AfDB approves $40 million sector development program to boost Kyrgyz education system

The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $40 million sector development program to strengthen the Kyrgyz Republic’s education system and boost the country’s capacity for innovation and global competitiveness.

The School Education Reform Sector Development Programme, consisting of a $20 million grant and a $20 million concessional loan, will support the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) to undertake key institutional reforms in curriculum design, teacher development and school network management.

“Education is a key driver of poverty reduction and economic development,” said AfDB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov. “We are happy to support this project which will improve learning outcomes for students in the Kyrgyz Republic.”

The program will support the government’s plan to transition to a new 12-year education system by improving the quality and relevance of curricula. It will encourage the improvement of teachers’ performance, support their continuous professional development and help attract mid-career professionals to teaching. The program will also train 10,000 teachers to implement the revised curriculum with a focus on language and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

Under this program, the existing network of 30 innovative schools will be expanded to 53 to cover all regions of the country. STEM and information and communication technology equipment will be upgraded. The 53 innovative schools will help at least 220 other schools across the country to implement the new curriculum.

“The program will help implement the government’s ambitious plan to modernize teaching, learning and school management,” said AfDB Social Sector Specialist Mamatkalil Razaev. “By supporting key pillars of the education system – curricula, teachers and schools – the program will help to further improve the learning outcomes of Kyrgyz students.”

The Kyrgyz Republic joined the AfDB in 1994. Since then, the bank has committed more than $1.3 billion in loans, $811 million in grants and $69 million in technical assistance projects. AfDB operations in the country focus on supporting inclusive growth and economic diversification beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, improving access to public and social services and leveraging regional cooperation and integration.