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Accepted Paper:

Mandatory Kyrgyz language exam for graduates  
Tynarkul Ryskulova (American University of Central Asia)


The Kyrgyz language got a legal status of state language in 1989, and Russian language acquired a status of ‘official language’ in 2000. Since then the Government of the KR has adopted legal documents to secure the status of both languages (Baisalov, 2019). However, the issue of using the Kyrgyz language on the level of the state language is not solved yet.

The Ministry of Education required a mandatory exam in state language as part of the National Test for graduates of high school starting 2024 (Order # 191/1 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the KR, February 7, 2024). According to this order, the National Test certificates will not be issued to applicants without passing the state language test, although the results will not affect the competition for admission to universities. The obligation to take tests is important, but it is not the main motivation for learning the Kyrgyz language. This test can help identify the Kyrgyz language proficiency level of graduates to take further actions to improve the quality of teaching and learning of the Kyrgyz language. But no one can guarantee whether or not the mandatory test will help people speak Kyrgyz.

As a participant observer with long-term teaching experiences of the Kyrgyz language, the author identifies several reasons that delay the achievement of the goals. Until now, Russian speakers did not feel the need to learn the Kyrgyz language, because there is no Kyrgyz language comfortable environment where people could feel and recognize Kyrgyz language through communication, mass media, education, art and research. In addition, the Kyrgyz language is mainly taught using old Soviet methodology without interactive and communicative methods. Finally, schools lack high-quality Kyrgyz language textbooks.

The intention of the Ministry of Education and Sciences is good, and it is possible to implement the new regulations with a holistic approach to teaching and learning of the Kyrgyz language.

Panel LANG01
Languages in Contemporary Eurasia
  Session 1 Thursday 6 June, 2024, -