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Zhumagulov pointed out low level of science in Kazakhstan

30 января 2012, 13:44
Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Zhumagulov. Photo © Yaroslav Radlovskii
Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Zhumagulov. Photo © Yaroslav Radlovskii
The Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Zhumagulov pointed out the poor development of science in the country, Tengrinews.kz reports. He said about that at the meeting with student and faculty from Almaty universities where he commented on the key provisions of the President’s new State-of-the-Union Address to the people of Kazakhstan.

“Our magazines are half empty, no in-deapth articles are being written. But this is a disease of the transitional period, and we believe it will pass," Zhumagulov said. "There were difficulties in the 1990s. We are going through a transitional stage moving from the previous system of science management to a new one. For this reason a special budget allocation program, where 90 projects are being financed in the amount of 80-100 million tenge ($ 0.5 million - $0.65 million), has been introduced. The total allocation has been 25 billion tenge (169 million dollars).”

The head of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan stressed that in 2011 2 thousand science papers in five priority science areas (economics, deep refining, life science etc) were submitted. “The thing is that I already know these papers by heart. I saw some of them in 1975, 1985 and 1995. Even the titles are the same,” Zhumagulov said.

“It is not only the researchers' fault. The issue of science development is being discussed at the government level, and all the research initiatives are fully supported,” Zhumagulov added.

He said that in 2012 the science budget is 42 billion tenge (285 million dollars). “Why haven’t we yet seen these funds? Because it will be allocated through the research councils. Your colleagues will distribute the finds, and not the minster. I am not part of this,” the head of the ministry said. According to him, the goal of the ministry is to identify the priorities of the science development.

Zhumagulov said that earlier 8 billion tenge (54 million dollars) used to be the total amount of investments for development of science. Today this is the amount that is allocated for the basic funding only. “While I was a rector of Kazakh National University, I could not find 1 million tenge ($6.7 thousand) to fund maintenance of a laboratory. Today the basic funding of this laboratory is 50 million tenge ($335 thousand),” the head of the Ministry of Education brought up an example. “If there is no development in the science after this I don’t know when they (scientists) will start doing it,” Zhumagulov said.

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