Construction on a new school in Bishkek funded by Kazakhstan was completed on March 20 with an opening ceremony attended by Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev.
Kazakh Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Beibit Issabayev, the mayor of Bishkek, deputies of the city’s Kenesh (city council), students and teachers of the new School No. 82, located in the Kyrgyz capital’s Ala-Too district, also attended the event.
“First of all, I would like to thank Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who takes care not only of Kazakh people, but also of us. He helps in many things and solves many issues. I visit many countries and see that there are few such leaders as Nazarbayev, who respects and values us,” said President Atambayev in his welcoming speech at the ceremony.
Atambayev also noted that on the eve of the spring holiday Nauryz, which marks Central Asia’s traditional new year, a new school opening its doors exemplifies the consolidation of the centuries-old Kyrgyz-Kazakh friendship and the countries’ neighbourly relations.
Nazarbayev suggested building the school during his state visit to the Kyrgyz Republic in August 2012.
According to a press release from the Kazakh Embassy in Bishkek, School No. 82 can accommodate about 1,250 children on an area of 3.5 hectares and has bright classrooms, a conference hall, departments for studying various majors and developing cultural and art skills, a food court, an autonomous heating system and other necessary infrastructure.
The new school will decrease pressure on the Kyrgyz capital’s education network, as well as serve as a valuable recreation facility for the Ala-Too district, as it can hold sport, art and cultural events for children and adults.
Speaking at the event, Issabayev quoted the old proverb, “If you wish the best future for your children, give them a decent education.” He pointed out that this principle was taken as a guide by the leaders of the two states in deciding to build not one, but two schools in Kyrgyzstan. The second school, fully funded by Kazakhstan, is currently under construction in South Kyrgyzstan’s key city of Osh. Issabayev said that construction of the second school would be finished by the end of this year.
The ambassador mentioned that there is a centuries-old tradition among Kazakh and Kyrgyz people called korimdik – the giving of a special gift at a joyous moment of getting something new and big. Following this tradition, he presented the new school with a fully-equipped computer classroom and said that the Kazakh side was also planning to deliver materials for a Kazakhstan-themed linguistic department.
Concluding his speech, Issabayev once again congratulated the pupils and teaching staff of the new school, and wished the children great successes in their studies, arts and sport activities.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have enjoyed friendly relations throughout the 23 years of their independence. The Kazakh and Kyrgyz people share a nomadic past and their languages are largely mutually intelligible. Kazakhstan has provided significant development assistance and humanitarian aid to its neighbour in times of difficulty.
In 2012, Astana announced plans to institutionalise its official development assistance programmes under the umbrella of the new agency, KazAID. Last December, President Nazarbayev signed a bill, “On Official Development Assistance,” the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Kyrgyzstan and other nations in Central Asia are expected to become early beneficiaries of KazAID projects.