The enrollment for 14 year old students increased from 88% in 2007 to 95% in 2009; yet, the enrollment in preschool is only 9% (WBG, 2013). The main problems are low coverage of early childhood education, weak preschool preparation and a lack of teaching-learning materials. Quality of education and early childhood and life skills education are key areas of concern for development actors in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
What we do:
Improving School Health and Nutrition, including Oral Health
Save the Children has been working in partnership with the Ministries of Education and Health to ensure schools have safe drinking water. We also educate children on hand-washing, menstrual hygiene management and to sensitize teachers and administrators on these issues.
Construction of dormitory for ethnic Korean Children in Tajikistan
In 2012, Save the Children constructed a school for 420 ethnic Koreans and children from national minorities in Kurgan-Tube City. While some of these ethnic minority children have relatives in the city to stay with, others are made to live with distant relatives, family friends or renters. These unfamiliar, impoverished, and sometimes abusive environments are not conducive for children to feel safe and thrive in schools, especially for girls.
With these dormitories, the Kurgan-Tube City officials, Education Department and the regional Ethnic Koreans Society help identify students from national ethnic minorities, especially Koreans coming from rural area who need appropriate, safe and secure private accommodation.
Better education and better Early Childhood Centres for children of Kyrgyzstan
Teacher education curriculum has barely changed since the early 2010 in Kyrgyzstan. Although student enrollments in pedagogical institutions have increased, the shortage of teachers prevails. Impractical or short sighted admission and funding policies have been the only recourse of government offices and university administrators in dealing with the teacher shortages, deficient preparation, and disorganized induction processes. While in-service training (professional development of concurrent teachers) has experienced innovation in teaching methods over the last ten years, teacher education has not.
Save the Children has developed a Teacher’s Module that will be tested at workshops with early childhood care and development teachers. These workshops will help involve teachers in assessing the quality of the module and assess further need for supplementary curricular materials. These teachers are then encouraged to spread their knowledge to other teachers in their communities and towns.
Promoting, protecting and enforcing the rights of persons with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan, children with disabilities lack access to suitable education services, preventing them from developing their full potential and integrating into the society. Teachers lack knowledge and understanding about working with children with disabilities, because currently there is no in-service training or standard curriculum to support this.
Schools themselves also lack physical facilities to enable children with disabilities to access their premises. As a result, teachers are likely to ignore children with disabilities in their classrooms or even advise parents against registering them for mainstream education.
Save the Children helps to develop teaching guides for teacher trainees who may be working with children with disabilities. These guides will be integrated by the National Kyrgyz Academy of Education and regional in-service Teacher Training Institutes into the governmental curriculum.
A consultation mechanism is also being developed to enable parents to participate in assessment meetings with their children to increase the transparency and objectiveness of the process.Community representatives have planned to conduct local surveys to identify what modifications are needed in the schools in their areas to address the needs of children with physical disabilities.
Save the Children will also provide short training sessions on fundraising and financially support the first projects to improve the conditions in schools. Projects will include construction of ramps for wheelchair users, installment of handrails along stairs or corridors, appropriate toilets and hand washing stands.
Regional Quality Learning Project
In its education programs, Save the Children works through communities and teachers to improve the standards of reading for children in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Our professional development program for teachers help them to teach critical reading skills such as alphabetic principle, phonics, word recognition or decoding, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.