On 13 April and 4 May 2019, the two-day VII Education Festival “The Digital Generation of Kyrgyzstan: ICT in Education and IT Education” was held in Bishkek.
The Education Festival is a celebration open to a wide audience , including children, teenagers, students and parents.
4 May, the second day of the Education Festival in 2019, consisted of 16 educational sites located in the area around the Kurmanzhan Datka monument, including the Oak Park, the Oak Park Gallery, the Seitek National Center for Children and Youth, the K. Bayalinov National Library and the Aitmatov Russian Drama Theater. The event was attended by over 150 educational and scholars institutions of Bishkek.
The opening ceremony was attended by: the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Omurbekova A.S., Vice Mayor of Bishkek T. Kuznetsova, Director of the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation S. Ibrahimov, Executive Secretary of the National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO Soltongeldieva S. and the executive director of the WPF “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” D. Kendirbaeva.
According to tradition, numerous musical ensembles flaunted their talents on the main concert stage at the Kurmanzhan Datka monument throughout the day. These groups included dancing groups of children's art centers, the vocal group “Kg Tai junior”. Another highlight was surely the performances held by famous pop stars: Julia Rutskaya, Asko, Bek Israilov, Angelica, Adik Zhumabekov, Dinara Akulova, Ilyas Andash, Bayastan and many others.
On the other side of the Oak Park near the Marx and Engels Monument, the dance groups from the Academy "MDA Movement Dance Academy", Dj ASPRO, MC Twin Mount, SKILLS Dance Studio, Dance Studio "YO GENERATION " and others lifted the participants’ and guests’ spirits high with their energetic dance until the evening.
The site “IT and Generation Z” was located at the Oak Park Gallery, where more than 15 participating organizations held their presentations. In addition, installations such as robot fights( on a specially equipped site with a LED screen) , a master class on media literacy and new skills, as well as the latest innovations in the robotics field were displayed.
“There is even a robot that can speak and read poetry. The robots walk, dance and even give interviews,” said Anvar Muslimov, the moderator of the site, a representative of „Code Generation“.
Representatives of educational institutions managed to fascinate budding inventors with the laws of physics and chemistry, by introducing them to the technical developments and inventions of students. This site enabled hands on learning, with participants not only being able to touch the exhibit with their hands but also personally take part in the experiments.
“Today, this site has been visited by more than 3,000 guests, mostly children interested in construction design, robots and programming. Everyone had the opportunity to play intellectual games and puzzles, listen to presentations about new technological developments and mobile applications, try on the new „smart helmet“, witness experiments and even engage with the robots,“ - said Daniyar Suyunduk uulu, IT platform coordinator and a member of Generation Z.
Another interactive platform was the "IT laboratory of Bilimbek", located in the Bayalinov National Library that saw a series of informative lectures and master classes held by a number of successful an prominent individuals. Civil sector activists held a motivational meeting for young people in Kyrgyz. For parents “the Parental Hour on Generation Z Children“ was organized, and representatives of the education system took part in master classes on the topic: “Mobile technologies and their application”.
The workshop participants shared their impressions and noted that “The Festival is undoubtedly an important outlet for understanding the importance and dissemination of IT knowledge in the country and for involving children, youth and adults in the digitalization processes of everyday life, turning it into an inordinate part of today's reality.”
The workshops “Rails Girls” and “Hour Code” introduced girls and boys to the basics of programming, participants learned about the structure of websites and web applications, the process of building a simple blogging platform and much more.
According to Gulzada Urgunalieva, a representative of the IT Academy: "The Festival has become an excellent educational platform for young programmers and developers who took part in master classes and shared their experience in the information technology and programming sphere."
The Educational Services Fair, which is the hallmark of the Education Festival, including the “Smart Leisure: Books and Games” installation, gathered more than 70 educational and training institutions on its territory, who organized advertising stands, booklets, brochures, handouts with a list of specialties and admission conditions. More than 15,000 guests visited participants' tents, where guests could take part in various mini-quests, master classes, Q&A sessions, demonstrate their knowledge in various fields and receive prizes for their participation.
The parents of schoolchildren shared: „My children are simply delighted by this event, and we definitely share their delight. The Festival gives one the opportunity to connect with education centers, to find one’s true callings and to discover new classes for one’s children. There are so many education organizations here that I had not been familiar with!“
A car park, situated not far from the main stage, allowed children and participants to take part in simulation games for driving mini cars and learn about road rules via traffic police officers.
„The fairy-tale laboratory of Bilimbek“ located along the avenue from the monument to Kurmanjan Datka to the Oak Park Gallery, gathered the youngest participants of the Festival. More than 11 Children's Art Centers and the Young Technics Station held a series of exciting workshops on robotics, aeromodelling, quilling, clay figure painting, dot painting and much more. What is more, an ecological camp was set up, featuring classes on garbage separation and collection by the National Center of Ecology for Children and Youth. Further master-classes and exhibitions on robotics, radio engineering and electronics, astronomy, mechanics, physics, design, sand painting, quilling, chess etc took place in the foyer of the Ch.Aitmatov Drama Theator, organized by „Altyn Tuyun“, a children’s engineering and technological Academy.
Rimma Sultanova, a participant of the Education Festival 2019: “This is not my first time at this festival. I saw a lot of children and their parents from residential areas, which is very important for their integration into urban life. There are so many different technological achievements on display pertaining to robotics, IT technology and even an education fair. I am very pleased with such developments that are of great relevance to modern life and are especially useful for high school students. ”
In addition to the aforementioned sites, one could also create souvenirs from the festival, assemble one’s ownrobot, decorate clay figures, take part in exciting games and quests, learn about the “17 Sustainable Development Goals” at the SDG stand, watch performances at the Ch. Aitmatov Russian Drama Theater, concerts at the National Center for Children and Youth "Seytek", scientific films in the "3D Planetarium", choose souvenirs and flowers at the Flower installation and the artisan site and much more.
Within the framework of the „Stars read to children“ initiative, the festival’s youngest guests enjoyed their favorite books being read to them by Assol Moldokmatova, Angelika, Yuliya Rutskaya, Nazira Aytbekova.
The VII Education Festival has become one of the leading and most notable events in the education and cultural life of Bishkek. During the two day span of the festival this year, more than 28 educational sites/classes were organized, attracting some 30,000 visitors.
The Festival organizers guaranteed: „This is an annual festival, so if you didn’t have time to visit this year, the opportunity will present itself next year again. Of course, next year you will see the introduction of new theme, lecturers, discussion topics and exhibits. It will be even more interesting and exciting.“
The VII Education Festival 2019 was organized by the Roza Otunbayeva Initiative Public Foundation, the Bishkek City Hall, the American University of Central Asia with the support of UNESCO, the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan, the KICB Bank and numerous further partners of the festival.
The Festival of Education is an annual event for children, first held in 2013 in Bishke by the International Public Foundation “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative”, from 2015 it was organized together with the Bishkek City Hall and with the support of various government, international, public and youth organizations. This project combines the formats of an outdoor fair, children's holiday and professional forum within the scope of children’s education.
Since 2013, the two-day festival has been the gathering place of various school and out-of-school educational organizations, universities, vocational schools, music and dance groups, aiming to turn children’s dreams of the future into reality.
The main goal of the Festival of Education is to arouse interest in knowledge and creativity within the younger generation, to harvest a desire for independent thinking within children from a very young age, assist them in choosing a career path, and for parents to learn and get acquainted with a wide range of educational services (both free and paid).