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Project Goal: Ensuring Equal Access to Education for Shepherds’ Children in Remote Areas of Kyrgyzstan.

Child Development Centers on Jailoo –Pasture Kindergartens - Equal Access to Education

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
The Child Development Centers on Pastures are examples of Kyrgyz traditional houses - yurts, where conditions for the development of children and the education of parents in the summer period are created. Each Center includes learning materials and a mini-library, which provide a stimulating space at a low cost. Curricula and educational Programs for children are made up in an innovative form;

Development Centers on Jailoo - Jailoo Kindergartens

Arstanbek Sagyntai uulu - Project coordinator
“"Development Centers on Jailoo" is a unique project of its kind that provides all children, living in difficult high mountain conditions, with the opportunity to get pre-school education and integrated development. ”

Arstanbek Sagyntai uulu - Project coordinator

The “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” International Public Foundation (IPF) began operating in January 2012. The main objective of the Foundation is to implement programs and projects that will contribute to the social, political and economic and ecological development of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Foundation leads initiatives in four main area:

- Investments in Future Generations - early childhood development and innovation and the best educational experience.

- Sustainable Social Growth - innovation and best practices for the development of various social groups in society.

- Diversity and Culture - cultural and educational projects. 

- Democratic Governance - mentoring projects, ex-presidency institution. 

One of Foundation's project is Development Centers on Jailoo –Jailoo Kindergartens.   Equal Access to Education.


Three quarters of the Kyrgyz Republic consists of mountains and alpine pastures at elevations ranging from 1,500 meters to 4,000 meters. 65% of Kyrgyzstan’s 5.6 million people live in rural areas. The vast majority (86%) of all land used for agricultural purposes is remote pasture in the mountains, used by herdsmen for herding livestock in the spring and summer months. These remote pastures are called “jailoo” in Kyrgyz. The shepherds with their children live for three to five months (May - October) in felt tents called “yurts”, while moving between pastures.

It should be noted that Kyrgyzstan’s schools’ summer holidays last 3 months, over which time most of the shepherds’ children forget what they learned during the school year because they lack the opportunity to study and refresh their knowledge. Younger children do not have access to preschool education. In more remote areas there are no kindergartens, playgrounds, books or computers. Indeed, there is no electricity in most of these areas. Most importantly, those areas lack qualified teachers and educators.


The challenges in education in the post-Soviet period have become particularly sensitive: the deterioration of the quality of education, the shortage of qualified teachers, their low wages, low coverage of pre-school education, shortage of the infrastructure. But for children of shepherds living in remote mountainous areas, there is no access to preschool education at all.  

For this reason, the “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” Foundation initiated the "Jailoo Kindergartens" project; to establish 100 mobile kindergartens (kindergartens in yurts) across the country and prepare all the resources (educators, teaching materials, and other), necessary for early child development. This project is making a significant contribution to solving the problems of preschool education in Kyrgyzstan and increasing shepherds’ children’s access to preschool education.

Project Goal: Ensuring Equal Access to Education for Shepherds’ Children in Remote Areas of Kyrgyzstan.

The main objective of this project is to create favorable conditions for equal access to early childhood education of shepherds’ children by opening 100 Child Development Centers in Jailoo in remote areas with joint efforts of the Foundation and local communities.

The specific objectives:

1) To strengthen capacity of regional and district education departments, teachers and educators, local communities and authorities, and parents;

2) To raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education and equal access to quality educational services for disadvantaged groups living in remote highland areas.

The coverage: all 7 regions of the Kyrgyz Republic (Chui, Issyk-Kul, Talas, Naryn, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken).

Funding sources: - contributions from donors, international and banking organizations. We are also working with local authorities, several local authorities financing from local budget.

The result: by 2019, 100 Child Development Centers covering about 3100 children with the basis of pre-school education opened and functioning. The results of this work were recognized in CIS and awarded as the best CIS educational project in 2017.

Primary target group: children aged 2-14 living in remote mountainous areas.

Rural children, children of cattle breeders do not have the opportunity to get pre-school education and integrated development – there are no conditions, playgrounds, kindergartens in the mountains, and most importantly, there are no educators.

Secondary: Teachers and educators, parents, members of pasture committees, local authorities, and civil society.

Main Activities & Process  

1. Characteristics of the target group

2. Structure of the programme/project

3. Duration, scope and scale of the programme/project

4. Key elements of the programme/project

And do not forget to provide your sample programme schedule (incl. resource persons) in a separate attachment.

The project, which began in 2014 went through 4 phases of sustainable growth:

1) Preparatory: A broad campaign on the importance of early child development, which included TV and radio programs, book publishing and distribution, an education festival, etc. In addition, mobilization of the local community and education departments, local residents and parents. Preparation of curricula and aids, selection and training of teachers and educators. Scheduling visits of famous people, writers, artists, scientists, artists in kindergartens on jailoo.

2) Piloting: opening in 2014, 35 kindergartens in mountainous areas, testing benefits, conditions, etc. In the fall of 2014, a work outcome, obstacles and lessons learned was summed up in the National Forum on Child Early Development and replication strategy developed.

3) Sustainable growth: Over the next 5 years, the Fund increased the number of kindergartens, 35 in 2014, and up to 102 in 2018. The state program was adopted and 7 local municipalities found opportunities to finance the Children's Development Centers from the local budget.

4) Follow up: Project activities will be continued in order to legally secure funding from the state and local budget for all child development centers and to create year-round pre-school centers in remote areas of the country.

