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