More than 1,200 children attend new kindergartens in Batken and Jalal-Abad provinces
Kyrgyzstan, 10 December 2012 - 13 new Community Based Kindergartens (CBK) have been established in Batken and Jalal-Abad provinces within the framework of the UNICEF “Equity and Peace Programme in the Southern Kyrgyzstan”, funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. The official opening ceremony of two of the CBKs will be held in Chek and Pasky Aryk villages. The ceremony will be attended the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, the provincial and local administration and the community and heads and representatives of UNICEF office.
UNICEF has supported the initiative of local authorities and communities, equipped the kindergartens with furniture and teaching materials, built new toilets, and trained teachers. Local NGOs "Aizhan" and "Sinton” have supported the fieldwork.
CBKs enable children to attend kindergartens in shifts. One group comes for a few hours in the morning and a second group comes after lunch. This is to ensure that a small space in a building offers quality preschool education to a significant number of children at low cost.
This initiative began in 2006. Today, there are 32 CBKs and 38 preparatory pre-school classes in the southern region, whose services are provided to more than 5,000 children under school age. In the next three years, UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the local community, plans to open more than 70 CBKs across the country.
However, this is not enough. Throughout the country, only about 15 per cent of children attend pre-schools. In rural areas, the figure is only 7 per cent. Therefore, in addition to supporting local initiatives to open kindergartens, UNICEF will support the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in introducing a mandatory one-year program to prepare children for schools. International experience shows that children who attend pre-school achieve better results in school. The early years of a child’s life have a lifelong impact. As such, once the goal of mandatory kindergarten is achieved, the performance of children in school will improve immediately and their futures will be brighter.