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FORUM for Public School Directors in Kyrgyzstan: Domain 2 – Developing and Supporting Teachers.

A Voluntary Platform for Collaborative Learning, Knowledge Sharing, and Leadership Development among Public School Directors in Kyrgyzstan

Session Overview The third session of the FORUM convened online on December 9th, 2023, with 26 attendees, including 23 public-school directors from various regions of Kyrgyzstan, two co-conveners, and a project coordinator from the Institute of Education. The two-hour session focused on Domain 2: Developing and Supporting Teachers, offering an array of insights and strategies for advancing teacher development and addressing common challenges.

Key Discussion Points The meeting began with presentations from six Task Force members, focusing on three core segments:

  1. Specific Challenges: Directors identified challenges in their respective schools, such as attracting teachers to remote regions, managing staff resistance to change, and balancing workloads.
  2. Strategies and Actions: Presenters shared their strategies for overcoming these challenges, highlighting efforts to bring retired teachers back to address shortages, organize additional training opportunities, and engage donors to support school initiatives.
  3. Resources and Needs: Directors discussed their most valuable resources and identified areas where further support or funding is required. This included a need for enhanced digital literacy, improved resources for teacher development, and efforts to prevent teacher burnout.

Task Force Presentations The Task Force presentations provided valuable insights into the unique experiences of Directors from various regions. Notable themes included:

  • Teacher Shortages: Several Directors mentioned the challenge of attracting and retaining qualified teachers, particularly in remote areas. Strategies to address this included engaging retired teachers, collaborating with donors for support, and exploring regional exchange opportunities.
  • Staff Motivation and Burnout: Directors discussed the importance of motivating teachers and mitigating burnout. Solutions included offering financial incentives, creating a collaborative work environment, and emphasizing a balance between experienced and newer educators.
  • Resource Limitations: Directors spoke about the lack of resources and outdated technology, highlighting the need for strategic planning and community engagement to overcome these hurdles.

Open Session Dialogue The latter part of the session allowed Directors to share their insights on Domain 2. Discussions centered on the diverse challenges facing school leaders, including teacher turnover, varying degrees of commitment among educators, and the impact of school structures on teacher motivation. Directors also shared strategies for fostering a more stable and supportive teaching environment, emphasizing collaboration and continuous learning.

Knowledge Resources and Closing Remarks The session concluded with the Knowledge Resources segment, introducing a Technology-Enhanced Mentoring model developed by the Institute of Education, AUCA. This model emphasizes creating a Community of Practice among Directors, with an aim to encourage Directors to foster similar communities within their schools. Additionally, valuable resources were provided to attendees, including a UNESCO brief and a book chapter detailing the IOE Mentoring Model’s benefits and its broader implications for teacher development.

The co-conveners closed the session by expressing their appreciation for the Directors’ participation and outlining the next steps for the FORUM. This collaborative approach, focused on developing and supporting teachers, promises to enhance educational leadership and contribute to the continuous improvement of public schools in Kyrgyzstan.