working professions. Annual coverage is 22,000 learners. Education in the system of professional education is conducted both on the base of 9 grades (basic education) and on the base of 11 grades (general secondary education).

All learners are provided with minimal guarantees: food free of charge, scholarship, and hostel. The majority (more than 50%) of learners are teenagers from troubled families or orphans.

Professional education is conducted both for basic professions (garment, food, agricultural production) and new professions. As social economic reform occurs in Kyrgyzstan, professional institutions have revise their teaching plans and programs to more effectively satisfy the demands of the employer and the labor market.

The concept of adult education was not addressed in previous decades. But because of a changing geopolitical and social-economic situation, basic life skills education became urgent for the part of the adult population. So a system of adult education has been integrated into the Education For All system.

Because rural areas of the country turned out to be more socially vulnerable in the reform period, different educational centers started work in rural areas to help to young people get accustomed to new life realities and obtain necessary life knowledge and skills.

Republican center on preparation of national workers was created in 1991 in Bishkek to protect legal and social rights of the rural population.

Much attention is paid to education of unemployed citizens. It basically aims to teach priority professions in high demand on labor markets, and to expand professional knowledge and skills to increase citizens’ marketability on the labor market. If necessary, programs on basic literacy are also suggested.

Through systematic work to provide all school age children access to education, a high level of education has been preserved for the population of 15+ and 15-24 years old. It is necessary to note, that level of literacy of the age group 15-24 is higher than in the age of 15+. During the whole analyzed period it was not lower than 97%. Level of literacy of urban population was higher than that of rural: 98,0 and 96,2. .

However, high literacy indexes do not mean that levels of functional literacy is also high. According to the results of selective social polls conducted by various associations, funds, and centers (non-governmental, as a rule) during the analyzed period, a gradual decrease in functional literacy occurred among adult population. These circumstances raised the quality issue.

Quality of Education.

Much attention during the analyzed period was given to increasing the basic education quality. The notion of quality was reconceptualized in the spirit of the Convention of Children Rights, in which it was noted that the quality could not be limited solely by the quality of education process and of school equipment. It goes far beyond these categories and covers issues of gender equality, health and food, participation of parents and society and the process of administering education. The current structure for delivering enhanced quality of education is shown below:

Supporting of diversity of educational institutions.

The analyzed period, as mentioned above, may be characterized by diversity of educational structures, performing basic education. These include advanced institutions (gymnasiums, lyceums, experimental fields, etc.), massive schools, and schools for special contingent with the state and private property. Transition to diversity of the whole system of school education makes it possible for school age children not only to acquire the minimum of necessary basic knowledge, but also to develop in accordance with personal aptitudes, abilities and talents. The diversity practically implements Convention of children rights, saying that education and teaching shall consider interests of a child, provide active, thoughtful work of learners, and directs them to solving problems by their own efforts. Independently of school type, the main goal of the basic education is formation of subject knowledge and skills, and building on their basis of correspondent invariant basic components of activity of a person:

(a) cognitive;

(b) communicative;

(c) moral;

(d) labor;

(e) aesthetic;

(f) physical.

This aims to give children basic knowledge and skills, which will help them adapt and thrive in varying life conditions.

The main components of the selective approach are reflected in the state educational standards.

Establishing of state education standards

In accordance with the law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On Education" of 1992 the country adopted state educational standards for content of education programs, level of education of learners and maximum permissible norms of educational loading. By 1998 state educational standards for basic school were completed, tested and implemented into school programs. The main element of the standard is the basic teaching plan. Teaching programs and schoolbooks were then developed according to the plan.

Updating of education content (teaching plans, programs, schoolbooks

Structure of the basic teaching plan was updated in 1990-1992, (see the scheme below).

This scheme reflects main changes in content of basic education and the main construction of active basic teaching plan.

On the basis of the teaching plan, under the condition of preserving of its subject scheme, each school has the right to develop its teaching plan within established hours for each class. State educational standards are developed on basis needs.

