What You Need To Know

Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country and often referred to as the “capital of the south”. It is the oldest city in the country (estimated to be more than 3000 years old), and has served as the administrative center of Osh Region since 1939. The city has an ethnically mixed population of about 255,800 in 2012, comprising Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups..

Population: 999,576(2009)
Area: 28,934 km²

Currency

The Kyrgyzstani Som is the currency of Kyrgyzstan. The currency code for Soms is KGS, and the currency symbol is лв. The som is sub-divided into 100 tyiyn

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, Osh features a continental climate (Dsa), with hot, dry summers and cold winters. Osh receives on average roughly 400 millimeters of precipitation annually, the bulk of which typically falls on the city outside the summer months. Summers are hot in Osh, with average high temperatures routinely exceeding 30°C. Winters are cold with average temperatures below freezing during a good portion of the season. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons, with temperatures rising during the course of the spring season and falling during the course of the autumn.

Language

Kyrgyzstan is one of two former Soviet republics in Central Asia to retain Russian as an official language, Kazakhstan being the other. It added the Kyrgyz language to become an officially bilingual country in September 1991.
Kyrgyz is a Turkic language of the Kipchak branch, closely related to Kazakh, Karakalpak, and Nogay Tatar. It was written in the Arabic alphabet until the twentieth century. Latin script was introduced and adopted in 1928, and was subsequently replaced on Stalin’s orders by Cyrillic script in 1941. Many business and political affairs are carried out in Russian. Until recently, Kyrgyz remained a language spoken at home and was rarely used during meetings or other events. However, most parliamentary meetings today are conducted in Kyrgyz, with simultaneous interpretation available for those not speaking Kyrgyz.

Education

Education in Kyrgyzstan is compulsory for nine years, between ages seven and 15. Following four years of primary and five years of lower secondary school, the system offers two years of upper secondary school, specialized secondary school, or vocational/technical school.
Pre-school is addressed to children from 3 to 6/7 and is not compulsory. Access to it is limited (net enrollment ratio of 10% in 2005).
Primary school usually starts at 6 or 7, lasts four years and is compulsory. Since 2007, uniforms are required in primary education. The law was pointed out as a source of school-drop out, as the uniform has to be bought by the parents. Teaching quality is sometime described as “poor”: Kyrgyzstan ranked last in reading, mathematics and science at PISA 2006.
Secondary education begins with the basic secondary education, which lasts four years and is compulsory. Students have then the choice between comprehensive and vocation educations.
Comprehensive education is constituted of a two-year curriculum, which grants — if completed — a certificate of completion (“attestat”). The certificate is generally required to join a university.
Higher education includes universities, academies, specialized higher education institutes and institutes. There are 54 tertiary education institutions: 33 public for 21 private. The gross enrolment rate in higher education was 12.5% in 2011/2012

Transport

Marshrutka 102 runs southbound on Kurmanjan Datka from the old bus station to Hotel Osh and Turbaza Ak-Buura; it returns northbound down Lenin. Other southbound minibuses on Kurmanjan Datka include 101A, 134, 135, 125, 138 and 114. Virtually all minibuses pass by Jayma Bazaar at some stage. Minibus 102A and 107A shuttle between the airport and the Jayma Bazaar in the centre of town (6som). A taxi around the centre costs between 30som and 50som, 80som to 100som to the airport and 50som to the new bus station.

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