Schoolgirls of Special school for hearing-impaired children in Bishkek performing traditional Kyrgyz dance. Photo: Dmitry Motinov/ UNDP Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, hearing-impaired children learn from old Soviet textbooks, using Russian sign language to communicate. To overcome the effects of the pandemic and the peculiarities of distance learning, the mobile application "Dilgir" is being developed to facilitate the learning process of first graders at special boarding schools and to develop communication skills of hearing-impaired children.

Background of "Dilgir"

Since the beginning of this year to overcome the effects of the pandemic, UNICEF and UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic have supported the development and launch of a bilingual mobile application "Dilgir" for hearing-impaired children. The app is a supplement to the Dilgir-1 textbook, which is being developed by the methodological council of the Special General Education Boarding School for Deaf Children in cooperation with the Technoland Public Foundation. The textbook is presented simultaneously in Russian and Kyrgyz, allowing the introduction of a unified teaching methodology in both languages. It is expected that with the help of "Dilgir" first graders of specialized boarding schools in Kyrgyzstan will be able to improve their learning process and communication skills, including with the outside world.

The prototype of the app is the textbook "Zvezdochka” of 1987

Specialists at the school, led by principal Kanykei Dzhamanbaeva, who have many years of experience teaching children with hearing impairments, are bringing their proven teaching methods to life, contributing to the development of sign language pedagogy and the development of the Kyrgyz language in the country. The textbook "Zvezdochka" from 1987 is the prototype of this manual and consequently, the appendix. As part of the ongoing work, the studied words and assignment cards for the topics of the first quarter of school will be reflected in the mobile application "Dilgir," and the textbook itself is published on the mobile-adapted website http://technoland-inno4kg.kg.

"Dilgir" App icons

"Dilgir” is designed for all hearing-impaired children

In the app and in the multimedia textbook, the words are accompanied by pictures and dactyls to help them learn the words more quickly, and sound is provided to connect the residual hearing of the children. In addition, interactive games in the app will help test the level of mastery for each topic.

The Kyrgyz version of the textbook and app are also overseen by experts from the Shayir Balalyk Children's Art Center and a professor from Balasagyn University. The introduction of Kyrgyz words, starting from the school bench, is a hot topic of discussion.

Rena Sultangazieva, Chairperson of the PF "Technoland" is convinced that "It is this kind of cooperation of schoolteachers, creative centers, university professors and IT specialists that ensures the creation of innovative educational materials." Rena notes that "It is important for children with certain sensory impairments to cover all perceptual channels. The support of such projects by international organizations helps every child get access to educational resources and later realize himself or herself in the big world.

Rena Sultangazieva, Chairperson of the PF "Technoland" believes that cooperation of schoolteachers, creative centers, university professors and IT specialists that ensures the creation of innovative educational materials. Photo: Dmitry Motinov/UNDP Kyrgyzstan

 

This initiative is a continuation of the "InnoKG" project conducted by UNDP and UNICEF in 2020. Three other mobile applications based on preschool educational programs have been developed as part of this project.

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