The Kyrgyz Republic is making considerable progress towards improving the quality of its education system. The country maintains high levels of access to primary and secondary education, has well established pre-service and in-service education infrastructure, and has reshaped its education system in line with the values of the independent Kyrgyz Republic. Accomplishments are evidenced in improved curricula, teaching materials, textbooks, teacher education, and continued government investments in its education sector.
The country is also investing significant resources to prepare for participation in the 2025 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international large-scale educational assessment that measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. The Okuu Keremet! project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is supporting the MOES to build a foundation that will lead to strong performance on the 2025 PISA assessment.
The project’s methodology is straightforward yet powerful: use evidence-based learning programming to systematize effective practices and build capacity of relevant actors involved in education programming so that the MOES becomes self-reliant in using these practices. Underpinning the implementation is the consistent use of educational data to monitor, learn from, and improve learning at all levels.
Improved Outcomes via Evidence-Based Learning Programming
To improve student learning outcomes, by the end of the project, Okuu Keremet! will:
- Streamline curricula, standards, and teacher professional development (TPD) materials as key inputs into student learning outcomes, while providing administrative, technical, and programmatic support to the MOES to strengthen teacher development and management systems, tailoring the approach as needed for the diverse country’s context.
- Encourage the practice of skills both in and out of the classroom to accelerate learning and address inequities in access to and quality of school-based instruction.
- Systematically improve pedagogical support to teachers, equip teachers to adjust instruction to diverse children based on formative assessment findings, make reliable data available for decisions making about resource allocation and budgeting, improve the quality of pre-service teacher training, and increase support to vulnerable students.
Improved Teacher’s Instructional Skills for Reading and Math
The Okuu Keremet! project collaborated with the MOES’ Republican Institute for Advanced Teacher Training to improve the existing teacher training reading modules by:
- Adding advanced strategies for teaching comprehension
- Embedding strategies for transitioning from a first language to a second language, and
- Employing adult learning strategies to ensure mastery
The project also developed a complementary set of five advanced evidence-based reading modules, all specifically designed to further equip teachers to accelerate student learning and close the comprehension gap.
For mathematics, the project developed five basic and five advanced evidence-based mathematics modules for foundational (e.g., numbers and number sense) and functional math literacy (the math assessed on measures such as PISA and later life skills). All modules and materials were developed in four languages – Kyrgyz, Russian, Tajik, and Uzbek – and developed in both print and blended formats designed for distance teacher training and self-paced learning.
To date, more than 18,000 teachers and librarians have been trained and have active accounts on the online training platform Okuu Keremet and more than 470,000 students (significantly higher than the anticipated 300,000) are benefiting from the project’s work in 1,687 schools.