In March 2022, the Taalim-Forum Public Foundation held a roundtable to discuss the role of teachers in digitized education and ways of improving the system of teachers’ professional development in Kyrgyzstan. There was a focus on developing information and communication technology (ICT) competencies. The roundtable was conducted within the framework of the Project “Distance education to improve quality and access to school education in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan".
Representatives from the state education system, formal educational institutions and informal/private educational initiatives and centres, along with pedagogical specialists, presented their programmes and participated in discussions. Participants included the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Director of the Republican Institute for Teachers’ Retraining and representatives of its regional branches, university faculties from Arabaev State University, and Razzakov Technical University, teachers, experts, and researchers.
The following issues were raised for discussion: How do we improve the efficiency of the system of advanced training and retraining of teachers in the context of digitalization? What are the needs of teachers and school administrations in response to modern demands? How can the teacher training system be improved?
The project researchers shared an analysis of programs for students of pedagogical specialties and advanced training courses with a focus on developing ICT competencies. It knowledge gaps and a low level of ICT skills in school teachers. The Institute of Professional Development "Orleu", from Kazakhstan, shared its experience in teachers’ training. The Educational Center "Sanarip mugalim" and online school for teachers "MUGALIM" emphasized that the private/informal sector is contributing to teachers’ professional development. They demonstrated their readiness to collaborate on digitalization with state institutions that have limited capacity in this rapidly changing time, recognizing that these issues require quick solutions.