Minister Kanatbek Sadykov


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Significant Progress in Upgrading Education System

Kanatbek Sadykov, Minister of Education and Science, discusses recent advances in Kyrgyzstan’s education sector.

Kanatbek Sadykov, Minister of Education and Science

European Times: How has education in Kyrgyzstan changed since independence?

Kanatbek Sadykov: There have been a number of significant changes, and education has long been a top priority of the Kyrgyz government. In 2011, President Atambayev, who was then Prime Minister, began some ambitious education reforms, including raising teachers’ salaries to attract more people to the teaching profession. The current lack of teachers in the country at this moment is 1,307, while three years ago this deficit was still at 3,500 teachers. We have also seen a major increase in the number of young children going to school. In addition, in the first part of 2012 we achieved our goal of providing new desks, computers and new teaching methods to around 100 schools, and we continue to bring these improvements to more schools.

“Our main priority is to further upgrade our curricula.”

European Times: What are your priorities for the education sector over the coming decade?

Kanatbek Sadykov: Our main priority is to further upgrade our curricula. We also want to improve teachers’ methods and implement new standards of teaching. In the higher-education field, we want to develop more partnerships with European and other international universities, for example through the Erasmus programme. We already have Kyrgyz-German and Kyrgyz-European faculties in some of our universities, and we would like to expand this to other institutions. We are also striving for full implementation of the Bologna Process and we want to ensure that Kyrgyz diplomas are recognised internationally. We do not want to copy the European system, but we would like to use experiences and best practices from European education in order to develop our own system of accreditation compatible with the European one. Another priority is to improve our professional and vocational education, which we are doing in partnership with representatives from the business sector.

European Times: What are some of the international partnerships the Ministry of Education has already established?

Kanatbek Sadykov: Kyrgyzstan has education partnerships with more than 60 countries, and Kyrgyz citizens have the opportunity to study in higher-education institutions abroad. In addition, around 15,000 foreign students from many different countries are currently enrolled in Kyrgyz universities. Kyrgyzstan participates in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Community, all of which are very active in the field of education. Kyrgyzstan’s education sector has made impressive progress in our 20 years of independence and we will continue to move forward.

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