Kyrgyzstan is the second poorest country of the Central Asia – about one third of the Kyrgyz population lives below the poverty line. Therefore, on its way of development, there is often necessity for external aid.
It has been a bit more than 20 years from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and like other post-soviet countries, Kyrgyzstan also had to re-establish its structures and changed from multi-combined economy to the single-nation system. Similarly like other republics in the region, it has been going through financial and social crisis that had started even before the fall of the USSR.
To date, Kyrgyzstan is the second poorest country of the post-soviet world. Among factors that brought its population to this state, we can name financial problems, corruption, both political and social instability, lack of adequate reforms, and many more. What made this transition even more difficult were poor conditions at the re-starting point of the ex-republic. The dissolution of the Soviet Union was on one hand a moral and a social unquestionable win, but we cannot forget that on the other, with the fall of the USSR, the whole existing structure collapsed – from monetary system up to things as mundane as public transportation – and it had to be rebuilt. It is important for the development of its population to finally overcome the obstacles and become stable and independent country. One of the most important factors that can bring Kyrgyzstan out of this state is education.
Education plays an important role in a development process and schooling has been always one of the best, the most durable and the most effective investment. Starting from the most basic skills like reading, writing and counting, knowledge gives people a solid foundation for their independent functioning. Thanks to that, people also become more creative as thinking provokes thinking. Whereas creativity combined with the skills creates opportunities, for example finding new sources of income or even creating new workplaces. Sooner or later, self-development always grows from the individual level to the society one: it brings profits for the family, the environment, and reaches all the way to the national level by stimulating country’s economy and growth.
Kyrgyzstan has been doing relatively well in creating positive change for education, like introducing free compulsory education and setting a budget for education, but when the government is ineffective and the budget itself is small, the percentage dedicated to schools cannot be big, neither. As a consequence, schools in Kyrgyzstan do not meet basic requirements, teachers are underpaid and under-trained, and the gap between rich and poor children attending classes (which results also in rural-urban divide) has grown. There is a lack of appropriate materials and supplies in Kyrgyz schools – Monitoring Learning Achievements survey reports that even up to 80% of primary schools lack a complete supply of textbooks, 70% lack guidebooks for teachers, 20% lack desks and chairs for students, 70% need to renovate schools’ furniture, and 23% lack access to water. According to UNICEF report, teachers earn only 40% of the average national salary and often need to have a second job to make both ends meet. The gap between rich and poor children is “most pronounced in secondary and pre-primary education, where only 7% of the country’s poorest children attend school as compared to the 47% of the country’s richest children. This gap partially reflects the rural/urban gap because rural children tend to be poorer than urban children.”, UNICEF report stresses. All this unfortunately results in low achievements of students. In 2007, National Assessment of Students’ Learning Achievement found out that more than 60% of all students in grade 4 demonstrated below basic achievements in reading and understanding, maths and civic education – 84.3% received “below basic” results in maths, 81.8% in science, and 73.5% in reading in understanding. It means that majority of students did not have a basic knowledge and skills.
Reports indicate that the situation will be slowly changing for better, but while the next generations are losing their chances, we can actually help Kyrgyzstan to accelerate its progress. However, it is important not only to meet the urgent needs, but also to give them tools so that people eventually become independent and able to shape their own future.
Education deepens and intensifies changes as it serves directly to the development of human-beings, and not just scratching the surface. That is why, being aware of the difficult situation in this country and knowing the importance of education, we decided to support the initiative, which aims to rebuild a school in Kok-Moinok village, in Kyrgyzstan, which burnt down last season.
The Kok-Moinok village is situated in the North-East part of Kyrgyzstan, in Issuk-kul region. Last season, the local school was caught by a fire and consequently it burnt down completely, leaving more than 300 children without access to education. Currently, children are forced to walk 15 km to the neighbouring school and attend classes in poor conditions.
Global Civil Initiatives and volunteers from the UN are working on a new school project that they are hoping to finish next year, which will include modern equipment and resources for the kids, as well as it will promote taking up positions in the country’s remote areas among young teachers.
GIRLWITHABOOK Poland – “Dziewczynka z książką” campaign decided to join the call and help to rebuild the school. We kindly invite you to have a look on the projects’ website and show your engagement if like us you recognise that this as an important goal to achieve.
Please check the link to the cause: http://fundly.com/children-in-kok-moinok-village-need-your-support-in-getting-a-new-shcool#
Want to find out more? Watch the following video: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpjh6ixHo6U]