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Kyrgyzstan : back to school
13 September 2007 Hervé Bonnaveira

31 août: la reprise des cours coïncide aussi avec la fête nationale (jour de l’indépendance)

Bouquets were everywhere, as were students in their Sunday best. We were able to photograph several scenes from the first day of the new school year in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

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Not too far from here, in the bazaar, everyone doesn’t have the chance to go to school

It’s rare for a summer tourist to attend a first day of a school year in a foreign country, which is more for a visiting teacher. We had the chance to follow this event in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second largest city (actually, a huge village built around a bazaar).

You’d almost envy the Kyrgyzstani teachers seeing the enthusiasm of the schoolchildren and the attention parents pay to dressing them well. But looks can be deceiving. A teacher’s job is rather insecure. They work eight hours per day for a salary of about 100 dollars per month and, for the most part, must possess another job or give private courses during the night.

The lessons are given in Kyrgyz. Russian is always the first foreign language - still not yet supplanted by English due to a lack of competent teachers. Any takers? Biology was honored from the first course of the year with a poster stuck to the blackboard titled "Kyrgyzstan’s natural beauty." What a nice way of devoping budding enviromentalists! And it’s true that the Kyrgyzstanis, even adults, have kept their love and deep pride of their magnificent mountains.

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