29 November 2007
Thirty educational specialists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan attended a 3-day workshop on mainstreaming gender into non-formal education. The Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Education and UNESCO organized the workshop in Bishkek, from 6 to 8 November 2007, to promote gender-sensitivity in non-formal education.The 30 participants from Ministries of Education, non-governmental organizations and community learning centres (CLCs) of the region considered how rural CLCs could best advance gender sensitive education and information. Each country team developed a gender responsive plan of action for their respective CLCs. A field visit was conducted to the Saruu village in Issyk-Kul where a local CLC provides non-formal training in livelihood skills for community members.
UNESCO with its partners have helped seven communities in Kazakhstan and five communities in Kyrgyzstan to start community learning centres. The Kazakhstani centres, including Karabulak, Kordai and Karaganda, support women and youth in particular, and provide training in computer skills, sewing, hair-dressing, tourism, sports and other vocational skills.
The Kyrgyz CLCs help community members to improve their skills and knowledge in agriculture. The centres also conduct training in problem-solving, decision-making and effective communication.
To meet the worldwide commitment to "Education for All", it is necessary to provide education not only through schools; non-formal education programmes are also needed for youth and adults. The CLCs help people far from urban centres to improve the quality of their lives by helping them to develop their life skills in the broadest sense.