Education begins with a child's birth and lasts all life long, says Roza Otunbayeva at a meeting with students of Bishkek Humanities University

June 13, 2013, 06:00

On June 12, 2013, at 10:00am, in the K. Karasayev Bishkek Humanities University concert hall, graduates of the university met with Roza Otunbayeva, former President of the Kyrgyz Republic and founder of the Roza Otunbayeva Initiative.


The main goal of the event was the formation of youth as a progressive part of society, capable of making significant contributions to the realization of youth policy and the development of the government. Meeting in a warm, friendly atmosphere with distinguished government and public figures, the refined diplomat and courageous woman gave a new impulse to the education of young people, in the spirit of the high ideals of education and humanism.


“Migrants leave their children with grandmothers and grandfathers. They often have no opportunities to give them education at the proper level. And education beings literally with the child’s birth. Attendance at a preschool is not required,” Otunbayeva said in the meeting with graduates of the Bishkek Humanities University.


She emphasized that in Kyrgyzstan, according to statistics, only 13% of children attend preschool. But the number of school-aged children reached 800,000.


Ms. Otunbayeva name malnutrition another important problem, experienced by almost 30% of the population of Kyrgyzstan, and even more among children.


Addressing alumni of the university, Otunbayeva called on young people to expand their opportunities to learn foreign languages and to continue their education for life.


“I believe in a brighter future for Kyrgyzstan. We have enormous wealth. Right now in Kyrgyzstan, the GDP per capita amounts to $1200. It is very little; in Estonia, they have $20,000 per person. But Estonia does not have the natural resources that we have. And our land contains practically the entire periodic table. This is why we have great opportunities for development, but that requires a quality education,” concluded Otunbayeva.


Answering students' questions, she called upon students to study in the departments of energy, medicine, productive industry, and meat and milk production.


Later she was asked if she will open a Roza Otunbayeva Diplomatic Academy in Kyrgyzstan.


Otunbayeva said that almost all universities in Kyrgyzstan have a department of international relations. “But why do you not have an academy of service? We need more academies of tourism, if we say that we will become a tourism country. It’s important to understand that our hotels do not meet even the average world standards. I would open an Academy of Tourism, so as to improve knowledge in that area,” she said.


Students also asked what the former President would say if she were brought before God. “Probably, we always will ask for forgiveness for our sins, not only in public, but also before family and friends. We all probably have something to say,” said Otunbayeva.


As part of the event, the Academic Council of the university awarded Otunbayeva the high title of “Honorary Professor of the K. Karasayev Bishkek Humanities University.”