Jailoo Kindergartens

Jailoo kindergartens are mobile kindergartens set up in tent-like structures in high mountain pastures, or jailoo, of Kyrgyzstan to provide educational and developmental opportunities for children of nomadic families who move to remote areas for several months each year to graze their livestock.
2006Kyrgyzstan

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
DeliveryAga Khan FoundationThe Christensen Fund (TCF)Early Childhood DevelopmentEarly childhoodPre-primaryPrimary

Location Data

Osh, Naryn, Chui, Issyk Kol, Talas, Batken provincesNaryn, Osh

In Kyrgyzstan, farming is primarily based on moving livestock between pastures, so many families live a nomadic lifestyle, moving to high mountain pastures, or jailoo, for four or five months each year, away from towns or cities. The Aga Khan Foundation found that this lifestyle put children of these families at a disadvantage compared to those in towns in terms of education, as they are unable to attend the government-run school preparation program. Seeing these gaps in education development after vacation, the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme of Kyrgyzstan (MSDSP KG), a local entity of the Aga Khan Foundation, initiated the jailoo kindergarten project to reduce these gaps by bringing the schools to the jailoo. This model has been replicated by the Internatinoal Foundation "Initiatives of R. Otunbaeva."These mobile kindergartens are set up in yurts, or tent-like structures, on the jailoo and provide educational and developmental opportunities to children while taking Kyrgyzstan’s culture and traditions into account.

Since 2006, 100 jailoo kindergartens have been established across four districts, with children ranging from age 2 to age 10 enrolled each season. Each yurt includes learning materials, a portable latrine, and a mini-library, which provide a stimulating space at a low cost. The curriculum combines the government curriculum with cultural and environmental themes, learning about traditional crafts and tools and exploring the pastures. Both experienced and non-experienced teachers receive training on child-centered teaching methods and on strategies that are particular to the jailoo curriculum.  

Establishing a culturally relevant kindergarten that ensures children who move to pastures have access to same educational and developmental opportunitiesBecause pastures are far in high mountains and because of transportation and weather constraints, teachers may not be able to reach the jailoo on time, which shortens the kindergarten season in the mountains.

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