The COVID-19 pandemic, and the institutional responses to control spread caused severe disruption worldwide, including having a major impact on children’s education and their social, cultural, and sporting development.
BIS implemented a COVID-19 protocol from February 2020 and operated as a physical school for all grades for most of the 2020/21 academic year, with very few days in remote learning due to government restrictions or quarantines. This approach continued in the 2021/22 academic year, with all school events in Bishkek largely returning to pre-COVID-19 normality. The BIS COVID-19 protocol was regularly updated between February 2020 and February 2022, taking account of the changing situation and new information about the spread and impact of COVID-19.
By February 2022 it was clear that over 70% of the Bishkek population had already had COVID-19 infection, that controls seemed to delay rather than prevent infection, and that for the vast majority of people, especially children, COVID-19 is a minor illness. Despite this we recognize that COVID-19, like influenza, is tragically fatal for some people and must be taken seriously. However, COVID-19 is now endemic in the Kyrgyz Republic and one of many risks that our community faces. BIS therefore no longer has a separate COVID-19 protocol and the most important lesson, incorporated in our Health and Safety Policy, and Student, Parent and Staff Handbooks, is to “stay at home if you are ill with a communicable disease”.