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In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in the Kyrgyz Republic received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education.

The funds helped develop online learning platforms and contents in local languages for all children, including children with disabilities, by subject and levels of education, following the educational plans and syllabuses for all grades.

The grant also supported the development of gender-responsive instructions for caregivers on different kinds of learning and play activities to do at home, broadcast on the radio, TV and in print.

Education in Kyrgyz Republic

The Education Development Strategy 2020 (EDS 2012-2020) of the Kyrgyz Republic was officially approved in 2012. It included a costed Action Plan for the period 2012-14. The EDS was aligned to education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and based on extensive analytical work and widespread consultations with stakeholders. It was formally appraised using GPE guidelines, and endorsed by development partners in 2013.

The Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) of the Kyrgyz Republic is beginning the process of updating the EDS, aligning to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and projecting a longer-term vision beyond the EDs 2020. As the EDS is half-way through implementation, the revision will provide a change to review how it is working, incorporate lessons learned, and take account of changes in the political-economic environment.

There has been considerable progress and experience since 2012 in terms of expanding pre-primary coverage, with nearly all pre-primary children benefiting from at least one year of pre-primary schooling. Competency-based curricula have been introduced at the primary level, with revisions for the secondary level nearing completion.

Management of the education budget including funds flow has been moved from the Ministry of Finance (MinFin) to the MoES, which has decentralized significant budgetary responsibilities to the rayon level. Per-capita financing to determine school-level budgets has been rolled out nationally. The revision process will allow the ministry to assess progress, fine-tune strategies, address the gaps and align the steps to achieve the goals set for 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Parliamentary elections were held in October, 2015 leading to the appointment of a new Minister of Education and Science. While there is broad continuity in government development strategies through the National Sustainable Development Strategy, the government has set new goals for the social sectors in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and is placing greater emphasis on employment and technical training.

The MoES is eager to put in place Action Plans for the period 2017-2020, aligned with an updated EDS, and in close collaboration with development partners.

The Kyrgyz Republic’s education system faces several challenges. These include inadequate resource allocation and financial management, inequality in the learning outcomes across geographical regions, very low levels of pre-school coverage, and a shortage of teachers and teaching materials.

The EDS 2020 outlines 12 objectives to be achieved by 2020 (revision for 2017-2020 in progress):

  1. The majority of preschool children are in pre-school programs.
  2. Access to high quality basic general and secondary education for everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, or gender.
  3. Opportunity to choose specializations for graduates of basic general education institutions.
  4. Development of working skills aligned to current labor market and population interests and needs.
  5. The creation of continuous lifelong learning conditions.
  6. Development of social partnership and employers’ proactive participation in the education system and process.
  7. Introduction of competence-based learning approach aimed to improve communication, analytical, and decision-making skills.
  8. Transition to education credit system to provide mobility and flexibility to students, combining work and study in higher education institutions.
  9. Preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity and tolerance in education environment.
  10. Support for multichannel education financing and fair distribution of financial resources.
  11. Development of strategic planning and management system in education based on data collection and analysis techniques.
  12. Launch of a monitoring and evaluation system to systematically improve the education system.

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Latest grant

Children in class at a preschool preparation program.  Kyrgyz Republic, March 2018.

Children in class at a preschool preparation program. Kyrgyz Republic, March 2018.

CREDIT: Ministry of Education, Kyrgyz Republic
Development objective: Increase equitable access to quality preschool education
Allocation: US$5,000,000
Years: 2021-2025
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$667,844

Building on the success of the previous GPE-financed program and complementing IDA's recently approved Learning for the Future project (US$50 million), the Enhancing the Foundation for Learning program financed by the US$5 million grant seeks to contribute to human capital development through an enhanced foundation of learning by increasing access to preschool education for the children from the most vulnerable households and improving their school readiness.

The program plans to establish community-based kindergartens and enhance the effectiveness of teaching-learning practices in preschool through professional development.

The program aims to support learning by:

  • Increasing the number of children aged 3-5 years enrolled in an early education programs in targeted communities
  • Improving the development of children across four domains: physical health and well-being; social competence; emotional maturity; and language and communication skills
  • Improving policy and finance for system effectiveness.

The program has three components:

  1. Expand preschool coverage for under-served children by increasing equitable access to quality early childhood education in poor rural areas:
    • Establish 60 new community-based kindergartens enrolling approximately 5,000 children aged 3-5 years, targeting areas where access to ECE services is below the national rural average.
    • Provide furniture, equipment, learning materials and teacher training for each new kindergarten.
    • Engage parents and other families in the community to promote storybook reading, building on the success of Aga-Khan Foundation and UNICEF programs.
  1. Improve policy and system effectiveness through technical assistance in a range of preschool education areas. This includes curriculum revision, development of preschool teacher competencies, dissemination of best practices to improve efficiency of physical space, revision of the legal framework on per-capita financing of preschools, and enhancing M&E systems.
  1. Engage all stakeholders in project implementation and monitoring. Stakeholders will help implement activities, including providing information on the importance of children's early development to parents and community monitoring through community scorecards.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Multiplier 2021-2025 5,000,000 667,844 WB  
Program implementation 2014-2018 12,699,459 13,223,883 WB Completion report
2011-2012 5,908,730 5,908,730 WB Completion report
2007-2010 8,990,278 8,990,278 WB  
Sector plan development 2017-2018 500,000 398,393 WB  
System capacity 2022 50,000 0 UNICEF  
Program development 2017-2021 400,000 399,557 WB  
2013 192,023 192,023 WB  
  Total 33,740,490 29,780,708    
Data last updated: March 17, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Association for Education Development in Kyrgyzstan (AED) for the 2019-2021 period.

This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.

GPE had provided the Association for Education Development in Kyrgyzstan (AED) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Last updated May 27, 2021