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At the Ak-Dil kindergarten in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, the Aga Khan Foundation provides teachers with …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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The Aga Khan Foundation provides teacher training on the latest ECD pedagogies and techniques at this …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme in Naryn Oblast, Kyrgyz Republic.

AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray

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AKF’s ECD programme supports 138 kindergartens in remote, mountainous communities of Osh, Batken, Jalalabad, …


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Kyrgyz Republic | Early Childhood Development and Education


14,500 children have access to quality early childhood services

At this ECD centre, teachers are shown how to create low cost and innovative learning materials and prepare nutritious meals, as part of their Science of ECD training. AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
At this ECD centre, teachers are shown how to create low cost and innovative learning materials and prepare nutritious meals, as part of their Science of ECD training.

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

Enhancing Family and Community Support

In order to revive the culture of reading in the country, we have supported the establishment of 85 parental resource centres (PRCs). These have been visited by more than 34,260 users since 2007. To ensure that parents and caregivers have the skills and techniques for reading with their children, AKF has trained more than 320 community facilitators, including librarians and schoolteachers, who then mentored over 14,200 caregivers and parents. An impact evaluation shows that children from communities supported by AKF’s interventions had higher reading outcomes in Grade 1 and sustained benefits through to the end of Grade 4 compared to those who did not have access to such an opportunity.

To ensure access to reading materials in the PRCs and other libraries, we have developed contextually relevant and age-appropriate books in local languages. So far, 55 Kyrgyz language storybooks for young children have been developed by local authors and illustrators, 11 of which have been published in three languages (Kyrgyz-Russian, Kyrgyz-Uzbek and Kyrgyz-English). This work has been complemented by supporting the capacity of the National Writers Unions of Kyrgyzstan to develop quality material for children on topics such as diversity, tolerance and friendship.

We also use television, by far the most far-reaching medium in the country, to promote reading. We have broadcast 100 episodes of the animated television show “Adventures in the World of Books”, 115 episodes of the children’s programme “Reading Together” and 500 episodes of the animated television show “Keremet Koch” (Magic Journey). The shows were aired on the national television channel, Kyrgyz Public Television and Radio Corporation (KTRK), reaching one million viewers each week.

Strengthening Human Resources and Institutions

AKF participates in ongoing policy dialogues with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education. We have played an important role in developing and implementing ECD policies and strategies, the national pre-primary education curriculum and training programmes, including the pioneering 2009 Law on Early Childhood Education. In early 2021, AKF, together with other development agencies in the country, supported the Ministry in designing a plan to roll out the implementation of the ECD national educational standards.

We have helped establish resource centres at the ECD departments of the Republican Teachers’ Training Institute (RTTI) as well as at the Teachers Training Center based at Naryn State University. In 2020, AKF worked with the RTTI to develop and pilot a 72-hour online asynchronous teacher training course, based on the 480-hour Nariste National Program, to prepare children for Grade 1. As a result of that pilot, the course has been integrated into the RTTI national teacher training plan for 2021.

Bringing Innovation to Education

Schools2030 is a 10-year, 10-country school and classroom-based participatory action research and learning improvement programme. Using the principles of human-centred design (HCD) and focusing on the key transition years of ages five, 10 and 15, Schools2030 seeks to catalyse locally rooted education solutions that can inform systems-level approaches for improving holistic learning outcomes. In the Kyrgyz Republic, Schools2030 partners with 30 kindergartens and 70 schools in Osh, Naryn and Chui oblasts and Osh and Bishkek cities to enable teachers and school stakeholders to co-design, implement and measure new school-level solutions and identify what works to improve students’ learning outcomes.