Accepted paper:

Navigating the Fragmented Landscape of Secondary Educational Choices in Bishkek


Emil Nasritdinov (American University of Central Asia)
Gulnora Iskandarova (American University of Central Asia)
Aigoul Abdoubaetova

Paper abstract:

Privatization of education is a global trend, which can produce better quality education, but also reinforce social segregation and inequality. Kyrgyzstan is one example among Central Asian states that demonstrates extremely high prices of private secondary schools against the background of low average income of its citizens. This makes private secondary education a privilege of the few who can afford it. While this trend in educational inequality has become more apparent in the last decades, it has not received an adequate scholarly attention. This research aims at studying how newly emerging private schools are changing the landscape of educational choices and the ways families in Bishkek navigate this increasingly fragmented educational terrain in the context of growing socio-economic inequality. The research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, including a survey of parents and complementary qualitative interviews with parents, experts and school directors in the capital city of Bishkek.

panel EDU-05
Social Structures and Youth Agency - Examining Education and Inequality in Central Asia