Regional Development Spurs Country Growth - Kyrgyz Tuusu

Date: 30 September 2015
Other languages: Кыргыз тили |
For many years, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has been supporting the establishment of institutions and programmes which help to develop an economically dynamic, politically stable and intellectually and culturally vibrant Kyrgyz Republic. The Network provides necessary information and free of charge consultations for citizens of rural areas to improve their living conditions, and also renders financial assistance for their further development. In addition, much attention is paid to education, and several activities are carried out in Osh and Jalalabad cities.
 
Aga Khan School is a cradle of quality in education.
The Aga Khan School, developed for Grades 5 to 11 and equipped with the most advanced and innovative technology, provides high-quality education. 
 
The School training is based on the Ministry of Education, Kyrgyz Republic’s curriculum. Extra classes  are also available. Specifically, the School has 21 Classes where the students are divided into three categories based on their knowledge level. For example, “A” Classes are taught in Russian, “B” Classes in English and German, with a German emphasis, and “C” Classes are in English. 
 
According to the School Director Mirlan Osmonaliev, 543 students currently attend the school. Their tuition fee is about 38,000 soms annually. Half the students receive different types of scholarships. For instance, students with the best academic achievements pay 50 percent of the fee and students with financial difficulties are subsidised by 25-100 percent. One student from each of the seven rayons, selected based on merit, is fully subsidised and resides in the school dormitory free of charge. Highly qualified teachers also teach at the School. 
 
Students are selected based on an admissions tests and an interview. They study five days a week from 8am to 4pm. After school hours, students participate in different sports and cultural activities. Teachers are also selected carefully according to their work experience and teaching skills. The School works closely with different international organisations and participates in various projects. Every year, teachers improve their skills and qualifications by attending different upgrading courses and also going abroad for study exchanges. 
 
The students are pleased with School conditions and quality of education. For instance, Grade 11 student, Jamal Chekirbaeva said:  “I have studied here since Grade 5. The architecture and the interior design of the School is amazing. Classes are equipped with the most advanced and innovative techniques which heighten our interest to study more and more. This year I complete my study at the School and plan to apply to KIMEP in Kazakhstan, as I have gained enough knowledge from this School to study at university.”
 
Grade 9 student Elnazar Turganov dreams of becoming an architect.  He explains: “I have chosen the Aga Khan School because of its highly qualified and sensitive teachers. Compared to other schools, here, much attention is paid to free thinking and for us to express our opinions. I use my free time to participate in various activities and events for a good upbringing.”
 
Naryn will be the Centre of Education and Science
Naryn city is one of the subsidised regions, but recently a number of instrumental projects have been implemented to transform the city into one of Asia’s famous cities.
 
The University of Central Asia’s Naryn campus will be operational and admit students next year. Since 2013, AKDN has been constructing this world-class educational institution as part of its education remit. It should be noted similar University campuses will be ready in the coming years in Tekeli, Kazakhstan and Khorog, Tajikistan. In Naryn, students will be able to acquire a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and Communications and Mass Media.
 
The Campus is being constructed using innovative technologies in several phases. The estimated total spend for the first phase is US$85 million. The construction packages have been tendered to 14 Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Russian and European companies.
 
The University is located on 252 hectares of land between Kyzyl-Too and Ala- Myshyk Mountains on the bank of Naryn River. Currently 55 percent of total work is completed, and the construction of the Campus main building is complete. More than 250 workers are employed at the construction site, and more than half of them are from local communities. 
 
AKDN has been working in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2001. In addition to these educational institutions, AKDN runs the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Naryn. So far, more than 20,000 learners have been trained at SPCE.
 
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has renovated 131 kindergartens in the country, benefitting more than 10,000 children. 
 
A number of agriculture projects have been implemented. For instance, local residents have been trained to operate a greenhouse and upon completion of the training they received loans at nine percent per annum. One of the local residents, Kalyikul Israilov, now runs two greenhouses. In one of them, he grows fruits and vegetables and in the other - roses. He said AKF provides enormous help to develop the rural communities. AKDN activities are of great importance to the future of the Kyrgyz Republic.
 
By Jaiyl Ruslanov, 
Kyrgyz Tuusu Newspaper № 74, 
15 September 2015

Reprinted with permission.