Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – 24 teachers from two primary schools for blind and visually impaired children in Bishkek and Osh received training on innovative methods for teaching reading and writing to children. The teachers gained new skills and practice on using teaching technologies like specialized software and smartphones alongside traditional Braille methods (reading and writing by touch) when working with blind and low vision children.
“This is my first learning experience in using special computer software and smartphones as a teaching method for blind and visually impaired students. I am sure that I will use my new skills and knowledge from this training with my students. The tools are engaging, fun, and easy to use, which is essential for blind and visually impaired students in primary school,” said Dmitry Mikhailovich Husainov, a music teacher at Bishkek School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Currently, about 360 children are enrolled in both schools for blind and visually impaired students. Most of these children suffer from limited access to good quality books and materials which meet the specific educational needs of children with visual impairments. Promoting new technologies to expand children’s access to learning materials is one way that USAID is working to improve early grade reading in the Kyrgyz Republic, especially among children in underserved populations.
USAID partners with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as schools, communities and private sector organizations to improve the quality of primary education throughout the country, so that every child has a brighter future. Under the Reading Together project, USAID has trained 10,500 primary school teachers covering 60% of schools across the country. Thanks to USAID support, approximately 10,000 teachers have already received Kyrgyz Academy of Education certification and used new teaching methods in their schools.