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Distance learning, online enrollment in first grade, creation of schools network named after Abay — how Kazakhstanis remembered another academic year

Thursday, 04 June 2020, 22:27:02

At the reporting public meeting, the Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov spoke about the work done in 2019 and in four months of 2020.

 

Quality of student knowledge directly depends on quality of teacher’s work

As the minister noted, the past 2019 was very important for the education and science systems. Moreover, the feature of the past year is not only the transition to a distance learning system in all areas. For the first time in the history of the country's independence, the law "On the Status of the Teacher" was adopted. The new state program for the development of education and science until 2025 has been approved and is being implemented.

“Of course, these documents have historical significance for the field of education and science. The Law 'On the Status of the Teacher' made it possible to solve the problems of raising the status of a teacher, free them from unnecessary functions and checks that are not related to tasks, and stimulate them financially and morally (supplement for classroom supervision, checking notebooks, pedagogical skills, master's degree and mentoring). Rest of all teaching staff increased by 56 days. All these measures will increase the prestige of the teaching profession and stimulate them to further professional growth,” Aimagambetov emphasized.

The minister also noted that the quality of student knowledge directly depends on the quality of the teacher’s work, so the teacher should not be distracted by unusual functions.

“He must understand that he works exclusively for the knowledge and upbringing of our children. Therefore, we will continue to take all necessary measures to improve the status of the teacher and create the necessary conditions for the development and support of our colleagues,” the minister said.

Also, in order to reduce the burden on teachers, the number of documents that a teacher has to fill out daily has been reduced.

''We have been talking about this for a long time. These are just two documents that a teacher must fill out daily. We are reviewing all this work as a whole and radically. This applies not only to school teachers, this also applies to teachers of preschool organizations, colleges, higher and postgraduate education. The teacher should deal directly with his direct functions only. That reporting, which previously depended on inspectors, requests and other issues, we have completely reviewed it now and these restrictions have been completely lifted,” Aimagambetov said.

Measures have been taken to improve the quality of teachers. More than 150 thousand teachers have confirmed qualification categories and receive an additional payment of 30 to 50% of the official salary.

Since this year, the system of certification of teachers has been improved, the requirements for passing grades for qualification categories have been strengthened.

For the first time certification was introduced for the leaders of educational organizations. They now undergo certification, according to the results of which qualifications are assigned with an additional payment to the official salary of 30 to 100%. For the first time, the salaries of managers will be differentiated depending on the results of their work.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan has begun to introduce the paradigm of education and upbringing based on values ​​at all levels of education. It is designed to educate Kazakhstanis who love their homeland, who are ready to serve the country's economy, who have absorbed family values.

A transition is being made to the use of adapted programs that provide easy access to inclusive education, the introduction of tutors in the educational process.

The issue of narrowing the gap between the city and the village is constantly monitored. The problems of the gap between the regions, between the districts in one region are revealed.

“Today we set a goal to ensure the high status of the teacher’s profession, to create a safe and convenient learning environment, to narrow the gap in the quality of education between the city and the village. Comprehensive measures were envisaged to solve this problem, firstly, training teachers, training teachers in several related subjects, changing the wage system, strengthening the educational and material base, the quality of the Internet, etc.,” the minister said.

 

System of advanced training of teachers improved

Introduced post-course monitoring and post-course support for teachers to improve their teaching practices.

“We are moving to a voucher training system, thereby creating the opportunity for the development of the market for these services and competition,” the minister said.

In addition, there is the possibility of retraining, as well as side entry into the profession. Now the course programs are not approved by the ministry, which also provides an opportunity for the development of the services market.

To provide methodological support to young teachers, the institute of mentoring is being introduced. For mentoring experienced teachers over newly hired colleagues, a monthly supplement of 17 thousand tenge is provided.

 

When applying, parents to be able to choose kindergartens

Measures are being taken to ensure the availability of preschool education. In 2019, through the construction and through public-private partnership mechanisms, the network of preschool organizations was increased by 500 units. Coverage of children 3-6 years old at the level of 98.5%.

