The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

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New Quality of Education: 2017 Results and Plans for 2018

14 February 2018, 16:02

The future of modern civilization depends not only on the level of technological progress and economic growth, but also on the quality of human capital.

In his Address, the Head of State pointed out that "it's time for education to be treated as a separate branch of the economy with its investment projects and export potential." On how the education system in Kazakhstan is developing, what has been done by the Ministry of Education and Science in 2017 and about the tasks for 2018, read the overview material by

An Outside Perspective

According to the Global Competitiveness Index, in 2017 Kazakhstan reached the 4th place among 137 countries in terms of enrollment in primary education, increasing its position from 118th place.

By the Human Development Index, Kazakhstan ranks 56th out of 188 countries, ranking among the countries with a high level of human development.

In terms of economic competitiveness, according to the IMD-2017 Management Institute, Kazakhstan's position on the "Education" sub-factor has been improved at the 9th position, ranking 35th in the world. Also, Kazakhstan joined the OECD Committee on Innovation and Education Policy.


State Program for Education Development for 2011-2020: What Has Been Done

The modernization of the education system in Kazakhstan is relevant due to the importance of the social function – the generation and translation of knowledge that plays a key role in the division of labor in modern society.

"Every Kazakhstani should understand that education is the most fundamental factor of success in the future. In the system of youth priorities, education should be the number one. If the education becomes the main priority in the value system, the nation will be successful," the Head of State noted in his Address "New Opportunities Under the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

The maximum success in the modernization of Kazakhstan's education system may be achieved only if all the policy settings put into educational policy will be able to absorb the maximum possible from the positive potential accumulated by world experience. Therefore, before many states, especially Central Asia, the question of modernizing the educational system is still topical.

In Kazakhstan, the organizational basis for the national educational policy is the State Program for the Development of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020.

The program is aimed at creating a modern system for assessing the quality of education, improving the standards of education, the requirements for the level of training of graduates of educational institutions, the emergence of various types of educational institutions of different forms of ownership, the digitalization of education and the introduction of new teaching technologies, and the active involvement of non-state sources of financing for education.

In accordance with the SPDE 2011-2020, the main areas for the modernization and development of the education system were defined: the development of preschool education, the upgrading of the skills of teaching staff, the introduction of e-education, the E-learning project, the modernization of higher education institutions and vocational education, the innovation in secondary education.

Speaking about the results of the work done in 2017, it should be noted that the coverage of children aged 3-6 years by preschool education and training grew by 4.7% and amounted to 90.5%.

On secondary education, the transition to updated content is underway. According to the Ministry, in the 2017-2018 academic year, the transition was completed in 1, 2, 5, 7 grades.

From September 1, the students of 3, 6 and 8 grades will transfer to the updated content. At the same time, a five-day academic week was introduced. Preparations are under way for the transition to the study of the fourth subjects of the natural science cycle in English in the 10th and 11th grades in 2019 (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Informatics). In 2017-2018 academic year, the teaching of natural sciences in English was introduced in 153 schools in the pilot mode.

The Alippe (ABC book) was developed and is undergoing approbation in 18 schools and 30 kindergartens, all textbooks for 3, 6 and 8 grades are being tested in 30 pilot schools. Textbooks on Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Informatics in the Kazakh-English, Russian-English and English languages ​​are being tested in 16 schools in the country.

It is also noted that more than 70 thousand teachers have passed qualification upgrading courses on the updated content, 12 thousand teachers of informatics, physics, chemistry, biology have upgraded their qualifications in Orleu JSC, USTAZ Professional Learning Center, Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual schools.

Professional Standard of the teacher with specific requirements for the teacher (knowledge, skill, work) has been approved. A new system of certification of teachers is being developed. The issue of reducing the burden on students and teachers is under consideration.

In 2017, 661 awards were added to the treasury of international awards of Kazakhstani schoolchildren following Olympiads and scientific competitions, including 125 gold medals, 197 silver medals, 327 bronze medals, and 12 honorary diplomas. As a result of the prestigious international Olympiads, the Kazakhstan national team takes 10th place in the world.

Approbation of per capita financing in 73 pilot schools is continuing. The issue of state order placement in private schools of the regions is under consideration. In more than 60% of schools and orphanages there are guardianship councils with public participation. The norm of compulsory participation of the Board of Trustees in the competitive selection of the head of the school was approved.


Education as a Social Lift

On the instructions of the Head of the State, in 2017, in 318 colleges, the “Free TVE for All” project was implemented, which provides for free first working qualification and social support in the form of scholarships, travel and one-time hot meals. In the organizations of the TVE there is a government order for more than 100 thousand seats, including 21 thousand for the project "Free TVE."

