Bishkek, December 12, 2023 – Public schools across the Kyrgyz Republic will receive nearly 1.8 million children’s books from the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Okuu Keremet!” project. Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic Muratbek Kasymaliev and USAID Mission Director Kaya Adams took part in the official handover ceremony at the secondary school #21 in Bishkek – one of 1,681 schools to receive these books. This date also officially commemorates the birthday of the renowned Kyrgyz writer Chyngyz Aitmatov, who would have turned 95 years old today.
These books are the result of joint efforts between 60 local authors and 30 illustrators, who since 2020 have created nearly 1,500 children’s books across diverse genres. These captivating works promote values such as family and friendship, respect, curiosity, diversity, and creativity. The electronic versions of the books are written in four local languages, including 40 books developed in sign language, and are accessible to anyone with the internet through the website of the Ministry of Education and Science and the international digital Bloom Library.
“By working together to build a strong foundation for learning, we can ensure that every child has a brighter future, and collectively, contribute to a stronger nation,” said USAID Mission Director Kaya Adams.
Deputy Minister of Education Kasymaliev noted: “Local authors and illustrators created these books with the account of age and other characteristics of young readers. We are happy that such books are available to children in their mother tongue, especially in Kyrgyz language.”
USAID´s Okuu Keremet! project improves learning outcomes in reading and mathematics benefitting over 450,000 primary grade students in every oblast in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and reaches 75 percent of all schools across the country.