Educational System in Kyrgyzstan

The one tip that you hear expats living in Kyrgyzstan repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Kyrgyzstan. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Kyrgyzstan is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Kyrgyzstan.
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Understanding the educational system of a new country can be a daunting task for expats. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the educational system in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. The Kyrgyz educational system is structured in a way that promotes holistic development, with a strong emphasis on both academic and non-academic aspects. This guide will cover the main stages of education, enrollment procedures for newcomers, language requirements, availability of bilingual schools, types of private schools, homeschooling and online schooling options, and more.

What are the main stages of education in Kyrgyzstan?

The education system in Kyrgyzstan is divided into four main stages: pre-school education, primary education, basic secondary education, and secondary education. Pre-school education is optional and caters to children aged 3 to 6 years. Primary education begins at age 7 and lasts for four years. Basic secondary education covers grades 5 to 9, while secondary education covers grades 10 and 11. After secondary education, students can opt for higher education at universities or vocational training.

Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Kyrgyzstan is not compulsory and caters to children aged 3 to 6 years. It focuses on the child’s overall development, including physical, emotional, and social growth. The curriculum includes activities that promote cognitive development, creativity, and basic social skills.

Primary Education

Primary education in Kyrgyzstan begins at age 7 and lasts for four years. The curriculum focuses on basic literacy and numeracy skills, as well as introducing students to subjects like science, social studies, and the arts. The medium of instruction is either Kyrgyz or Russian, depending on the school.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Kyrgyz schools by submitting an application to the desired school. The application should include the child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, and medical records. If the child has previously attended school in another country, academic records may also be required.

My children are still learning Kyrgyz or Russian, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Kyrgyz or Russian can enroll in public schools. However, they may need additional language support to cope with the curriculum. Some schools offer language support programs for non-native speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Kyrgyzstan that offer instruction in both Kyrgyz and Russian. These schools aim to promote bilingualism and biculturalism, providing students with a rich and diverse learning environment.

What types of private schools are common in Kyrgyzstan?

Private schools in Kyrgyzstan offer a variety of educational approaches. There are international schools that follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, as well as schools that follow the British or American curriculum. There are also religious schools, such as Islamic schools, and bilingual schools that offer instruction in both Kyrgyz and Russian.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Kyrgyzstan typically send their children to private schools, particularly international schools. These schools offer a familiar curriculum and environment, making the transition easier for expat children. They also often provide additional support for non-native speakers.

How expensive are Private schools in Kyrgyzstan?

The cost of private schools in Kyrgyzstan can vary widely, depending on the school and the curriculum it offers. International schools tend to be more expensive, with tuition fees ranging from a few thousand to several thousand dollars per year. Local private schools are generally more affordable.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Kyrgyzstan?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Kyrgyzstan. However, it’s important to note that the homeschooling curriculum must meet the standards set by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Science. Parents who choose to homeschool their children are responsible for ensuring that their child’s education is in line with these standards.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Kyrgyzstan?

Yes, children living in Kyrgyzstan can attend online schools. This can be a good option for expat families who are only living in the country temporarily, or for families who prefer a more flexible approach to education. However, it’s important to ensure that the online school is accredited and that the curriculum meets the standards set by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Science.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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