The following changes have taken place in programs of public schools on the basis of modern social needs. The first level of basic education now has more expanded study of state (Kyrgyz) language, and has introduced foreign language, ethics, aesthetics, native country study. The second level of basic education now has more expanded studying of Kyrgyz as well, introduces history and geography, informatics and computer sciences and introduction into basic economics. Correspondent changes were made in education programs.

The main purpose and task of the basic school in implementing of basic needs is teaching of native (Kyrgyz) language, mathematics and basic knowledge about human, nature and society. The first level of basic education has several main courses: native language, mathematics, native country study, music, art, physical culture, and foreign language.

The second level completes basic education. The main pedagogical task of this level is to create a foundation for learning and personality development that is applicable for one’s entire life. The main feature of this level is that subjects are strongly emphasized. Main subjects of the first stage have been expanded. Reading expands to language and literature, mathematics to algebra and geometry, native country study to history, geography and biology. Physics and chemistry have been added to help form a natural picture of the world. Two last grades of basic school introduce education of informatics and computer sciences, and also basic economic knowledge and basic law study. This stage continues teaching music, art and labor education.

Both levels of basic education pay much attention to issues of protection of life and health of children through a series of special courses.

Since the 1997-1998 school year, public schools have conducted classes on sanitary-hygiene education for pupils of first to sixth grades and classes on sexual education for pupils of seventh and eighths to eleventh grades by 8-hour program (2 hours each quarter).

Working out and implementing of programs for pupils of 7-9 grades on formation of healthy lifestyle and moral-sexual education is performed with the assistance of a number of international and republican organizations. Since these programs are new for teachers teaching the courses, dictations on hygienic and sexual education, special methodic recommendations, brochures and booklets on preventing of sexual diseases, and AIDS have been provided.

As for teaching to important life skills, basic school for several years conducts classes on studying traffic rules and safe life activity.

An important feature of the teaching process in basic school is replacement of educational paradigm, shifting from reproductive type of education, development of critical thinking and creative abilities of learners.

The education process in the first level of basic education is performed by teachers in primary school and subject teachers (foreign language, music, physical culture, etc.) The second level of basic education teaching is performed by a teacher, specializing in a certain subject. Teachers of this stage as a rule have higher pedagogical education and sufficient experience in work with children of mid-school age.

General understanding about acquiring of basic knowledge, skills and values in the system of school education is given in the following scheme:

Learning of these basic knowledge, skills and values is the demand of the state educational standard.

Meeting by pupils of demands of state educational standards is compulsory. It testifies to their achievements in acquiring certain knowledge, skills and formation of value relations, providing

Basic minimum will be provided by all educational institutions.

A system of state measures has been established on the state level to check achievements of pupils. This system is the final check. Unlike other types of control, that are conducted by teachers and evaluated on five-grade score system, control for achievement of standard is performed by independent expert commission, appointed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic and regional bodies of education administration.

In 1993 National Testing System was introduced in the Kyrgyz Republic. Introduction of the system faced some difficulties, mainly the distrust of society to a new system. However, several years of use of national tests in all levels of school education indicated considerable growth of belief among schools, pupils and their parents to this system.

For teachers this is a method of pedagogical diagnostics, defining success or failure of pupils’ knowledge, skills, and possibility to analyze their own pedagogical activity.

This testing enables students to measure their achievements in education, in relation to the established norm.

For parents this is an indicator of their child’s development and of what can be done to improve results.

Upon completion by the learners of the second stage of basic education (general school), and upon accomplishing of state standard, the learners are given a certificate on completion of basic school.

One of the main directions of EFA activity program is providing of basic education with quality schoolbooks. At present basic school is provided by a set of 124 schoolbooks. But the majority of them are outdated. According to the analytical data, available for the ministry, only 46 schoolbooks are up to the modern standards of 124 schoolbooks, used in public schools. Two thirds of the used fund need to be urgently replaced, i.e. 78 items. These are mainly books on humanitarian, social and economic subjects.

This situation was caused by considerable reduction of publishing of education literature for public schools in 1992-1998 by publishers of the republic. Instead of 80-90 items published before 1991, less than 30 were published annually in the analyzed period, and in some years number of publications was much lower. For example in 1997, out of 52 schoolbooks planned to be published, only 13 were actually released.

Data given below show the dynamics of publishing of educational literature during the analyzed period.

Publishing of textbooks and tutorials

Years

Publication plan

Actually published

Circulation

(‘000s copies).

1991

56

54

2235,5

1992

62

47

2288,2

1993

62

29

1095,5

1994

47

13

530

1995

43

20

751

1996

47

27

1034

1997

52

13

258

1998

72

25

553

Considering current situation the Government, Ministry of education, science and culture of the Kyrgyz Republic, society undertook some measures to supply educational institutions with education literature. Much help to the Kyrgyz Republic in publishing schoolbooks was received from donor organizations. The most considerable investment to publishing schoolbooks of new generation was provided by Dannish society "Danida", UNICEF, Government of Germany, Asian Development Bank.

So, in 1994 with the help of UNISEF 4 books with a total circulation of 253,000 were published. In 1995-1996 "Danida" assisted I publishing of 19 schoolbooks for primary grades with circulation of 902,000. In 1997 for account of OSCE one book with circulation of 3,000 was published. French government funded publishing of French language schoolbook for the grade one of basic school with circulation of 5,000.

Also, Kyrgyzstan was assisted by other CIS countries in providing schools with textbooks. A total of 138,000 copies of 43 various textbooks, financed out of a demand loan extended by Russia, were supplied to Russian-language schools. The Moscow City Fund for supporting textbook publishing supplied a total of 2,640 textbooks worth 982,000 rubles as a humanitarian aid.

Teaching Skills Improvement

The role played by teachers in the implementation of the Education for All program is significant. Currently, there are more than 70,000 teachers employed at the basic level, including more than 43,000 of university or institute graduates, 2,200 teachers who have incomplete higher education, some 15,000 teachers who have specialized secondary education and 2,300 teachers who were not specially trained. The primary level of basic education employs 19,122 teachers while those employed at the secondary level total 51,483 teachers (the figure indicating the secondary level of basic education covers both primary and high schools because no statistics are available in this republic for each of the levels).

Number and Composition of General Education School Teaching Personnel as of October 1, 1998

 

Total

Including oblasts

Staff

Osh

Jalal-Abad

Talas

Chui

Issyk-Kul

Naryn

Bishkek city

Teachers of 1- 4 forms,

19122

7254

4118

962

2573

1889

1235

1091

including those with higher education

9086

2890

1277

620

1578

1163

791

767

Teachers of 5-11 forms,

35254

12452

6493

1859

4502

4029

3007

2912

including those with higher education

30974

10781

5382

1684

3810

3793

2836

2688

Teachers of music, physical culture, labor teaching, drawing,

9434

3736

1825

490

1161

953

697

573

including those with higher education

3894

1295

522

190

536

585

349

417

School directors,

1880

692

379

105

301

190

128

84

including those with higher education

1869

685

379

105

301

187

128

84

Deputy directors,

3836

1301

776

221

519

374

274

371

including those with higher education

3716

1268

731

219

507

363

271

365

Total teachers,

69526

25438

13591

3637

9057

7435

5340

5031

including those with higher education

49539

16919

8291

2810

6732

6091

4375

4321

Furthermore: Educators not teaching in school

352

154

60

28

35

5

9

61

Teachers, directors, deputies and educators in specialized schools and specialized classes

727

139

38

41

220

   

289

Total

70605

25731

13689

3706

9312

7440

5349

5381

Academic skills index is currently rather high averaging 95.5. In a number of regions, this index is even higher than the average republican one. For example, it stands at 97.9 in Issyk Kul province, 97.3 in Bishkek and 98.5 in Naryn province, the highest in this republic. There is an insignificant gap in academic skills index between those teaching in urban and rural areas. It should also be mentioned that in the period between 1991 and 1994 there has been a drop in academic skills index to 94.1 in 1994 against 95.7 in 1991. The years that followed have seen stabilization and even a slight growth. A decline in the academic level was factored by the fact that during the first years of independence some well-trained teachers, dissatisfied with low salaries, gave up teaching and went into business or left the republic. Also, this accounts for an increase in the proportion of teachers who had only teaching certificates for they came to replace outgoing teachers. However, thanks to economic stabilization in 1996, some of the former teachers resumed teaching.

Although no gender-related statistics are available in this republic, there is a marked trend towards feminization of teaching personnel, as is the case worldwide. There are but very few instances of men teaching in the first-to-fourth forms. Women make up an overwhelming majority of teachers at the middle level (the secondary level of basic school).

In the recent years, the basic education system has begun to suffer from a shortage of skilled teachers – a factor that accounted for a greater "teacher-student" number correlation in formal education. In 1998, there were 13.38 students per teacher compared with 11.6 in 1991.

The figure varies regionally and in schools with different forms of property. In 1998 in Bishkek there were 16 students per teacher against 15.2 in 1991. In Chui province the respective figures are 15.1 and 13.1. The correlation has remained unchanged only in Naryn province.

The correlation also varies in urban and rural areas. In the period under review the figure averaged 15.5 in urban areas and 11 in the countryside.

The "teacher-student" number correlation is much lower in the newly emerged private schools standing at 3 to 5 students per teacher.

To meet the demand for skilled teachers, a number of measures have been taken aimed to train more teachers in the institutions of learning. Currently, teachers are trained at 13 higher education institutions and 4 teaching colleges. The number of students trained there amounts to

14,000, or 10 percent of the 120,000-strong student corps. The number of newly trained teachers makes up some 1,000 to 1,500 a year. The figure, though, is too small to meet the existing demand for trained teachers. There is a long-standing shortage of English, Kyrgyz, mathematics, informatics, history, chemistry and biology teachers. There is also a trend of aging teaching personnel. Out of 70,605 teachers, pensioners account for 2,099, those retiring in 1999 are 1,229. There are 2,984 vacancies at schools. In general, the teachers shortage is estimated today at 6,312. On the average, the working teachers are aged between 45 and 50 which means that the bulk of teachers is made up of people professionally trained under a traditional system and they are carriers of outdated stereotypes of teaching. These teachers, whose personalities were shaped by a different system of education, different values and professional experience, can no longer meet the requirements of the day as they fail to adapt themselves easily to a market economy and realities of an open democratic society. What makes things worse is the unavailability of information related to modern teaching methods. Before 1991, every teacher could subscribe to a number of professional newspapers and magazines, manuals. Today, though, low salaries make it impossible for them to do so, as the professional newspapers and magazines are costly and few, particularly Kyrgyz publications.

The skills improvement system which is designed to encourage teachers to better their knowledge and professional skills does not show any change for the better. The system today is in a critical state. It fails to ensure the systematic updating of knowledge and experience. Under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, every teacher is expected to be retrained every five years. Before 1991, a total of 5,000 teachers were retrained annually. Today, the figure is 1,000.

In spite of unfavorable background at home, the republic is taking steps to train teachers of the basic level. In 1992, the Kyrgyz Institute of Education, the central institution of teachers' reteaching, opened a reteaching department designed to provide for primary school teachers additional specialization like "a teacher of the Kyrgyz language of a primary school" or "a teacher of foreign (English or German) language" within a year. Also active are central and regional reteaching courses organized for primary school teachers to offer innovations in teaching curricula and programs, new teaching and education approaches. The work is organized particularly well in Osh oblast where the Skills Improvement Institute has been active during the entire period under review.

Serious consideration is given to the reteaching of basic school teachers by a number of sponsoring organizations, funds and associations. For example, there is a program "Step by Step" organized a few years ago by the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation for primary school teachers. The Danish Center for Adult Learning, active in this republic since 1997, has prepared and implemented a series of programs related to innovative teaching technologies.

