High quality education from kindergarten to university: Government of Kazakhstan approves new development concept

The Concept of Education Development for 2022-2026 was approved at the Government session chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

Minister of Education Askhat Aimagambetov said that the presented Concept contains a number of measures to comprehensively improve the quality of education. In particular, work will continue on introduction of a new model of pre-school education "Learning by Playing", opening of kindergartens and centres, retraining and professional development of teachers.

School curricula will be improved in certain subjects. Schools will be given greater academic autonomy in a phased approach. There are also plans to work towards recognition of final assessment results in schools at the international level. A number of projects will be implemented as part of the digitalisation of the learning process: "Digital Teacher", online teaching of selected subjects in small schools and autonomous digital textbooks (mobile app).

In addition, work will continue on digitalisation of education services, elimination of shortage of pupils places, support for children with special educational needs, introduction of new optional subjects and opening of additional sections in schools, development of technical and vocational education, etc.

Minister of Science and Higher Education Sayasat Nurbek and Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Mussin also made presentations on the topic.

Having heard the speakers, the Prime Minister stressed that the presented draft Concept is aimed at ensuring access to quality education at all levels from kindergarten to university.

"The document sets rather ambitious targets. By 2026 absolutely all pre-school organizations will introduce international tools of quality assessment of upbringing and education. Parents will be able to choose a place in any preschool organization based on the principle of per capita financing. The measures are also envisaged to implement the Child Wellbeing Index and the Interactive Child Wellbeing Map," Smailov said.

In order to create a comfortable and safe school environment the Comfortable School National Project is being developed on the instruction of the Head of the State. Mobile Teacher, Patronage of low-performing schools and Kamkor Zhanuya projects are implemented for development of small-sized schools.

In addition, there are plans to build schools for 840,000 places by 2025 according to new construction standards.

"All plans of the Concept should ultimately ensure quality and all-round development of our children. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the introduction of recognized tools for assessing the development results of children," the Prime Minister stressed.

According to him, small innovative enterprises will be set up at colleges, including in rural areas, to train young people in business skills, which will enable 75% of graduates to find a job immediately after completion of their education. Leading universities will be transformed into research universities, and the number of Kazakhstani branches of reputable foreign universities will grow, he added.

Also, by 2026, the number of scholarships for bachelors and more than 1.5-fold for masters and doctoral candidates will increase.

Alikhan Smailov added that the implementation of the planned measures will improve Kazakhstan's performance in international educational rankings and the quality of education in general.

After approval of the presented Concept by voting the Prime Minister instructed the Ministries of Education, Science and Higher Education in cooperation with the concerned government agencies and akimats to ensure timely implementation of its measures as well as to take measures to synchronize the Concept with the national project "Educated Nation "Bilimdiult" and project "Comfortable School".

The Ministry of Digital Development was instructed to take measures to provide educational institutions with quality access to the Internet.

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