In 2005, AKDN initiated its programme in Early Childhood Development.In the years following independence, the state of education in Kyrgyzstan deteriorated significantly. Soviet-era textbooks were no longer deemed relevant. Teaching and learning were mainly teacher focused, using traditional lecture-based approaches. School management was hierarchical and community participation minimal. Many teachers emigrated abroad for better paying positions, or else changed occupations.
To help address this problem, AKDN inaugurated in 2002 the Aga Khan School in Osh (Find out more on the Aga Khan School, Osh). Comprising an academic centre with 22 classrooms and seminar rooms, a Learning Resource Centre, a multipurpose gymnasium and a 200-seat cafeteria, the school endeavours to prepare young people with an enabling and outward looking education. The curriculum encourages them to think critically, to form their own opinions and to contribute their knowledge to the development of their communities and their country. At the same time, special attention is paid to ensure that they continue to learn the Kyrgyz language and to appreciate its rich history, literature and culture.
In 2005, AKDN initiated its programme in Early Childhood Development. Active in the remote communities of Osh and Naryn oblasts (provinces), the programme seeks to double the capacity of existing kindergartens and to provide affordable, quality and culturally-sensitive curricula for children age three to six. To date, it has helped to renovate and construct 48 central and satellite kindergartens, which make education accessible to children living in remote areas. It has also provided ongoing training for more than 80 kindergarten staff, appropriate teaching-learning materials and a learning environment that emphasizes parent and community involvement.
UCA’s mission is to foster the economic and social development of the region in general and mountain communities.University of Central Asia
AKDN is also setting up a campus of the University of Central Asia in Naryn. Founded in 2000 by the governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and His Highness the Aga Khan, the University of Central Asia (UCA) is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education. UCA’s mission is to foster the economic and social development of the region in general and mountain communities in particular by offering an internationally recognised standard of higher education. Graduates who will contribute leadership and innovations to the transitioning economies and communities of the region will study at one of three campuses in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, Khorog, Tajikistan and Tekeli, Kazakhstan.
For more information, please see the University of Central Asia pages.
The Aga Khan Foundation works through the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, which was established in 2003. Its primary activities include establishing and building the capacity of community organisations to initiate and manage village development projects. It also introduces improved technology to increase agricultural and livestock productivity; supports income generating activities and small enterprise development; and provides training and support to village organisations.
Working in the remote and mountainous Alai and Chon Alai districts of the Osh Oblast, MSDSP helps farming communities identify their development priorities, improve the yields of crops and their nutritional value, build water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion projects, and increase incomes through livestock ownership and handicrafts manufacture. It also provides access to early childhood development for children by establishing central and satellite kindergartens.
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