On October 12, 2018, the ceremony of opening training classes and workshops for VET courses in the two professions "Seamstress" and "Shoemaker" took place at Vocational School No.1 of Correctional Institution No.3 (Kyrgyzstan, village of Novo-Pokrovka). The list of invitees for the event included employees of the Central Office of the State Service for the Execution of Punishment, Correctional Institutions , the Initial Vocational Education Agency under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as representatives of foreign states and international organizations – the German Embassy Bishkek, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP) and DVV International.
The Head of the Department for Educational Work, Colonel Maksat Turpanbayev, addressed the audience with a welcoming address, and noted that the modern labor market requires not only training in a particular profession, but also the development of the ability for continuous professional and personal self-determination and improvement, which is an integral component of resocialization after release from prison. Casien Ohnesorge, Head of the Economic Cooperation and Development Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Kyrgyz Republic, underlined that the project “Adult Education in Penal Institutions” makes it possible to acquire popular professions in modern conditions.
Social adaptation of convicts is a difficult process in which it is impossible to achieve positive results without the motivation of the convict himself, his or her strength and will. Dr. Thekla Kelbert, Regional Director of DVV International in the Central Asia, together with Casien Ohnesorge and Maksat Turpanbayev solemnly cut traditional red ribbons at the entrance to the training classes. Then the staff of Correctional Instution №3, together with the Director of Vocational School No.1, Turgunbek Toktosunov, presented the training classes, which were repaired and equipped with sewing machines, provided with necessary furniture and training videos with the support of DVV International.
The opening of new classes and workshops was timed to coincide with the International Day of Education in Prisons, which is celebrated on October 13. It is proved that the risk of repeated crimes among trained convicts is 13% lower than among those who did not undergo training, and their chances of finding work are 13% higher. The further development of education opportunities in the penal system will contribute to the preparation for release of convicts and their re-socialization and integration back into society.
Representatives of DVV International and UNODC also used the event to discuss the possibility of joint activities in the penal system of Kyrgyzstan, in particular, concerning the potential opening of a factory for sewing special clothes and footwear for convicts and military personnel with support from UNODC.