Over 200 Teachers in Kyrgyzstan Have Elevated Their Expertise in Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle and Addressing Bullying Concerns

In early October, a series of eight webinars on the International Education Platform for Health and Well-being, EduHub, came to a close. These webinars attracted participation from over 200 educators across various cities in Kyrgyzstan, offering them the opportunity to grasp the methodologies for conducting engaging class sessions centered around healthy living and to deepen their understanding of the subject matter. This webinar series spanned from April to October in 2023 and encompassed an exploration and discussion of methodological materials dealing with combating bullying, health-related issues, and fostering positive parent-child relationships. This initiative was a collaborative effort involving Kyrgyz National University, named after J. Balasagyn, the Public Foundation “League of Child Rights Defenders,” and received support from the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE UNESCO).

These webinars enriched the skill set of educators, enabling them to immerse themselves in the intricacies of teaching a healthy lifestyle and providing valuable insights from experts on topics that are often challenging to tackle within the classroom. Furthermore, participants were furnished with purpose-designed video lessons, intended as tools for showcasing and discussing these topics with their students during class hours. These video lessons were created to facilitate the transmission of accurate information in an engaging and accessible format.

Feedback from all the teachers who partook in these webinars unanimously affirmed the tremendous value of the knowledge acquired during these events, particularly in the context of conducting class hours dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Since 2018, according to a directive from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, conducting such class hours for students in grades 6 to 11 has become a mandatory requirement.

The webinars featured speakers who are experts in the fields of healthy living, violence prevention, and education. These included Valentina Gorkina, a national expert in healthy living, Nazgul Turdubekova, the Director of the Public Foundation “League of Child Rights Defenders,” Saida Nariman, a popular blogger and mother of teenagers, Uluk Batyrgaliev, a board member of the Alliance for Reproductive Health in Kyrgyzstan, as well as international experts from EduHub – Valentina Shukan, a psychologist and coordinator of the “Trust” Teen Center in Minsk, Sholpan Karzhaubaeva, the Head of the Resource Center for the Development of Youth Health Centers in Almaty, and Nadezhda Shorkina, UNESCO IITE Consultant.

These experts generously shared their knowledge and experiences, aiming to bolster teachers in their crucial mission to instill a healthy lifestyle and psychological well-being in the younger generation.

Vitaly Nikonovich, the head of EduHub, aptly summed up the mission of these webinars, “We are driven by the real challenges of our society, and we respond to these challenges. Our webinar series, which covers topics related to a healthy lifestyle, bullying prevention, and violence, effectively transforms methodological resources into tools that make lessons engaging. Our goal is to facilitate the conduct of informative and engaging lessons for our students and integrate innovations into the educational process.”

During the final webinar, participants shared their thoughts on the completed series, highlighting its practicality in enhancing the preparedness of educators to deliver health-related lessons. They also lauded the ease of using video lessons in the learning process, the high quality of materials, their alignment with students’ needs and age, as well as the well-structured and valuable content of the video lesson guide.

Victoria Brot noted, “Our students were highly satisfied with the video lessons, both in terms of quality and information presentation. The lessons were engaging, especially for teenagers when discussing topics related to a healthy lifestyle and violence. On behalf of the children and the school administration, we express our sincere gratitude!”

Takhmina Altynbek Kyzy shared, “We consistently use video lessons, conducting class hours once a week.”

Asel Azhibek Kyzy remarked, “The students really enjoyed them. They asked for more lessons like these.”

Lyubov Lamikina expressed her appreciation, “A big thank you to all the organizers of the webinars for offering such an opportunity where we, as teachers, gained accessible, engaging, and, most importantly, useful materials.”

These testimonials affirm the value and effectiveness of the resources provided by EduHub and UNESCO IITE, underscoring the significance of educating on health and well-being topics in modern educational practice.

EduHub continues to serve educators and other professionals working with youth, contributing to the formation of a generation of healthy, happy, and successful young people in Kyrgyzstan and other countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia as a whole. The platform provides its users with free access to webinars featuring recognized experts, certified online courses, and a library of methodological and informational materials. These resources can be used to organize activities for the prevention of violence and bullying in schools, support parents in developing and maintaining trusting relationships with teenagers, and create educational programs related to health and relationships. To delve deeper into the details about EduHub, you can find the information here.

The webinar series was part of the UNESCO IITE’s project to develop the potential of education workers to promote a healthy lifestyle among students in the Kyrgyz Republic. In total, from 2022 to 2023, over 3,000 educational workers, including teachers and school deputy heads, as well as students of pedagogical universities, were trained. Rano Kutanova, the project coordinator, emphasized the importance and effectiveness of the efforts aimed at instilling healthy habits among schoolchildren.