It’s been almost a month since we came to Kyrgyzstan, but we are feeling as we’d arrived yesterday. Time flies and so much is happening that, we don’t even have a minute to sit down and write about what we’re doing. Kyrgyzstan astonished us with its wonderful nature and amazed with the hospitality and friendliness of its inhabitants. We live next to the Parish so we meet local people on daily bases. Every day there is someone new coming to the Parish: friends of Father Remigiusz and Brother Damian, people asking for support for their family or for English lessons, sometimes it’s just someone who is hungry.
The number of teachers in Kyrgyzstan has decreased in the last years, as a lot of people moves to Russia to search for better salaries and life conditions. To be honest, I don’t blame them, a teacher in Kyrgyzstan makes about 45$ a month, which is not enough to support a family. Due to this difficult situation, lessons at schools are carried out in a shift system. Some of the children have lessons from 8am till 11am., others form 4pm till 7pm. Youngest children stay at school only for about two hours a day, which makes it even more difficult for the parents who have to juggle work and looking after their children.
The interest in our English courses is very big, also among the students from Foreign Languages Faculty. Since their level of English is quite low, I assumed that they study such languages as: Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian or Turkish. I was very surprised to find out that they study English, German and Russian. I wasn’t sure how is it possible that someone after 3 years of studying English has problems with basic vocabulary or even introducing themselves. Unfortunately in Kyrgyzstan, education can be some of an illusion, a degree and a diploma are important, but a lot of times students pay bribes to pass their exams and that’s how they get to the next year of University.
Knowing how classes in Kyrgyzstan look like, we do our very best to make our lessons interesting. During our classes children sing songs, do a lot of drawing, coloring and other games. Kids really enjoy this completely new approach to English and come to the lessons with pleasure. It’s similar with teens and adults. In the beginners groups we try to play games, do crossword puzzles and riddles. In the intermediate groups we encourage discussions and a lot of students are amazed that someone wants to know their opinion and patiently waits until they put together few sentences. In these groups we also watch movies, listen to music and play charades.