Previously, queuing was carried out directly in the education departments, but now, to exclude corruption risks and the convenience of parents, the acceptance and placing of children in the queue is automated. It is planned that now parents will be able to choose a kindergarten when applying.

Child safety remains a priority. One of the key factors for monitoring child safety is video surveillance systems. Today, almost 90% of pre-school organizations are provided with CCTV cameras.

Work has begun on new pre-school education programs. The content, standards and methods of preschool education are being revised.

Thanks to the adoption of the Law “On the Status of the Teacher,” wages are increased annually by 25% and additionally through the new certification system from 30 to 50%.

In secondary education, 96% of students switched to updated content. This year 11 classes will be transferred from September. As a result, the transition of secondary education to updated content will be completed.

 

How to improve quality of textbooks?

According to Aimagambetov, now much attention is paid to the quality of textbooks. This is a sore point. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the August conference of educators and at a meeting of the National Council gave instructions to improve the quality of textbooks.

“This is not a single day issue. The ministry is considering the issue of ensuring the quality of textbooks comprehensively. These are questions not only of expertise, and not only issues that depend on publishers. This is a systemic problem that starts from the preparation and testing of programs, examination, testing of textbooks, and the preparedness of experts and authors. Further, these are the issues that publishers deal with. Here, in general, complex work. Responsibility immediately and state agencies, and publishers, and the national academy of education, and other structures. A number of regulatory legal acts have already been adopted,” the minister said.

In the framework of the 175th anniversary of Abay, the creation of a network of schools and boarding schools named after Abay with in-depth study of humanitarian subjects is being considered. Such schools have already been opened in 10 regions; they plan to open another 7 regions by the end of the year. 

 

Students to be transferred from one school to another in new format

Measures are being taken to improve the quality of catering. Competitive procedures are transferred to electronic format through the public procurement portal. Previously, it was in paper format, now the transparency of competitions is ensured. The responsibility of officials who have violated the competitive procedures will increase. A unified algorithm of the activity of school commissions and interdepartmental expert groups for monitoring food quality has been developed. Video surveillance and cashless payment are introduced in urban areas.

By the end of 2020, educational organizations should be provided with video surveillance systems and warm toilets.

The system of admission to first grade and transfer of children from one school to school is being automated. Now parents will not have to go from one school to another and submit documents in paper format. This can be done on the egov platform. This will save time for parents.

Work is underway to transform the external assessment of academic achievement. Starting from 2021, educational achievements of students in grades 4 and 9 will be monitored, aimed not at assessing subject knowledge, but at measuring functional literacy.

 

800 schools to be built in Kazakhstan by 2025

According to the National Education Database information system, there are 54 emergency, 183 schools with three-shift training in the country, and there are more than 168 thousand lack of places.

Given the demographic and migration processes, the situation with the lack of secondary education infrastructure in cities may worsen. According to predictions, by 2025 the shortage of seats may amount to about 500 thousand places. For this, as part of the state program, the construction of 800 schools is planned.

Nevertheless, the global task is not so much to eliminate the three-shift, but also to switch to one-shift schools.

Today, the ministry has a task — not to bring school buildings to an accident dangerous state. Last year, during an on-site inspection, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan discovered additional emergency schools. The minister believes that they should not hush up the problem, it is necessary to show and solve these problems on the contrary.

According to the Employment Roadmap and at the expense of the local budget this year, more than 2 thousand objects will be repaired. This is an absolutely unprecedented amount. On the whole, over 190 billion tenge this year have been allocated for education facilities alone.

In the field of secondary education, upon completion of the transition to updated content, work will continue to improve, ensure the variability of curricula, modernize the assessment system, aimed at measuring functional literacy. Early profiling will be achieved through the introduction of variable model curricula.