Counterpart Consortium has organized a series of teaching programs for managerial staff (deputy school headmasters in charge of primary schools).

In addition, teachers continue to improve their professional skills independently or by gaining experience from each other. Therefore, methodological workshops, author classes, etc. remain rather popular.

Also, competition-based events like contests for the titles of the "Teacher of the Year" or "School of the Year" add to the growth of professional skills. One of the prize-winning places at the republican annual competition "The Teacher of the Year" invariably goes to primary school teachers. These competitions are evidence of the fact that Kyrgyzstan teachers have great creative potential, but are severely hampered by the absence of effective social safety network.

Salary arrears to teachers are a matter of particular concern. In spite of measures being taken by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, delays in salary payments in some of the regions are running into five or six months. Today, unpaid salaries total more than 115 million soms, including 87.5 million soms in 1998. Salary arrears to the national budget-financed education institutions have amounted to 16.684 million soms in 1998 and 21.3085 million soms in 1999.

The science of pedagogy is of little help in the republic's drive to stimulate progress in teaching standards. Studies in basic education are very few, particularly what concerns education criteria, modern teaching technologies, methods and forms of monitoring and assessment of students' academic achievements, value-related orientation, etc.

To increase the personnel potential of basic education, a loan granted by the Asian Development Bank will be used in part for developing reteaching and professional development programs.

Education Environment Improvement

The Education For All program of activities pays serious attention to the improvement of teaching conditions which should assume the following lines:

* the construction of buildings and structures and their material equipment;

* safety and health protection for children.

The Kyrgyz Republic has always placed emphasis on the teaching environment. But due to troubled economic conditions during the period under review, the teaching environment has considerably worsened. Firstly, education institution has seen serious cuts, especially between 1992 and 1996. For example, a total of 45 institutions designed to train 25,000 students have been commissioned in 1991 compared to only 20 institutions accommodating 6,700 students, or half as many, in 1992.

Number of Schools, Structures Commissioned and Their Capacity

(in ‘000s)

Regions

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Schools

Pupil seats

Bishkek city

3

1,3

-

-

2

1,3

-

-

2

0.9

2

0,2

4

2.0

2

0,4

Jalal-Abad

5

2,1

1

0,2

4

2,2

3

1,5

4

2,2

11

1,3

20

4,3

13

1,8

-Issyk-Kul

9

5,8

-

-

8

1,2

2

0,2

-

-

1

0,7

4

1,2

6

0,9

Naryn

2

0,9

1

0,4

1

0,5

2

0,9

-

-

-

-

1

0,2

7

1,4

Osh

14

8,4

8

1,4

12

2,4

4

1,0

4

0,3

22

4,0

47

8,7

30

5,3

Talas

4

1,9

-

-

2

0,3

2

0,2

-

-

1

0,3

-

-

8

1,5

Chui

8

4,2

10

4,7

2

0,5

7

1,4

2

0,5

5

0,9

4

1,7

1

0,1

Total *

45

25

20

6,7

31

8,4

20

5,2

12

3,8

42

7,4

80

18

61

11,4

* The number of students is rounded off

A total of 272 institutions (schools and outhouses) designed to teach 64,300 students has been built between 1992 and 1998, including 12 institutions for 5,100 students in Bishkek, 56 institutions for 11,700 students in Jalal Abad province, 21 institutions for 5,500 students in Issyk Kul province, 12 institutions for 2,800 students in Naryn province, 127 institutions for 25,500 students in Osh province, and 13 institutions for 2,600 students in Talas province. In this context, newly commissioned institutions refers to outhouses built to extend already existing institutions which are financed by local budgets and built by residents themselves using traditional ashar (community-input) construction methods.

Thus, out of 68 education institutions built in 1998, the construction of 58 institutions, or more than 80 percent, was financed by local residents and local budgets. In Osh province alone, a total of 26 schools and outhouses has been built using the aforementioned methods. The construction rates, though, are rather slow.

 



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