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Less than half of children covered by pre-school education programs

Less than a half of the children in Kyrgyzstan are covered by pre-school education programs. Press service of the Ministry of Education and Science reports.

According to it, the ministry has achieved significant success in increasing the coverage of children by pre-school education. In particular, expenses for pre-school education of 6-7-year-old children from the republican budget were increased almost 20 times, from 12.3 million soms in 2013 to 255 million soms in 2018. In addition, other alternative pre-school education programs have been implemented.

As a result, coverage of children by pre-school education programs reached 48 percent. If in 2012 about 132,000 children were covered, then in 2021 — more than 198,000.

The ministry noted that, despite the high coverage by pre-school programs, the majority of small children do not have access to a full-fledged pre-school education system. Only 25 percent of children go to kindergartens. At the same time, if this indicator is quite high in cities — 34.5 percent, then in rural areas only every fifth child goes to a kindergarten (20.6 percent).

The Ministry of Education and Science sees one of the best ways out of this situation in the opening of short-stay kindergartens. In total, it is planned to open 500 such organizations, which will cover about 40,000 children.

«Short-stay kindergartens will be organized in villages with acute shortage of preschool educational organizations. Their organization will not require allocation of financial resources from the republican budget or construction of new buildings. Local government bodies offer municipal buildings (not in disrepair) that are on their balance sheet. For the purpose of efficient use of resources, it is possible to provide the unused part of the premises of schools, kindergartens, libraries, rural clubs. The World Bank project «Education for the Future» provides for the repair of premises, creation of sanitary and hygienic conditions, modern playgrounds, provision of necessary furniture, equipping with educational game materials, training teachers in a modern method of working with children of preschool age, and so on,» the ministry noted.

Sleep and hot meals are not provided in such kindergartens. To date, there are 120 short-stay kindergartens in the republic.