A guest commentary
In Kyrgyzstan, where memories of last June’s ethnic violence are still raw, children’s futures risk being entangled in a flourishing nationalist impulse. As the country attempts to move beyond the tragedy, some officials are increasingly calling for education solely in the state language, Kyrgyz. Such a move risks not only hurting the development of minority children, but Kyrgyz kids as well.
Language is a delicate element of education policy across Central Asia, where newly independent nations understandably want to embrace their ancestral tongues and explore their identities. Education in the “titular” language is an important aspect to nation building. But high-quality learning materials in the region’s languages are in short supply. Sometimes provoking resentment, Russian-language schools, with better access to textbooks and an older generation of Soviet-trained teachers, provide better education.
To read the full story