The project approaches:

Comprehensiveness – working at three levels: legislative - State program and consolidation of basic standards of pre-school education, institutional - financing of development centers from the local budget, programs of pre-school education, etc., community - involvement of local communities and groups, parent committees, civil society groups;

Right based – curricula for educators and children must pass a legal and gender-based assessment, and include knowledge about human rights, gender, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc .;

Participatory – the project would not have been possible without the active participation of a wide range of people, starting with the parents themselves and pasture committees, which provided transport, their yurts, products, etc., local authorities and municipalities, where possible, financed the work of educators in some regions, civic activists and prominent people who come to work with children, etc.

Environmentally friendly – in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sustainable development, children are educated in a positive way about the environment in order to create a sense of consciousness and participation, which helps them acquire a knowledge of eco-friendly principles aimed at ensuring a balance between health of an individual, society, and the environment.

The Child Development Centers on Pastures are examples of Kyrgyz traditional houses - yurts, where conditions for the development of children and the education of parents in the summer period are created. Each Center includes learning materials and a mini-library, which provide a stimulating space at a low cost.

Curricula and educational Programs for children are made up in an innovative form; they provide training in reading, writing and counting in a game form, as well as introduction to the flora and fauna of the region, with its culture and historical events. A great number of books for children published by the Foundation on Geography, Culture and Art of Kyrgyzstan, are of great help for educators.

To achieve the goal - to open 100 "kindergartens for jailoo", the Fund had three interrelated objectives and related activities:

1. Awareness raising

• The public awareness campaign (radio and TV broadcasts, the publication and distribution of books), on the importance of early development of children.

• Regular on-site meetings, conferences with local authorities and communities, the pasture committees, livestock breeders themselves, as well as education departments and other groups to engage them to the project’s goal and for their financial and other contributions to the project.

• The involvement of well-known personalities and celebrities in promoting the early development of children and in the work of these centers.

2. Capacity development

• Training of teachers, educators and students of pedagogical universities a in modern methods of teaching children in play forms

• Preparation and development of curricula and aids that can be delivered to hard-to-reach Mountain places and apply in the conditions of life of seasonal livestock breeders, that is in yurts.

• Development and endorsement of The State Program of Compulsory Pre-school Education and consolidation of State Basic Standards of Pre-school Education.

3. Child Development Centers in Jailoo

• Start and set-up work in the “kindergartens on jailoo”, bring manuals and books, find and bring educators and teachers ready to work and live for 3-5 months in field conditions on jailoo.

• From family members of livestock breeders prepare educators who have the desire, education and experience to open family kindergartens.

• Establish systematic visits of famous people for meetings and events with children and parents at jailoo.

• To establish an educational process for children in a playful way. To help breeders in access to digital communication and, if possible, to the Internet.

• In the course of 3-5 months, conduct regular monitoring visits.


In society, among parents and local authorities, understanding of the importance of early development of children and their preparation for school increased.

• 454 pasture committees in Kyrgyzstan included preschool education of children in their strategies as a main priority alongside issues of animal husbandry

• The number of parents involved in the activities of Children's Development Centers has grown from 560 in 2014 to 1080 in 2018).

Legislative and institutional framework for pre-school education developed and capacity


• The State Program of Compulsory Pre-school Education was endorsed;

• Basic standards for pre-school education adopted;

• 780 teachers and educators were trained to work in hard-to-reach areas and worked in 2018 in Jailoo Child Development Centers;

Over 5 years, more than 12,000 children received pre-school training at the Jailoo Children's Development Centers.

• The number of working Children Development Centers increased, from 35 in 2014 to 102 in 2018;

• Training materials and programs, books for reading, videos and other visual aids have been prepared, the knowledge base has increased;

• In 2018, a component on scientific education was introduced, specifically on astronomy — the kindergartens received telescopes that made it possible to observe the celestial bodies.

Strengths &  Limitations 

One of the important strengths of the project is the leadership of the Foundation and its highly professional team. 

Thanks to the energy and popularity of H.E. Rosa Otunbaeva, ex-President and the Founder of the Foundation, the project has already managed to increase the number of Jailoo Development Centers from 35 in the beginning of the project in 2014 to 102 Centers in 2018. The success is largely due to the personal efforts of the ex-President, who met with local communities, heads of local authorities, explaining the importance of early development and the vulnerability of livestock-breeders’ children in the most remote areas of the country that remain unreached by education and early development services. Additionally, she held a large number of meetings with donors, local philanthropists, businessmen, explaining the importance of supporting children in the regions. The Executive Director of the Foundation, Ms. Kendirbaeva, who used to work in the area of education, successfully led all work for development of the legislative and institutional framework of the Pre-school education and capacity building of educators and teachers.              

One possible obstacle could be that the state has no resources, neither financial nor human, for mobilization and organizational work in Jailoo Development Centers. Therefore, the Foundation continues to lead this project with the support of local business communities and international partners.


The project fosters and consolidates efforts of all concerned parties to provide access to education for all children and their parents living in remote mountainous area and to use this education as a tool of transformation through such components as ecology, peace education, human rights, gender equality, sustainable usage of water, food security etc.

Due to the reasons outlined in the preceding paragraph, the Foundation continues to lead the Jailoo Children Development Center. The Foundation plans to increase the number of Centers in jailoo due to the interest of local residents. The constantly growing number of partners from local communities and from foreign countries makes it possible to modify the project, incorporating best practices from various countries - Turkey, China, Poland. 

Project activities will be continued in order to legally secure funding from the state and local budget for all child development centers and to create year-round pre-school centers in remote areas of the country.

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Pasture Development centers (Jailoo Kindergartens) Kyrgyzstan
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