ADB grants $30 million for technical and vocational education in Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a total of $30 million in grants to assist Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to strengthen technical and vocational education and training (TVET)—a key contributor to inclusive and sustainable growth in the country, ADB’s Country Office in Kyrgyzstan said on November 22.

The ADB assistance is comprised of a $12 million policy-based grant to support key policy reforms and an $18 million project grant to finance investments that are needed to implement the reforms on the ground. Both grants are financed from the Asian Development Fund, ADB’s grant financing window.

“A more highly skilled workforce will improve prospects for both Kyrgyz workers and for the country’s economy overall,” said Jouko Sarvi, Lead Education Specialist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “ADB is committed to working with the government to prioritize skills training as a driver of growth, including supporting the establishment of centers of excellence for demand-driven skills development.”

The economic priorities in the region where each center of excellence is located will determine the profile of each center. The centers also will provide pathways for students in vocational lyceums to progress to vocational colleges.

The Skills for Inclusive Growth Sector Development Program is aligned with key government strategies to achieve inclusive growth through improved workforce skills and productivity in the Kyrgyz Republic’s key economic sectors. It aims to establish a market-responsive, entrepreneurial, and inclusive TVET system in the country.

The program will train more than 5,000 people under the Skills Development Fund and improve the teaching quality and learning environments in TVET by improving the competence of 3,000 teachers in skills training and 4,000 students in priority occupations. Support also will be provided to help strengthen work-based learning, introduce entrepreneurship education, and implement efficient partnerships between industry and TVET institutions.

Sergey Kwan

TCA