October 5, 2018, in his annual Address to the people of Kazakhstan, the Head of State updated a number of pressing issues facing the education system in the light of the new stage of the country's modernization. Among them are the improvement of the quality of school and preschool education, ensuring child safety, raising the status of a teacher and his role in society, synchronizing the construction of schools with plans for the development of human settlements and others.
Pre-school Education and Training
Sagadiyev reported that in preschool education and training, the coverage of children 3-6 years old is 93%. An automated system for issuing referrals to kindergartens is being introduced: today, 69.5% are automated in the republic. In 58% of kindergartens installed surveillance cameras.
“The Head of State instructed to provide kindergartens and schools with video surveillance cameras for three years. For its part, the ministry will monthly monitor and summarize information,” said Sagadiyev.
To improve preschool education, the issue of the quality of the staff in kindergartens will be addressed. The minister reported that, in accordance with the instructions of the Head of State, together with the akimats, in 2018 the Road Map will be approved, which will include measures to improve the skills of preschool educators, introduce uniform qualification requirements and revise the wage system.
In secondary education, according to the minister, on the instructions of the Head of State, the law “On the Status of the Teacher” will be developed. The law will provide incentives for improving the social status of teachers, reducing the workload and protecting against unnecessary checks and other measures. The approval of the law is scheduled for 2019. The law will be developed and public discussions will take place in 2018.
As noted by Sagadiyev, in order to resolve issues with emergency schools and the three-shift training system, 60 schools are being built in the republic today. Funds from the republican budget are allocated for the construction of 11 of them, 27 schools should be built from the republican budget — for these schools and for new three-shift schools, according to the ministry, a national base will be fully formed within a week. For these purposes, the allocated funds in the amount of 50 billion tenge will be directed first of all. The remaining three-shift schools should be built at the expense of local budgets.
“As part of the Head of State’s instructions, it is necessary to bring the construction of schools into line with, by analogy with the construction of housing under the programs 7–20–25 and Nurly Zher. In this regard, the regions should envisage the introduction of standards for the provision of new homes with schools, a system for providing private companies with preferential loans for the construction of schools,” emphasized Sagadiyev.
To increase the number of psychologists in schools, as well as to increase the level of their professionalism, the Ministry of Education and Science conducted work on the Happy Family Program with the invitation of foreign specialists. The work will continue, the Ministry will prepare a single program. In addition, national testing is being introduced, in all areas, refresher courses for psychologists will be conducted. It is also planned to consider an increase in the category and salary of educational psychologists through a new system of certification and testing for professional competence. The new system will be developed and submitted to the Government in 2018.
In addition, answering the questions asked during the meeting, the Minister Sagadiyev reported on ongoing explanatory work on the updated content of education. Today, according to the ministry, 70% of children are enrolled in updated programs. Parents have an understanding, teachers are prepared for work. Work is also being done on introducing electronic textbooks: the work has begun, textbooks on some subjects are available and are being actively used. The ministry plans 100% equipment of schools with electronic textbooks within two years. At the same time, for the convenience of students, the issue of installing lockers in schools is being worked out.
In the course of the consideration of the issue in the regions, akims of the Aktobe region B. Saparbayev, Almaty — A. Battalov, Mangistau — E. Tugzhanov, Atyrau — N. Nogayev Turkestan — Z. Tuimebayev, Zhambyl — A. Myrzakhmetov, Kostanay — A. Mukhambetov, North Kazakhstan — K. Aksakalov reported on the ongoing work to improve the quality of education, infrastructure, eliminate three-shift training and construct new schools.