 

Particular attention — to child safety

The scope of protection of children's rights will change at all levels, from village to region, the activities of 228 Commissions for Minors and the Protection of Their Rights will change. At the suggestion of the public this year, their functions are expanding.

Child safety remains a priority. The Ministry is currently working on improving legislation in this area.

Now, according to the new amendment, teachers and workers in the field of healthcare and social protection of the population are obliged to immediately inform law enforcement agencies about the facts of the commission of juveniles or against them offenses. Responsibility for child abuse has been strengthened by extending prison sentences.

At the same time, child suicide remains stably high. This issue is given special attention. To this end, a unified program to combat suicide, violence and bullying is being developed. Each region operates according to its own program; there are questions on the coordination and effectiveness of these measures.

The social and psychological service is still not working efficiently. There are no quick results here, so their systemic transformation has begun.

As a result of systematic work over the past 10 years, the number of pupils has decreased by 70% — from 14 thousand to 4 thousand children.

Over the past 4 years, the number of children in orphanages has decreased by 42% — from 7 thousand to 4 thousand.

The network of orphanages was reduced by 28% — from 140 to 101. Orphanages are being transformed into child support centers, and civil society is involved in this work.

Further education is very important for the development of children. Preserving art, music, dance, tourism and local history circles, new areas of robotics, STEM education, 3D printing and programming are simultaneously developing.

 

Implementation of the project Free Vocational Education for All for three years yielded a positive result

Since 2017, in the field of vocational education and training, the Free Vocational Education for All has been implemented. Under the project, 300 thousand young people receive their first working specialty for free.

It is important to note that the student on this project is provided with social support: one-time hot meals, a scholarship and free travel twice a year.

Since June 2019, the scholarship for students studying in working specialties has been increased by 30%, and since Jan. 1, 2020, students studying in middle-level specialties have been increased by 25%.

In general, the implementation of the project for three years gave a positive result.

Applicants do not need to come to college to submit documents, he can submit them through the egov portal. But the format of the change on paper will still be preserved.

 

Quality training

The Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed to provide the colleges with academic freedom.

It is also important to simultaneously transfer to the credit system, with the accumulation of loans.

Dual learning system has been actively developing. The student spends more than 60% of the study time on the basis of enterprises. 72% of graduates who have studied dual education are employed.

Today, more than 55 thousand students are enrolled in dual training. By 2025, it is planned to almost double the coverage.

According to the status of the teacher, salary increased. On behalf of the president, colleges and kindergartens were also included, and a double increase in wages will also affect them.

Finally, the issue of paying college teachers for the qualification category was resolved. From 30% to 50% there will be a premium.

The education management and financing system is also undergoing major changes today. As part of the instruction of the Head of State given at the August conference, the model for managing the education system is being transformed. In accordance with modern requirements, the field of education will move to corporate governance.

 

In higher education, number of state orders increases annually

Over the past four years, public procurement has increased by 1.3 times and this year is 53.8 thousand grants.

On behalf of the president, this year the cost of the grant has been increasing. The cost has not changed since 2011. At the same time, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan obliges state universities to increase wages.

Since 2019, multiple Unified National Testings have been envisaged. Graduates of vocational and technical education are exempted from UNT who apply to related fields for shortened tuition fees on a paid basis. Since 2020, a scale has been introduced for transferring scores of international standardized tests SAT, AC and IB to UNT scores. Persons holding these certificates are exempt from UNT.

The electronic UNT certificate and the electronic grant award certificate are being introduced.

The testing time has been increased, calculators have been allowed, the students have been released from passing the final certification and stringent sanitary requirements will be respected.

Today, systematic measures are being taken to increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession. From September 2020, it is planned to increase the scholarship from 26,186 tenge to 42,500 tenge to students who want to become teachers. There is an increase in the passing grade for teaching in teaching specialties up to 70 points. Graduates of the pedagogical profile this year will be able to qualify for the teacher-moderator. But for this you need to pass the National Test and show your skills.

