Kyrgyz Republic: Second Vocational Education and Skills Development Project

Sovereign Project | 38298-023


ADB is helping the Kyrgyz Republic improve its technical and vocational education and training system. The project will update training methods, improve the learning environment, and strengthen the management of the program. An innovative skills development fund will provide employable skills to target geographic areas or groups, such as out-of-school youth, ethnic minorities, and the disabled. 

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Project Name Second Vocational Education and Skills Development Project
Project Number 38298-023
Country Kyrgyz Republic
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0307-KGZ: Second Vocational Education Skills and Development Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 10.00 million
Loan 2902-KGZ: Second Vocational Education Skills and Development Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 10.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
Sector / Subsector

Education - Technical and vocational education and training

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The project seeks to improve the quality and relevance of, and equitable access to and effectiveness of, the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in the Kyrgyz Republic. Quality and relevance of the TVET system will be improved through modernization of the training methodology, teaching and learning environments, and training delivery. Equitable access will be improved through the introduction of an innovative skills development fund to provide training in response to urgent labor market needs, and for targeting specific geographic areas or specific groups to provide them with employable skills, such as out-of-school youths, ethnic minorities, and the disabled. The project also includes support to rural primary vocational schools outside of Bishkek and Osh, and better access for physically disabled students and for women. The effectiveness of the TVET system will be improved by strengthening TVET governance and management nationally and within the schools.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic recently approved its Medium-Term Development Program, 2012- 2014, aiming for an average growth rate of 6% per annum anchored on the robust expansion of seven priority sectors that are expected to drive the economy and create jobs for the growing number of unemployed, particularly among youths (in 2010, 17.1% of female youths and 12.2% of male youths were unemployed). The seven priority sectors (construction, mining, energy, tourism, textiles, and garment, land transport, and agriculture/agro-processing) jointly constitute 54% of gross domestic product and 63% of formal employment. However, many enterprises experience difficulties in finding skilled workers, underscoring the mismatch between the outputs of the education and training sector and labor market needs. This shortage of skilled labor is a binding constraint on economic growth.

The project will help remove this constraint by supporting the modernization of the TVET system in rural and urban areas. It will focus on the seven priority sectors and involve employers in selecting the key occupations and determining the skills required for these occupations. It will help meet the needs of the labor market.

TVET system is composed of primary TVET, designed to develop skilled workers and craftsmen, and secondary TVET, designed to develop technicians and middle-level staff. The enrollment size in the TVET system is small, resulting in significant underutilization of existing capacity. Other key issues include the lack of quality and relevance of the TVET system due to outdated curriculum structure and contents, aging teachers and outdated training, inadequate and obsolete equipment, weak institutional management, insufficient funding, and weak links with industry. In addition, there is limited coordination between the different types of TVET providers and between managing organizations in terms of planning and programs, which contributes to a fragmented TVET system.

The project will build on the achievements under the first Vocational Education and Skills Development Project (VESDP), which is supporting reforms to the primary TVET system. A key achievement under VESDP is the introduction of the competency-based training (CBT) methodology in 25 assisted vocational schools for 18 priority occupations, along with the improvement of the teaching and learning environment. The VESDP successfully introduced the full cycle of the CBT methodology. In May 2012, training for the pilot occupation "seamstress" was completed in 9 vocational schools with a total of 211 trainees, of which 185 were assessed and 174 passed the independent assessment conducted by accredited competency assessors from the textile and garment industry. The industry hired 85% of the graduates immediately. The initial offering of modular CBT courses for all 18 occupations in 25 vocational schools started in July 2012, after installation and training on the use of the new training equipment. In addition, the VESDP supported the first step in the rationalization of the primary TVET system, consolidating 32 of 110 vocational schools in urban areas into 25 regional resource centers, focusing on the development of skills needed by local industries and overseas markets. It also supported the rehabilitation of these regional resource centers and the provision of new training equipment in 158 workshops.

The project will build on these achievements, and the strong foundation established in delivering demand-driven and relevant training programs. Support will expand to primary TVET in rural areas and include secondary TVET, training middle-level skilled labor for the seven priority sectors, including information communication technology as a cross-cutting priority amongst these sectors. The project will sustain momentum among the assisted vocational schools toward greater financial autonomy and sustainability by increasing their capacity to generate non-state-budget revenues, particularly through training fees.

The project will complement the ongoing Investment Climate Improvement Program of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which includes policy actions to leverage TVET reforms. On 26 March 2012, the Decree on the National Professional Skills Development Council (NPSDC) was approved under subprogram 2 of the Investment Climate Improvement Program. NPSDC provides a framework for policymakers, employers, and key stakeholders to ensure that skills development efforts in the country are coordinated and responsive to labor market needs. The Agency for Vocational Education (AVE) in the Ministry of Youth, Labor, and Employment serves as NPSDC Secretariat.

