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UNICEF research denies connection between of Unified National Testing and suicide rates among Kazakhstani teens 26 сентября 2014, 15:58

The UNICEF research of suicide among teens in Kazakhstan refutes negative effect of the Unified National Testing.
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Photo courtesy of english.vietnamnet.vn Photo courtesy of english.vietnamnet.vn

The UNICEF research of suicide among teens in Kazakhstan refute the negative effect of the Unified National Testing, Tengrinews reports.

In 2012, Kazakhstani lawmakers raised awareness around the increase of suicide rates among teenagers after the National Testing had been introduced into the curriculum. In particular, a lawmaker Dariga Nazarbayeva expressed concerns with the growing rates of suicides among teenagers.

However, the recent UNICEF research claimed that the suicide rates had been steady for the past 20 years. “There is no connection with the National Testing. If you consider all the trends, we have had a stable level of suicides that has not changed over the past 20 years,” coordinator of the Youth Health and Development program Aigul Kadyrova said.

MP Zhumatay Aliev was, too, concerned with suicides among teens. He called the Ministry of Education to implement reforms and find new ways of testing knowledge of high school graduates.

UNICEF research dispersed another common myth that the increase of teen suicide rates in Kazakhstan was closely connected to penetration of the Internet in the Central Asian country. 

Kadyrova maintained that even though there had been an increase of suicide rates among teens, Internet had no big effect on suicidal teens yet. “Our research showed that there has been no connection between the Internet and suicide so far. But it could happen with the growing availability of the Internet. Again, consider the reports of the Prosecutor General’s Office - suicide numbers are higher in villages. As you know, there is no Internet connection in most of the villages. But we have to be ready for it in future. The European experience is particularly important for us in this area,” Kadyrova stated.

Despite Kadyrova’s attempt to debunk the view of the Internet as a great evil, some lawmakers were not convinced. “The fact that there is no dramatic increase is a good thing, but it does not mean that there is no connection between these things. We have, on our hands, examples when children wrote that they learned about suicide methods from the Internet,” a Kazakh lawmaker Gulmira Issimbayeva said referring to the websites that describe various suicide methods freely available though a Google search.

Reporting by Altynay Zhumzhumina, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova



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