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Address by the Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr Almazbek Beishenaliev

On behalf of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, I bring Greetings to

His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of the University of Central Asia

Princess Zahra Aga Khan,

Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha

Rector Prof Sohail Naqvi,

Trustees, Faculty, Graduates and their Families

And distinguished guests

On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, please allow me to congratulate the graduates of the University of Central Asia on the successful completion of their academic pursuits.

The Ministry highly appreciates the work of the University of Central Asia, and I am honored to attend the second convocation ceremony of UCA, an integrated regional centre of higher education established by charter in 2000.

UCA is a research and development university dedicated to improving the quality of life of those who live in the mountainous regions of the country. This campus in Naryn is committed to contributing to Kyrgyzstan's development by offering modern education and research programs that produce knowledgeable, skilled, and creative graduates.

It is not surprising that gaining admission to the University of Central Asia is in high demand. Its graduates are already proving to be highly skilled and competent, and appreciated by renowned universities around the world, as well as by employers where they are gainfully employed.

The most important component of a university is its faculty, and it is impressive the see the high quality of faculty at UCA, from Kyrgyzstan, from the Central Asian region, and abroad. They are providing high quality and relevant education, harmoniously combining the expertise of partner universities to address the needs and challenges of mountain communities.

As we all know, the Kyrgyz Republic today is on its way to adapting to new conditions of life in the economic and social spheres. The system of domestic education in the context of adaptation will play a critical role, because it is human capital and its flexibility that will determine the ability and capacity of the country to successfully develop and adapt to changing circumstances in the future. Education and science are the engine of economic advancement, and our country is directing all efforts to improve the level of education of the population.

The Education Development Program in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2021-2040 will allow people to unlock their intellectual, creative, and emotional potential, and provide conditions for healthy lifestyles and well-being of students, and equal educational opportunities for all citizens, regardless of geography, gender, religion, health, financial status, and other such factors. In this endeavor private philanthropy can play a significant role in supporting talented students, and I look forward to donors playing a more active role in promoting education.

In Kyrgyzstan, the goal of the education system, by 2040, is to develop a creative and healthy citizen that is free to adapt and capable of changing with a fluid socio-economic environment by integrating resources and capabilities of the state and society, as well as modernizing the management system. I am confident that UCA graduates will make a significant contribution to the development of not only Kyrgyzstan, but also of the entire region, and beyond.

Dear graduates, today a new page of life opens for you. Most of the successes of your lives are the result of the values taught by your parents, and the fruits of education and dedication of your teachers and faculty. From now on, much will depend on the choices you make. Your education has prepared you to excel in any field of your choice, but it will require sound judgment and hard work. We are relying on you as builders of tomorrow, and future leaders of whatever sphere you choose.

I sincerely wish you happiness and success in both your professional and personal lives. Most importantly, do not be afraid of anything, walk boldly through life, always set high goals, and achieve them with determination.