130 standard curricula, programs and 53 educational programs have been updated. Classifier of professions and specialties of TVE have been reviewed. The translation of 500 units of foreign literature into the state and Russian languages ​​was carried out, the library fund of 288 colleges was replenished.

New educational programs are being implemented in accordance with WorldSkills international standards. Since 1 September 2017, 260 new modular programs have been launched for 260 qualifications, where the receiving of up to 3 qualifications is provided. The SCES (State Compulsory Educational Standerd) have been amended to allow colleges to change educational programs to 80%.

Modular programs for the professional development of teachers of the TVE system have been developed and implemented. In 2017, according to these programs, 5200 pedagogical personnel were trained, including 300 heads of colleges. A pool of managers with innovative management approaches has been prepared.

There is a positive tendency to introduce elements of the dual system of education. In 2017, dual training was introduced in 460 colleges with the participation of 3055 enterprises in 80 specialties and 165 qualifications. The contingent was 31 607 students. To improve efficiency in the planning and financing of the TVE system, a new method of per capita financing has been approved.

Higher and postgraduate education in Kazakhstan is rapidly rising, so 8 Kazakhstan universities were placed in the ranking of the world's best Universities Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings in 2017.


The Future of Kazakhstanis is in Good Command of Kazakh, Russian and English Languages

Within the framework of the trilingual education, 50% of the subjects are taught in the language of instruction (Kazakh or Russian), in the second language (Russian or Kazakh respectively) – 20%, in English – 30%. 2,5 thousand special groups were created in 76 universities, in which 30000 people study all training areas in three languages.

Together with 51 foreign universities, the double-degree educational programs are provided in 50 universities. 10 educational programs are being implemented in English. A draft law has been drafted that provides for standards to expand the academic and financial autonomy of higher education institutions.

In 2017, 600 faculty members attended the language courses. Training of corporate secretaries of Supervisory Boards of 30 universities of the country is conducted. 94 members of supervisory boards of state universities were trained. More than 30 foreign top managers were involved in the management of higher education institutions last year.

As part of the transition to a new model of economic growth, the project "Development of an educational hub as a driver of the new economy 3.0" is being implemented. One of the priorities of the project is the attraction of foreign students. About 13 thousand (3%) of foreign students study at universities. In 2017, 200 marketing campaigns were conducted in this direction. Center for International Programs JSC  held six educational PR-events in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China, India and Turkmenistan. As a result of the exhibition, 20 memorandums on mutual cooperation were signed.

In 2017, more than 84 billion tenge of private investment was attracted (of which 71 billion through paid services and 13 billion due to the development of start-ups and co-financing).


The Task is Defined — a New Quality of Education

As for the 2018 tasks, according to the data of the relevant department, it is planned to open 1067 pre-school organizations for 121.8 thousand places, including 766 (71.5 thousand places) of private pre-school organizations, as well as the introduction of standards and programs for the early development of children, introduction of changes in the SCES and new programs were developed, scaling the experience of the South Kazakhstan region in automating the process of issuing directions to kindergartens through the integration of e-Government and E-Akimat.

On secondary education, the transition to updated content (grades 3, 6, 8) continues, a phased salary increase is planned for 30% for teachers who have switched to teaching on updated content, the introduction of a new system for attestation of teachers, the adoption of new Rules of Attestation, the establishment of a new net of additional payments for category of pedagogical skill, taking into account the level of qualifications and results of the national qualification test. Teachers, depending on the qualifications, will receive co-payments from 20% to 50%.

Also in the plans is the introduction of per capita financing in private schools in Astana, Shymkent, Aktobe and public schools in Astana. Digitalization of education will be carried out within the framework of the Digital Kazakhstan State program and work continues on the introduction of the electronic magazine and Kennelik diary and the development of video films and interactive lessons in three languages.

In technical and vocational education, work will continue on the implementation of the project "Vocational education for all," the development of educational programs for credit-modular technology, the continuation of work on the introduction of dual training, the upgrading and enterprise experts, the establishment of 20 competence centers, educational process, taking into account WorldSkills standards, improving the positions of students of TVE in the international championship of WorldSkills and continuing the translation of foreign textbooks.

For higher and postgraduate education, the work will continue in 2018:

  • On the extension of the academic and managerial autonomy of universities,
  • On conducting an independent rating of educational programs of universities and compiling a register of the best educational programs,
  • On organization and holding of educational exhibitions in foreign countries,
  • On the issue of opening offices of the Center for International Programs in China, India, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan,
  • On attracting foreign students through the implementation of the double-degree education, the implementation of educational programs in English,
  • On the opening of new universities in IT, pedagogical, medical, technical areas,
  • On the development of 10 new programs in English.