Kyrgyz NGO launches annual 'Take My Child to School' campaign



Kyrgyz children cool off in a fountain during celebrations of the 140th anniversary of Bishkek, their country's capital, April 29. The NGO Child Rights Defenders' League August 14 started the annual Take My Child to School campaign in Kyrgyzstan. [Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP]

BISHKEK -- The Bishkek-based NGO Child Rights Defenders' League Tuesday (August 14) started its annual Take My Child to School campaign, reported.

The campaign comes ahead of the first part-day of school, which is September 1 even though it falls on Saturday.

Human rights supporters, together with the Ministry of Education and Science, are providing legal advice and assistance for the enrollment of children in schools during the campaign, according to Nazgul Turdubekova, director of the NGO.

The constitution guarantees everyone in Kyrgyzstan the right to free education in public schools. Such a campaign helps to realise "the right of every child to education", she said.


Kyrgyz children smile after a hearty meal at school in Leilek District, Batken Province, last December. The main goal of Take My Child to School campaign is "the realisation of the right of every child to education", the organisers say. [Mercy Corps]

"Not one child should go without an education," she added.

This is the 10th time that the Take My Child to School campaign has taken place in Kyrgyzstan, aiming to help parents who "are encountering infringement of their right to education" for their children, Turdubekova explained.

Obstacles that parents encounter in the run-up to school include "requirements to bring [various] certificates, proof of [the child's] passing courses on 'Preparing for school', purchase of an [approved] school uniform, passage of [various] tests [by the child], payment of an entrance fee or ... discrepancies between stated residence and actual residence", she said.

"We track every case," she said. "We will accompany each child until he or she is enrolled in school."

Encouraging attendance

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammedkaly Abylgaziyev, during a meeting of the National Sustainable Development Council Monday (August 13), called for "conceptual changes" in the education system, AKIpress reported Tuesday.

Citing those reforms, he urged, "All children older than 5½ [in Kyrgyzstan] should attend kindergarten ... All schools should be connected to the internet."

As another incentive to encourage attendance and to bolster safety, Kyrgyz schoolchildren in grades 1-11 will enjoy free transit on September 1, the first partial day of school, AKIpress reported Monday.

The Interior Ministry (MVD)-run traffic police and the management of various transit companies reached an agreement on the one-day policy in a Bishkek meeting August 13.

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