BISHKEK, 14 December 2010 - Starting next year, students in Kyrgyzstan's secondary schools will learn about sustainable development and environmental issues, following a decision by Kyrgyzstan's Academy of Education to implement a plan presented at a conference today as a key result of a project supported by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek.
International experts working on the project recommended that such themes as the current situation in the world, new challenges and threats, and environmental security be included into national educational programmes and the State educational standards.
"Kyrgyzstan is facing serious challenges, and it needs to find solutions to today's problems, as well as to avoid risks in the future," said Lilian Darii, Acting Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. "Introducing new themes into the school curricula will help students understand the present situation better, and make them more responsive to possible threats to their security."
Speaking at a national conference where the project's results were presented, Darii stressed that "sustainable and systemized use of scarce resources, such as water and land, in Central Asia, is vital for preventing conflicts in the future". He emphasized the importance of raising students' awareness about the issue.
Kaliman Djunushalieva, expert of the Kyrgyzstan's Academy of Education, added: "As of now, sustainable development is taught as part of natural science lessons in secondary schools. The main challenge now is to train the teachers to work in accordance with the new standards. We all have to do much in this direction."
Azamat Khudaibergenov, a representative of the Regional Ecological Centre in Central Asia (CAREC), one of the OSCE Centre's partners in the project, added: "Thanks to this project subjects such as needs and rights of the future generations, saving of natural eco-systems, respect for cultural, social and biological diversity, principles of citizenship, quality of life, well-being, behavior in emergency situations and other aspects of sustainable development, will be taught in schools. They will also be considered for further inclusion into higher education curriculum as well."
The project was implemented jointly by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's Education Ministry, the State Agency for the Environment Protection and CAREC.
In 2011, the OSCE Centre in Bishkek will work on including sustainable development and environment into the curriculum of Kyrgyzstan's higher educational institutions.