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Forum for Public School Directors in Kyrgyzstan (FORUM) A Collaborative Space for School Directors to Share Knowledge and Best Practices

Meeting Report Summary Session on Creating a Favorable Environment for Learners February 10th, 2024

The fifth session of the FORUM convened online, bringing together 28 participants, including 25 public school directors from various regions of Kyrgyzstan, along with co-conveners and a project coordinator from the Institute of Education. The session was co-chaired by several key figures, focusing on strategies for enhancing Domain 4: Creating a Favorable Environment for Learners.

Highlights of the Session:

  • Key Challenges: The session began with directors sharing specific obstacles in creating an optimal learning environment. Common issues included inadequate infrastructure, overcrowding, teacher absenteeism, and student behavior problems. These challenges underscore the need for innovative approaches to maintain a supportive educational setting.

  • Strategic Actions: Participants discussed a range of strategies to address these challenges. Efforts to improve teaching quality and foster inclusivity were among the proposed solutions. Some schools are integrating modern technology to streamline academic processes, while others are advocating for infrastructural improvements.

  • Resource Needs: Despite some successes, many schools continue to struggle with funding shortages and limited resources. The directors emphasized the importance of securing additional support to create a more conducive learning environment.

Task Force Presentations: Several presentations provided insights into the unique strategies employed by schools to address these challenges:

  • The first presentation highlighted the importance of creating a school environment that fosters personal growth and development. This included implementing modern educational technologies to ease academic pressures and integrating programs to support holistic development.

  • Another presentation focused on daily operational challenges, such as student disputes, technology malfunctions, and teacher absenteeism. Despite these issues, schools are making strides by securing grants and equipment to modernize facilities, though the need for new school buildings and infrastructure upgrades remains critical.

  • A third presentation emphasized collaboration with local authorities and community stakeholders to address infrastructure issues and personnel shortages. These collaborative efforts are aimed at creating a stable and supportive school environment despite ongoing challenges.

Thematic Discussions: The session continued with thematic group discussions, where directors explored various topics in smaller groups. The themes included:

  1. Addressing Challenges for Children with Special Learning Needs: This group discussed the complexities of creating inclusive learning environments and proposed strategies such as specialized teacher training and tailored resources. Alternative evaluation metrics were recommended to ensure fair representation of students with special needs in school rankings.

  2. Stimulating Learning Opportunities for Gifted Children: Strategies to enhance educational opportunities for gifted students were proposed, including specialized courses, mentorship programs, and opportunities to participate in Olympiads. Collaborative efforts with teachers were emphasized to ensure proper engagement with these students.

  3. Motivating the Least Engaged Students: This group addressed the challenges of engaging students with behavioral issues, including those from complex backgrounds or with unhealthy habits. Strategies such as personalized attention, communication with social psychotherapists, and collaboration with parents were proposed to enhance student motivation.

Conclusion and Next Steps: The session concluded with a call for continued collaboration among school directors to tackle the identified challenges and implement the proposed strategies. The emphasis on creating a favorable environment for learners is central to the mission of the FORUM, and ongoing sessions will continue to build on the insights gained from this meeting. The co-lead directors and program coordinator thanked the participants for their contributions and outlined the next steps for future sessions, reinforcing the commitment to enhancing the educational experience in Kyrgyzstan’s public schools.