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First Official Regional Madrasah Opens In Southern Kyrgyzstan

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- The first official regional Islamic school, or madrasah, has opened in the southern Kyrgyz city of Batken, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Representatives of the Batken regional department on religious affairs told RFE/RL that the new religious school is designed to accommodate some 100 high-school graduates.

Future plans for the madrasah include the training of religious officials from the entire region and optional courses for the public on the history of Islam.

Kyrgyz officials have closed many unregistered madrasahs around the country in the past year in an effort to standardize the schools with government-approved curricula and teachers.