The Government of Japan funds $5 million to improve the learning environment for children in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 19 March 2012 - The Government of Japan has granted $5 million to UNICEF to support the Ministry of Education and Science in the Kyrgyz Republic to improve the learning environment in schools and preschools as part of the current Joint Cooperation Agreement between UNICEF and the Government of Kyrgyzstan. It will benefit more than 25,000 children in 50 elementary educational facilities over the coming two years.
His Excellency Mr. Shin Maruo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic, UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Jonathan Veitch signed the Exchange Note in the presence of Mr. Kanat Sadykov, Minister of Education and Science, and representatives of Ministry of Health, State Agency for Construction and Regional Development under the Government and programme staff of UNICEF.
The grant will be used to renovate 38 schools and 12 preschools which need urgent support in disadvantaged communities in Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken provinces. This includes repair of the heating systems, classrooms and construction of toilets and hand-washing facilities, as well as supply of furniture. It will also allow children in the selected preschools and schools to improve personal hygiene skills and learn how to behave in case of earthquakes and other emergencies. The project foresees active participation and engagement of children, school teachers, parents, and community members to restore and sustain a child-friendly school environment and also to contribute to community-led peace and tolerance building among children.
The project follows the UNICEF equity focus which seeks to understand and address the root causes of inequity so that all children, particularly those who suffer the worst deprivations in society, benefit from services. Receiving the grant, UNICEF Representative Mr. Jonathan Veitch emphasized “Helping the most vulnerable children is proven to be the best way not only to improve access to education but also the overall quality of education”.
Expressing thanks on behalf of the Government and people of Kyrgyzstan, Kanat Sadykov, Minister of Education and Science said, “The cooperation between our countries in the field of education has been always productive. We remember the successful project funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction on inclusive education, cooperation with JICA on implementation of educational programmes, and education of citizens of our countries - Japan and Kyrgyzstan”. The Minister stated that the new project to improve the learning environment through rehabilitation of educational institutions in southern Kyrgyzstan will be successfully implemented and lead to increased access to quality education in the Kyrgyz Republic. “The grant from the Government of Japan for the education system in Kyrgyzstan will help create a comfortable, safe and open dialogue and understanding of the educational environment in schools in the south of the Kyrgyz Republic” added Mr. Sydykov.
His Excellency Shin Maruo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, reiterated the importance of education in sustainable economic development of the country. Moreover Mr. Maruo expressed his hope that the funded project would greatly contribute to improvement of educational environment for children bearing the destiny of Kyrgyzstan’s future on their shoulders.
The historical relations of the Government of Japan and UNICEF count for more than six decades. It started with UNICEF assistance to the Japanese children at the end of the Second World War in 1945. In its turn, the Government of Japan is one of the main contributors to UNICEF programmes throughout the world. In the past, the Government of Japan generously supported Kyrgyzstan through UNICEF in the area of health services for children including immunisation and prevention of avian flu.
Built on the memory of the past, this agreement reinforces and widens the cooperation and friendship between the Government of Japan, UNICEF and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.
For more information, please contact:
UNICEF: Ms. Galina Solodunova