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Kyrgyzstan's Uzbek Schools Set A New Course

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

As the new school year kicked off on September 1, some 35 ethnic Uzbek children attending the Cholpon school in the district of Kara-Suu in southern Kyrgyzstan began their studies in a whole new language -- Kyrgyz.

Cholpon is one of a growing number Uzbek schools that will be providing first-graders with the language alternative, as part of a broader initiative by a group of parents and Uzbek community representatives in Osh Province.

"My daughter studies in Kyrgyz at the Cholpon school," says Mavluda Hakimova, an ethnic Uzbek parent in Kara-Suu. "Our family decided that getting education in the state language would give her a wider choice when she goes to university for further education. Besides, it will be easier for her to find a job once she graduates."

And Hakimova says there is no hidden hand forcing the decision: "It's the parents' idea," she says. "It's about the children's future."

Community leaders behind the initiative also believe it will foster integration in the region, which is still recovering from deadly ethnic violence that broke out in June 2010.

To read the full story

Based on reporting from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Kyrgyzstan's Uzbek Schools Set A New Course

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