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May 11, 2006: New study reveals education concerns in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 11 May 2006: School performance among children in Kyrgyzstan is deteriorating, according to a new study by the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy and UNICEF. According to the second Monitoring Learning Achievements study carried out in 2005, only 58.8 per cent of fourth grade pupils passed a standard mathematics test, down from 81.4 per cent at the time of the first study in 2001. Well under half – just 44.2 per cent – passed a literacy test, down from 59.1% in 2001.

Using a mixture of tests and questionnaires, the study reveals a downward trend in the quality of primary education in Kyrgyzstan over the last five years. It provides an insight into the conditions in the classrooms, the pressures faced by teachers and the views of pupils and parents.

The Study is a starting point,” says Smaranda Popa, UNICEF Programme Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan. “It is an important contribution to the reform of the national education system in this country. For schoolchildren, teachers and parents, it is a reflection of how well schools are doing and an expression of their unmet needs and concerns. For decision makers, it is a thorough analysis and a call to action. For donors, it is a guide to help ensure maximum impact for their investments. For all us, it is a major step towards giving every boy and girl in Kyrgyzstan access to a top quality education.”

The study feeds into national efforts to realize the right of every child to education and to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the World Declaration on “Education for All”. Completion of primary education by all children is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals and is essential to the achievement of the other seven MDGs.   

The Study will be presented to an audience of policy makers, NGOs, international organizations and media at 09.30 in the UN House, Bishkek. The presentation will pave the way for discussions and action on the study’s findings.

About the study:

The Study was carried out by the independent research organization El-Pikir in 2005 using a toolkit of standard international tests provided by UNESCO and adapted for use in Kyrgyzstan by the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy and a team of independent experts. UNICEF covered the costs of the Study.

The Study used a mixture of tests and questionnaires, with more than 1900 children tested on mathematics, literacy and life skills.

A total of 9,920 questionnaires were also completed by pupils, parents, teachers and school principals to help researchers build up a picture of education in Kyrgyzstan.



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