Minority school-dropout in Kyrgyzstan

kyrgyzstan_oshThe dropout of Uzbek school children after ninth grade in southern Kyrgyzstan is increasing. Four years have past since the interethnic tension in 2010 between the ethnic Uzbeks and the ethnic Kyrgyz, and the situation has not improved. Many parents do not feel it is necessary to have their children in school when they do not get well paid jobs anyway. The Kyrgyz authorities do little to stop the trend, saying they have no right to tell the parents what to do.

Teachers at the Uzbek language schools are concerned by the situation, and some says if it had not been for the required nine year school attendance, as much as 40 per cent of the Uzbek children would stop attending school. Other says that the desire for the Uzbeks to take higher education has not declined, but they feel forced to go abroad if they want meaningful education and jobs.

Closure of  schools
An increasingly amount of Uzbek-language schools have been closed in the past three years. Uzbek is not an official language in Kyrgyzstan, but the language schools have given the children education in their native language. Officials from the Education Department have tended to claim that the Uzbeks are transferring to Kyrgyz schools in order to learn the Kyrgyz language. The truth might be somewhat different. It seems the parents rather send their children to Russian schools because they do not see a bright future for their children in Kyrgyzstan and hopes by sending them to Russian schools that they might obtain Russian citizenship.

Bad conditions
Even though the Uzbeks make out 15 per cent of the total population in Kyrgyzstan, and are a majority in Osh province, and are in large numbers in the other southern provinces, they are facing discrimination and persecution in legal, social, economic and political spheres.  Many Kyrgyz blamed the Uzbeks for initiating the violence in 2010 where 418 people died.

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