Sazhida runs a kindergarten for pastoralist children in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan during the summer

This content comes from our newly released interactive youth version of the 2019 GEM Report, presented today at the UN Youth Forum in New York.

sazhida blog 1Jailoo kindergartens provide education for the children of pastoralist families who move to mountain pastures (jailoo) in the summer to fatten their livestock for the winter. The kindergartens ensure that children do not fall behind in their studies while their families are on the move. Lessons are designed to match the lifestyle of the children and teachers are equipped with culturally responsive teaching materials.

‘I teach lessons related to livelihoods,’ Sazhida told us. ‘For example, we hold a lesson on the topic of kurut, and so we teach how to cook it. Children develop their speech and learn diligence, and also learn to count and establish order and cleanliness.

Also, in lessons, children learn to paint on stones, and make a herbarium; in this way, we develop a love for nature. In lessons, we also teach national traditions and national games.’

Pioneered by the Aga Khan Foundation Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, 21 jailoo kindergartens are currently operating. They follow the national pre-school curriculum and employ teachers trained in current best practices for early childhood development. An internal assessment found that children attending these kindergartens scored significantly higher in their tests in autumn than those who did not attend them.

Most education systems are not well adapted to seasonal movements. Rigid school calendars are a barrier for pastoralist children who must move because of their parents’ seasonal work. Pastoralist learners also challenge traditional teaching. Teachers may be reluctant to re-enrol temporarily absent children or feel that taking extra measures goes beyond their responsibility.

sazhida blog 2

Recommendation: Use flexible school calendars, education tracking systems and curricula relevant to the livelihoods of children of nomads or seasonal workers

Vocational education can be particularly relevant to pastoralists, especially when it provides students with agricultural skills useful in a nomadic lifestyle.

interactive youth report coverPlease download and share the youth report

Youth can use it to inform their campaigns and advocacy, while the stories can teach about the education status and challenges of your peers around the globe.

Teachers can use it as a classroom aid/pedagogical tool to discuss key issues on migration and displacement around the world, taking each story in turn, discussing the context, the implications, and the solutions.

Actions you can take to support the Youth report recommendations include:

  1. Tweet the stories and recommendations in the Report using the hashtag #EducationOnTheMove
  2. Find more stories and associated calls for change on the campaign homepage
  3. Share your own story of what it’s like accessing education when on the move via the campaign homepage and help us raise awareness of the issues needing attention
  4. Work up an advocacy campaign around one of the recommendations, sharing the key facts, stats and calls for change with youth networks, the media and at events.

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