Post-Soviet curriculum reform has aroused much controversy in
Kyrgyzstan. A fundamental question is the language of instruction,
which has become increasingly Kyrgyz as non-indigenous citizens
leave the country and textbooks in Kyrgyz slowly become available.
The Ministry of Education has held competitions, supported by
foreign donations, for the design of new textbooks in Kyrgyz.
Until 1992 textbook production and distribution were inefficient
and costly aspects of the education system. By the mid-1990s,
the single, state-supported publisher of textbooks had gradually
improved the quality and availability of its products. In 1992
the first major curriculum reform provided for mandatory foreign
language study (English, French, or German) beginning in grade
one; computer science courses in grades eight through eleven (a
program hampered by lack of funds); and the replacement of Soviet
ideology with concepts of market economy and ethnic studies. The
reformed curriculum requirements also leave room for elective
courses, and instructional innovation is encouraged.
Data as of March 1996