Distance learning feels very distant in Tajikistan

With borders still closed and Covid cases on the rise, many of the 26,000 or so Tajik students who study in Russia each year remain stuck at home. With around five million students (a massive number but actually only 2% of the world's student population) studying abroad, Tajikistan's international students are far from being alone. …

Continue reading Distance learning feels very distant in Tajikistan

Educating Central Asia, From Soviet Collapse to COVID-19 – Interview with The Diplomat

I recently teamed up with Vasila Bozichaeva, higher education researcher and PhD candidate at the Academy of Sciences in Tajikistan to do an interview with The Diplomat on education in Central Asia. Our interview responses were furr-ific In the interview, we cover everything from the idea of a university in Soviet times to how Tajikistan's …

Continue reading Educating Central Asia, From Soviet Collapse to COVID-19 – Interview with The Diplomat

Back to school in Central Asia

Covid-cat is ready to go back to school (if it's open) The impending start of the 2020/21 school year is presenting challenges for teachers, students, parents, and governments around the world. Although some countries have managed to come up with a plan, many are still fumbling in the COVID-19 induced darkness, even with September just …

Continue reading Back to school in Central Asia

Watch/listen again: My SCOLAR Talk on higher education in Central Asia

Screenshot from my SCOLAR Talk on August 13, 2020 with Olesya Dovgalyuk Thanks to everyone who tuned in live last week to watch my SCOLAR Talk with the talented Olesya Dovgalyuk. We had a great time chatting about everything from Ibn Sino (Avicenna) to the 400+% growth in the higher education system in contemporary Kyrgyzstan! …

Continue reading Watch/listen again: My SCOLAR Talk on higher education in Central Asia

Kazakhstan publishes its back-to-school plan

While many countries are still pondering what to do with students come the new school year in September 2020, Kazakhstan - currently under a state imposed quarantine for a second time - has announced its back-to-school plan. If you're ready, open your laptop... most students in Kazakhstan aren't yet leaving their house to go back …

Continue reading Kazakhstan publishes its back-to-school plan

Celebrity calling: Supporting Indian students stuck in Kyrgyzstan

Around 4,000 Indian international students are still stuck in Kyrgyzstan after COVID-19 measures have led to closed borders and calls to return home. This represents almost half of the total number of Indian students in the country - India is the top sending country of international students to Kyrgyzstan (see my 2019 post on this). …

Continue reading Celebrity calling: Supporting Indian students stuck in Kyrgyzstan

Adapting to online learning in Uzbekistan (Gazeta.uz)

Around the world, stories are emerging sharing the experiences of students, teachers and families as they adjust to the 'new normal' of distance learning while schools are shut and universities have switched to online delivery. Below is a recent article from Gazeta.uz reporting from Uzbekistan on university students' adaptation - it's in Russian but you …

Continue reading Adapting to online learning in Uzbekistan (Gazeta.uz)

Coronavirus: The strangers reaching out to Kyrgyzstan’s lonely teenagers (BBC)

In case you missed this story of hope and friendship that was published recently on the BBC, I'm reposting it here. Written by Abdujalil Abdurasulov, the story looks at how over 100 young adult Kyrgyz volunteers are reaching out to teens around the country to offer them companionship during Covid-19. It's a wonderful initiative and …

Continue reading Coronavirus: The strangers reaching out to Kyrgyzstan’s lonely teenagers (BBC)

Kyrgyzstan: Distance-learning exposes weaknesses of education system (Eurasianet)

This is an insightful article by Bishkek-based journalist Ayzirek Imanaliyeva published in Eurasianet on some of the challenges posed by Kyrgyzstan's necessitated shift to online learning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The article was published at https://eurasianet.org/kyrgyzstan-distance-learning-exposes-weaknesses-of-education-system. Bolsunai Turgunbayeva’s three school-age daughters take turns using her battered old smartphone. The device has become …

Continue reading Kyrgyzstan: Distance-learning exposes weaknesses of education system (Eurasianet)