Participation at the first KIX EAP Education Policy and Innovation Conference

28 October 2021
Participation at the first KIX EAP Education Policy and Innovation Conference
Credit: Taalim-Forum, Kyrgyzstan

Taalim-Forum Public Foundation (Kyrgyzstan) made a presentation "Approaches and Measures in Education in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan” at the first KIX EAP Education Policy and Innovation Conference. The presentation was based on the result of the desk studies in the three countries.

The research is implemented within the framework of the innovative distance education approaches project. The research is focused on the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused tremendous disruption of education systems around the world. These challenges are also acute in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan. Teachers from the rural regions of Kyrgyzstan, despite facing challenges, were able to mobilize and self-organize to learn new ICT skills with the assistance of volunteering experts in education and IT, who provided methodological and psychological support to teachers and parents. In Mongolia, schoolchildren from pastoralist families living hundreds of kilometres from the nearest administrative centres were more likely to fall out of the distance learning process. In terms of gender in Tajikistan, it was observed that boys leave schools more often than girls for economic reasons to support their families, whereas among girls, dropouts can be linked to early marriage in some remote areas.

The research reveals that distance education in the three countries includes more complex and deeper challenges going beyond technology, including governance, capacity building for educators, digital literacy among teachers and schoolchildren, development of online resources in local languages, and others. Findings of the research can help to develop policy recommendations to improve access and quality of education with the focus on vulnerable groups in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan.