History of the primary vocational education system

The history of the formation and development of primary vocational education goes back to the 20s of the last century, when the first schools of factory apprenticeship (FZU) were created in big enterprises. On August 22, 1942, the system of labor reserves was officially established in the country, which marked the creation of the system of vocational education and the first schools on the basis of FZU schools. In the mid-50s, with the development of industry in the country, the reform of the training system began and a new type of educational institutions developed.

During this period, all educational institutions were transformed into urban and rural vocational schools with terms of study from 1 to 3 years. The new curricula aimed at expanding and deepening the knowledge and skills of future workers. It is also worth noting the strong connection of educational institutions with national enterprises. Over the following years, the network of educational institutions systematically expanded and strengthened as a comprehensive system of vocational education.

As of January 1, 1981, there were 70 vocational schools in the Republic with 33.4 thousand students.

In 1988, the system of vocational education was transferred to the Ministry of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic, and was part of until 1991.

With the collapse of the USSR and transition to a market economy, there were changes in the system of vocational education, it withdrew from the Ministry of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the State Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic for training workers and entrepreneurs was designated as the governing body. As of this time, there were 122 vocational schools in the system of primary vocational education, with a student population of over 60 thousand people; training was offered in 230 occupations.

The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On Education" (1993) stipulates that the system of vocational education delivers programs of primary vocational education, and this became the basis for further reforms in the training system.

Since 1994, the system of vocational education was part of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Kyrgyz Republic, first under the Directorate General of Vocational Education and Training, and since 2001 under the Directorate of Primary Vocational Education.

During this period, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On Primary Vocational Education" was enacted (November 26, 1999, No. 129), which largely contributed to maintaining the independence of the system and its assets.

From February 6, 2007 to October 2009, the vocational education system withdrew from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection as an independent structure under the supervision of the State Agency for Vocational Education under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. At that time, the system included 111 educational institutions with a 29.0 thousand student population.

In October 2009, as a result of the reform, the vocational education system was again transferred to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Ministry of Youth, Labor and Employment of the Kyrgyz Republic since early 2012 - under the supervision of the Agency for Vocational Education.

Since 2015, the system of primary vocational education under the Agency for Primary Vocational Education has been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic. The number of educational institutions in 2015 was 101 with 28.8 thousand students.

The current system of primary vocational education in the Kyrgyz Republic is the main structure in the country that provides for the training of qualified personnel in working occupations that are in demand in the national and overseas labor markets. In the system of primary vocational education provides opportunities for training adults. Every year, more than 10 thousand people are trained in short-term courses. The system of primary vocational education is the only one with social benefits for students (food, scholarships, free dormitories), which contributes to the accessibility of vocational training for various categories of students.

The past five years  witnessed significant innovations in the system, the infrastructure is being updated; graduates are competitive and have significant employment opportunities thanks to the developing social partnership.

Currently, primary vocational education is a dynamic and flexible system of training (from 2 weeks to 3 years), with the possibility for choosing occupations to one’s interests, people’s age and basic education, with prospects for continuing education.

By the beginning of 2020, there are 99 educational institutions with a student population of more than 30 thousand people and 3.5 thousand teaching staff.

Contacts:

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