Equipping children and young people for the future: improving education in the countries of Central Asia

Programme description

Title: Reform of educational systems in Central Asia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Central Asia
Lead executing agency: Education ministries
Overall term: 2009 to 2016

Pupils conduct an experiment in a natural sciences class in Kyrgyzstan. © GIZ
Context
After the states of Central Asia gained independence, they needed to adapt their education sectors to the new political, economic and social circumstances. Despite extensive reform efforts, the education systems are still unable to provide children and young people with an education of adequate standard.

Particular problems in the Central Asian countries (taking into account specific national characteristics) are that the schools are poorly equipped, there is a lack of practical pre-service and in-service training for teachers, and the teachers are also poorly paid, leading to a lack of teaching staff. Curricula that are overly theoretical in nature allow hardly any scope for pupils to develop their own personal interests. The subjects taught do not foster the children and young people’s social potential, and there is a lack of career guidance. The education ministries do not yet have sufficient capacity to plan or implement the reform targets set out in the national education strategies.

Objective
The quality of school education provided in Central Asia is improved. Teaching meets modern didactic and methodological requirements and pupils are being well equipped for further education and pursuing a career.

Approach
The programme supports dialogue between the Central Asian countries on education and is helping to enhance the development of school education in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan through specific projects. Regular meetings between representatives of the education ministries and the realisation of a common Central Asian education study are designed to strengthen cooperation throughout the region and assist the reform processes in the individual countries.

In addition, the programme advises its partners in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to develop and implement strategies to disseminate methodological and didactic innovationsthat have been piloted in recent years. These include qualifying multipliers, quality assurance measures for teacher training and establishing and consolidating networks between the relevant key players at schools and teacher training institutions. Technology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths as well as primary education are in focus.

The consulting firms GOPA and INTEC support the implementation of the project.

Results
Teacher training courses have improved the professional, methodological and didactic skills of around 2,000 teachers from general schools and lecturers from pedagogical colleges. The qualified teachers use the new teaching methods in their classes and organise e.g. practical, accessible natural science classes with experiments and various group activities. The new teaching concepts increase both pupils’ and teachers’ motivation.

The education ministries have integrated the teacher training modules into their national training programmes and use them to further develop their pre-service teacher training. A growing number of qualified teachers are now working as trainers, passing on their expertise to more colleagues and integrating the training content into the teacher training courses.

The ‘www.mugalim.kg’ website, which was supported in its infancy by the programme, is maintained by partners and provides a platform for teachers in Kyrgyzstan to exchange information.

Contact

Holger Ehlers
holger.ehlers@giz.de