ADB Provides $10 Million Grant for Kyrgyz Vocational Education

News Release | 23 February 2007

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB is providing a US$10 million grant to help the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic address mismatches in the country's labor market.

The grant, from ADB's Asian Development Fund, will support a project that aims to reform the primary vocational education (PVE) system and boost skills training opportunities for adults and out-of-school youth.

"The current vocational education system is neither responsive to labor markets nor cost-effective," says Wolfgang Kubitzki, an ADB Project Economist. "While there is a growing need for skilled workers, graduates from vocational schools have difficulty finding jobs because they lack employable skills."

At the same time, skills training for adults and out-of-school youth are limited to urban areas, leaving those in rural areas without access.

The project will help the Government reform the PVE system, which consists of 112 schools, to make it more modern, entrepreneurial, and flexible to adjust to the requirements of the labor market.

It will rehabilitate and upgrade facilities in up to 20 of the schools, rehabilitate up to 20 dormitories, and provide training equipment for basic priority skill areas such as agriculture, information technology, automotive, carpentry, electrical, garments, and hospitality.

The project will also develop curriculum that is focused on the needs of the labor market, fosters student-centered learning, and ensures practical training. New teaching and learning materials will also be developed.

Last, the project will support training for instructors and school management, and help in the updating of learning materials and assessment methods.

About 24,300 students will benefit from new training programs, modern teaching techniques, and hands-on training in rehabilitated workshops. More than 6,000 adults and out-of-school youth will also benefit from relevant short-term skills training from vocational schools.

ADB's assistance to the education sector in the Kyrgyz has evolved since the mid-1990s to support the Government in different stages of reforming and strengthening the general education system. The project is the first assistance in the country's vocational education sector.

The Government will contribute $3 million toward the project's total estimated cost of $13 million. The German Technical Cooperation Agency and the Swiss Association for International Cooperation will provide additional consulting inputs.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion around March 2011.