What is wrong with Kazakhstani education?24 august 2014, 20:15
The Director of the Information and Analysis Center of the Ministry of Education Serik Irsaliev has shared the findings of an international study into the Kazakhstani education system.
Lack of childcare from ages 0 to 3 on the institutional level is one of the key issues, according to the international experts. In particular, the experts pointed at sufficient number of well-trained workers in childcare institutions for the 0-3 age group.
A big difference in the quality of education at schools depending on their location is another problem, Irsaliev said. “The difference between the best and the the worst regions amounts to 30 points according to the results of the Unified National Testing. And the difference between the best school and the worst school makes 70 points out of the total 125 points. The experts believe that this imbalance is connected to Kazakhstani schools overly focussing on high achievements and providing insufficient attention to their students with low academic performance,” Irsaliyev said.
Moreover, the education system was criticised for its weekly schedules and semester breaks. “The school education program is heavily loaded and does not meet today’s requirements. All of the above leads to the low level of functional literacy. (…) The school week is too long and the summer break is overly extended. The 5 point grading scale is imperfect, especially since it is in fact a 3-grade scale. Besides, the exerts criticised the content of the Unified National Testing,” Irsaliyev added.
The foreign experts advise to balance the school load, reconsider the length of the school week and semesters, hold tests after each school level and rework the Unified National Testing.
The summer brake is 2 to 3 months long, depending on the age of students.
Back in 2012, then Minister of Education Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov said that shortening the summer break was not reasonable considering the climatic zone - severely cold winders and hot summers - where Kazakhstani children could really enjoy their holidays only during summer.
Reporting by Assemgul Khassenova, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina