December 14, 2021
On Dec 9-11, 2021, an AUCA team visited partner educational institutions in Naryn, delivering guest lectures, sharing methodologies, and strengthening connections with the aim to develop education and information access in the region. The trip, organized by AUCA Library, featured participants from Anthropology, Applied Mathematics, General Education, and the Library, visiting Naryn State University, the Naryn State History and Ethnography Museum named after Kaken Mambetalieva, the esteemed School №2 named after Valeriy Chkalov, and the Naryn Oblast Library named after the famed manaschi Sagynbai Orozbakov.
Dr. Syrgak Kydyraliev, Applied Mathematics and a distinguished 1979 alumnus of Chkalov school, delivered two guest lectures sharing his extensive experience in teaching, researching, and writing textbooks. The first, ‘Diophantus - Al-Khwaresmi method’, shared with faculty and students of the mathematics department of Naryn State University the origins and applications of algebra. The second, ‘Marya Iskusnitsa and difference equations’, was presented to school teachers from Naryn and from the nearby At-Bashy district. Over sixty copies of textbooks authored by AUCA math faculty, including the recently published ‘Collection of Tasks of Mathematical Olympiads for High School Students and ‘Mathematics for Economics, Business and Social Sciences’ were distributed following the lectures.
Dr. James Plumtree, General Education, provided ‘Textual analysis in the Humanities’ to faculty and students of the Philology Department at Naryn State University, sharing, through his research on the Kyrgyz-language epic Manas, methods of Digital Humanities.
Dr. Jyldyz Bekbalaeva, Library Director, with her presentation ‘Open Access journals for researchers from Kyrgyzstan’, shared with librarians, faculty, and researchers information regarding publishing opportunities in international open access journals with the assistance of discounted, or waived, Article Processing Charges (APCs).
Tolgonai Kozhokanova, AUCA Electronic Services Librarian, delivered the presentation ‘Open Educational Resources (OER)’ to school librarians from Naryn and the nearby At-Bashy district; shared a list of available OERs in English, Russian, and Kyrgyz that school libraries can use to support school teachers.
Dr. Aida Abdykanova, Anthropology, delivered the lecture ‘Archaeological Sites in Naryn Region’ to students, school history teachers, and museum workers at the Naryn State History and Ethnography Museum named after Kaken Mambetalieva. Dr. Abdykanova also handed to the museum archaeological artifacts found during fieldwork carried out by AUCA in Naryn in 2011-2016. These included a collection of stone tools the Neolithic Semetei grotto in Arpa valley, the Upper Paleolithic Teke-Sekirik cave at the eastern surrounding of Naryn, and, to the west of Naryn, the multilayered Aigyrzhal 2 site dating from the Mesolithic to Middle Ages situated on the territory of the campus of the University of Central Asia. The unique artifacts from the Aigyrzhal 2 site included a Mesolithic pendant made from the canine tooth of a mountain goat, a Bronze Age bronze knife, and a golden bead that had historically been looted from a grave of the Xiongnu era.
The AUCA team also carried out outreach to the region to attract future students and future cross-country cooperation. Dr. Kydyraliev held an informal talk and a Q&A session with students at his alma mater, Chkalov School, and provided them with math textbooks. Dr. Bekbalaeva, Dr. Plumtree, and the AUCA librarian Tolgonai Kozhokanova answered questions from high school students at the American Corner of Naryn Oblast Library regarding admissions and experiences at AUCA, TSI, and NGA. Meetings with the administration of Naryn State University, including Dr. Ermek Baibagyshev, Rector, and Dr. Adil Jantaev, Vice-Rector, and Ms. Gulzat Kydyralieva, Library Director at Naryn State University, helped facilitate future collaboration.