With the introduction of external management, Kumtor Gold Company CJSC became active in promoting science and education in Kyrgyzstan, supporting projects throughout the country. “Being aware of the importance of the younger generation for the future, we will invest in the education of young people,” said Tengiz Bolturuk, KGC External Manager.
At present, a project is being implemented in Kyrgyzstan to create online video lessons in the Kyrgyz language for the Internet Society Kyrgyzstan Chapter (ISOC) Ilimbox Educational Platform with financial support from Kumtor. The project budget amounted to KgS 1,780,474.
The education system in Kyrgyzstan has long been in need of innovation and digitalisation. Ilimbox is the first open educational online platform for schoolchildren in Kyrgyzstan, which provides fast and secure access to digital resources in the Kyrgyz language of instruction, teacher and peer feedback, monitoring of academic performance of pupils, and the possibility of distance learning for children who are temporarily unable to attend school (due to illness or quarantine). Such a platform is relevant as a means of dealing with the shortage of textbooks and laboratory and practical classes, and teachers.
Online courses are accessible to every student who knows how to open YouTube application, and now everyone knows how to do it. Students of Russian-language schools can view the currently available laboratory and practical video lessons on the Internet. Meanwhile, teaching is conducted in Kyrgyz language in 60% of schools in Kyrgyzstan. The Ilimbox team performs translations of video lessons in Russian into Kyrgyz with the help of experienced practicing teachers, a professional narrator provides a voice for the lessons under the supervision of a sound engineer, and then these video lessons are structured and posted on the YouTube channel. More than 500 videos have been uploaded so far and are available to users at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4B6wPGcsdZ6hUbje8f6O7g/featured. The translation, voice recording and uploading of 1,300 lessons in physics and chemistry to the YouTube page is planned to be completed. It is planned to integrate these videos into the current Ilimbox platform as additional training material.
Currently, the Ilimbox platform contains 55 learning modules for schoolchildren in grades 7-10, prepared by a team of 12 teachers, 8 students of the Faculty of Education and Ilimbox instructors. All materials are available to users via the website https://ilimbox.kg and the Android OS mobile application https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kg.ilimbox. The content of the site is divided by grade and by subject, and each subject is divided by school quarters, according to the curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic. Each topic includes a video lecture, text, lecture notes, interactive tasks/games, and tests.
Books and learning materials are brought into synchronization with computers, tablets, and mobile phones. The file sizes of the video tutorials have been reduced without loss of quality, which in turn makes it possible to use a low-speed internet connection. For example, while a video lesson on the YouTube platform is 300 MB in size, on the educational platform Ilimbox it is only 30 MB. All information can be obtained from servers located in Kyrgyzstan. This also gives you a speed advantage, as many Internet Service Providers divide Internet traffic into local and external.
Schoolchildren living in remote villages of the republic will have access to the same educational resources as those used in the capital. The platform can also be used by students abroad. For example, migrants who are interested in that their children would take learning courses with instruction in Kyrgyz language outside the country can download relevant subjects from this resource. Students with disabilities can choose an e-leaning material format convenient for them among video, audio, or text.
“Education is important for the development of the country. There are very few textbooks in Kyrgyz language on the Internet, and there were no video lessons with instruction in Kyrgyz language at all before. Through this project, we can help not only students but also young teachers. The lessons in our video materials are clear and easy for everyone to follow. In my opinion, such projects shall continue to be implemented,” said Symbat Mademilova, a physics teacher who translates video lessons for the Ilimbox team into the Kyrgyz language.