For the profiling of higher education institutions, the requirements for higher education institutions providing training of teaching staff (teaching staff, employment, educational programs taking into account the updated content of education, ORC, NRC and professional standard of a teacher) are defined.

As part of the instructions of the Head of State, work is continuing to optimize universities that provide low-quality education. Several universities have already been closed. The issue is resolved not only through closure, but also by association, and the return of licenses in certain areas of training.

 

How was distance learning implemented during quarantine period?

In an emergency situation, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan was faced with the task of preserving the health of students and educational system workers without interrupting the learning process.

Aimagambetov noted that in a very short time, both children, teachers, and parents were able to adapt to new conditions.

“Despite a sufficient number of problems, the educational process was not stopped. Many thanks to the parents, a very big burden of responsibility, parents also had a lot of work, we recognize this. But thanks to their understanding, active participation and the work of our colleagues, we managed to pass this period without stopping the educational process,’’ the minister emphasized.

At the same time, the minister emphasized that "in reality, distance learning should be somewhat different." Therefore, today the task is to take into account errors, shortcomings and problem points.

“These are questions of cyber pedagogy, and one cannot think that distance learning is when we simply include a class-lesson system with all its pluses and minuses in the stream, in Zoom and call it distance learning. This is an absolutely wrong understanding,” the head of the department said.

According to him, the task is to conduct work on teaching methods, pedagogical technologies in the distance learning mode, on normative regulation, and how to evaluate this system.

“There are a lot of pedagogical and technical issues, and we should use the summer period to solve these issues without fail,” Aimagambetov said.

The minister also noted that schools should be ready to start the new school year in a remote format.

“We hope that the situation with the quarantine for coronavirus infection will be improved and at the beginning of the next school year we will nevertheless begin to study at school. Nevertheless, we must prepare for another scenario. In this regard, in the summer, teachers, the ministry of Education and the administration will have to take the necessary measures,” the minister said.

 

The minister also answered some questions that came from residents from all over Kazakhstan.

Aimagambetov noted that the introduction of international standards is a big issue today.

“Kazakhstan took the 14th place in the last World Skills championship, we have very great potential, we will continue to introduce World Skills standards in the educational process,” he emphasized.

The financing system and education management are also undergoing very serious changes today — within the framework of the instructions of the Head of State given at the August conference, the model for managing the education system will be transformed. Since 2021, all departments of education — district and city — are transferred to the level of regional administration.

“We are doing a lot of work, and I think that from 2021 this system will already be operational. The institute of rotation of directors is introduced. We have prepared the necessary changes in the new system for appointing directors, and a norm has been introduced into legislation to coordinate the dismissal and appointment of heads of departments of education of districts and cities and the department of education with the Ministry of Education and Science,” the head of the department explained.

As for higher education, the volume of public procurement is increasing annually. So, over the past four years, government procurement has increased 1.3 times and this year will amount to more than 53 thousand grants.

“On behalf of the president, this year the cost of the grant has been increasing — it has not changed for almost 10 years. At the same time, we oblige state universities to increase salaries. We are now discussing the issue of establishing a minimum wage threshold for the wage fund. It is very important that an increase in the cost of the grant entails an increase in the salaries of teachers. When we say that in some universities the salaries of teachers are 70-80 thousand tenge, these are absolutely unacceptable figures,” Aimagambetov said.

According to him, over the past year there has been a significant increase in salaries by 50-70%.

When asked about the increase in cases of violations of the rights of teachers, Aimagambetov noted that the ministry had adopted an order which clearly indicates which documents the teacher should fill out.

“Every day teachers fill out only two documents. All other documents that will be imposed by officials or other categories — they are all illegal. Therefore, our legislation provides for liability. Quality Assurance Departments will take appropriate measures. We have already taken measures in such cases — this is administrative responsibility and, in general, up to dismissal. We will react very harshly to such violations,” said the head of the department.

According to him, over the past year there has been a significant increase in salaries by 50-70%.


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