Once independence was achieved, the Ministry of Education began
working energetically to revamp the old Soviet course of study.
The ministry is responsible for developing curriculum, setting
national standards and educational policy, developing certification
examinations, and awarding degrees. The ministry is divided into
departments for general education, higher education, and material
support. Below the ministry level, the education hierarchy includes
the six provinces and the separate city of Bishkek, representatives
from each of which provide input to the ministry on local conditions.
The level of basic local administration is the district (rayon
), where the district education officer hires faculty and appoints
school inspectors and methodology specialists.
General education is financed from district budgets, and the
college preparatory and higher education programs are financed
by the national budget. For the former category of expenditures,
school principals negotiate their requirements with district officials,
but the central government sets norms based on previous expenditures
and on the relative resources of the provinces. In the last years
of the Soviet period, Kyrgyzstani schools had a surplus of money,
but available funds declined sharply beginning in 1992. Since
that time, insufficient funds in local budgets have forced the
Ministry of Education to make special requests for support from
the Ministry of Economics and Finance.
Data as of March 1996