The project is consistent with national priorities and with ADB's country strategy. Lessons learned from the VESDP will be acted on, including the need to mainstream

project activities into AVE, to introduce competitive selection to support teaching and learning environments, and to factor in the characteristics of internal and external migration when developing TVET interventions. Under the Project, ADB will work closely with other donors under the Education Sector-Wide Aprroach Program, and serve as the lead agency for TVET reform.

Impact Inclusive growth through greater employment opportunities for TVET graduates.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Strong quality, relevance, and efficiency of and more equitable access to TVET.
Progress Toward Outcome Based on submitted proposals for school improvement, 18 TVET schools were selected on a competitive basis. These schools are being rehabilitated, and they will also receive receive equipment and learning materials, so that their programs in 18 priority occupations can be further improved. Procurement of equipment and training on tracer studies is ongoing. Workshops and consultations on setting up a skills development fund have been conducted.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Primary TVET system rationalized and TVET system modernized.

2. TVET Teaching and learning environments improved

3. Curriculum, teaching and learning materials for TVET developed

4. Quality of TVET delivery strengthened.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) The EA and project schools have piloted a tracer study with support from the European Training Foundation on the tracer study methodology. Work on improving sector councils is ongoing. Career guidance and social marketing materials have been developed and are being implemented. Capacity building programs for the EA are being delivered. The rationalization study of the primary TVET system was completed, and an additional review of the secondary TVET will be undertaken. Civil works have commenced in Quarter 2 2015. Contract for furniture has been awarded. Preparation for procurement of computer equipment is ongoing. Training of school advisory boards is underway. Midterm review mission has been undertaken in April 2015.
Geographical Location Support to vocational schools will be provided on competitive basis, and 70% of the support to primary vocational schools will go to areas outside Bishkek and Osh
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The Project will carry out minor rehabilitation and repairs of existing school buildings and facilities; there will be no land acquisition required, and no negative environmental or resettlement impact. Some school rehabilitation works will include improved water supply and sanitation and sewage systems, which will promote good health and have a positive environmental impact.
Involuntary Resettlement No land acquisition is required and there will be no negative environmental or residential impacts, as the project will carry out only minor repairs to and rehabilitation of existing school buildings and facilities.
Indigenous Peoples No impacts are expected for ethnic minorities.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design A consultation workshop was organized with key stakeholders in the TVET system, i.e., government, employer representatives, and development partners. Additional meetings were held separately with (i) government agencies - Agency for Vocational Education; Ministry of Youth, Labor, and Employment; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Education and Science; (ii) employer organizations - Association for Light Industry, Cooks' Guild, agriculture and mining; and (iii) development partners - United States Agency for International Development, European Union delegation, Germany's Gesellschaft Zusammenarbeit - Internationale Zusammenarbeit and nongovernment organizations such as Helvetas and Forum for Education Initiatives.
During Project Implementation The participation of employers in TVET will be institutionalized through the establishment of mechanisms where the employers can participate in policy formulation nationally (through the National Professional Skills Development Council and sector councils), on operational matters in the schools (through school advisory board), and in project-specific activities (for instance, through MOUs with particular schools)
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

Advance contracting will be undertaken for the engagement of the main implementation consultants. It will provide an estimated 223 person-months (25 international, 198 national) of consulting services to assist the Kyrgyz Government in reforming the TVET system. Specifically, the consultants shall (i) facilitate project management and implementation, and (ii) strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of the EA. Another 12 person-months of international consulting services will be engaged individually to provide further TVET policy and CBT development support.

Update as of 24 March 2014:

The following consultants have been contracted:

one internation individual consultant (TVET policy specialist), one consulting firm, and four national individual consultants (light industry, construction, per capita financing and IT). We expect to engage a number of individual consultants by second quarter of 2014.


Procurement of civil works will involve the rehabilitation of existing training workshops and facilities, including dormitories.

The project will provide training equipment, computer and related ICT equipment, teaching aids, classroom furniture, learning materials, and manuals.

Update as of 24 March 2014:

Request for quotations were issued out to bid on various furniture for the EA's office.

Responsible ADB Officer Jazira Asanova
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Public Management, Financial Sector and Trade Division, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Agency for Vocational Education
22a Manas Avenue, Bishkek 720031
Kyrgyz Republic
Concept Clearance 11 Jul 2012
Fact Finding 16 Jul 2012 to 19 Jul 2012
MRM 31 Jul 2012
Approval 28 Sep 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 16 Sep 2015

Grant 0307-KGZ

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Sep 2012 20 Dec 2012 01 Jul 2013 31 Mar 2018 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 13.50 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 10.00 28 Sep 2012 3.34 0.00 33%
Counterpart 3.50 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Sep 2012 2.11 0.00 21%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - - - - - Satisfactory

Loan 2902-KGZ

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Sep 2012 20 Dec 2012 01 Jul 2013 31 Mar 2018 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 10.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 10.00 28 Sep 2012 0.30 0.00 3%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Sep 2012 0.20 0.00 2%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - - - - - Satisfactory

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