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Futuristic future demands reforms in Kazakhstan education: Astana Mayor

07 october 2014, 14:41
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Kazakhstan team that participated in  11th ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest 2012 in Hong Kong among Asia Pacific countries ©Vladimir Prokopenko
Kazakhstan team that participated in 11th ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest 2012 in Hong Kong among Asia Pacific countries ©Vladimir Prokopenko

In 2014, a quarter of high school failed the United National Testing and two-thirds of university entrants could not pass the Complex Testing. This could not escape even the most naked eye. How can a situation be fixed, when thousands of students prefer cheating the test rather than studying for it?

The Minister of Education and Science Aslan Sarinzhipov said last week that it was necessary to improve the way education is approached in schools, Tengrinews correspondent reported from the August meeting held in Astana.

&ldquoA fifth-sixth year student comes out of his Computers class where they studied the mouse and the keyboard, turns on his smartphone and navigates through the Internet downloads using advanced applications. In a satiation like this he cannot but question the education system. The gap between the education and the world surrounding our children is obvious. We have to carefully address these issues in the coming years. It is of primary importance that our graduates are competitive in the accelerating world,&rdquo Sarinzhipov said.

The Minister said that the new education reform in the country would focus on teaching the children to &ldquonavigate in the world of information, find and analyze data and draw conclusion from it".

On his part, during the same meeting the Akim (Mayor) of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov declared that teachers had to catch up with their students in computer literacy.

"Currently, the information-technological literacy of a teacher is at its lowest. Even words like &ldquowebsite&rdquo, &ldquohypertext, &ldquotag cloud&rdquo, &ldquobrowsers&rdquo cause panic, fear and rejection in teachers because many of them are unsure about their meaning. The fear of looking technically illiterate or spoiling advanced equipment, and reluctance to change old ways of working is what prevents the progress. Outof 11,000 teachers in the capital (Astana), only 12 percent know how to use the Internet, 16 percent are able to use a computer in the teaching process and 45 percent only have the most basic level of computer literacy,&rdquo Tasmagambetov said.

He ordered establishing courses aimed at increasing the computer literacy of all teachers and then certifying them by the year&rsquos end. In his opinion, a teacher should integrate smartphone usage into the classroom environment and be able to write a blog, tweet and exchange experience with teachers from other countries.

&ldquoFantastic future is closer than it seems to many. And it is already clear that the creative world is inseparable from high technologies and necessarily requires competent knowledge, including for teachers,&rdquo he said.

He stressed that the modern conditions require being prepared for new technological advancements, which will see creation of an exaflop supercomputer and artificial intelligence, massive decoding of human genome and deep freezing of brain cells, cyborgization of life support systems and development of brain using nanobots aiming at solving the problems of consciousness transfer. 

Reporting by Assemgul Kassenova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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