Quality Education "Educated Nation" — Aimagambetov speaks about main directions of national project

At the briefing in the Central Communications Service, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askhat Aimagambetov spoke about the key areas of the national project on Quality Education "Educated Nation".

On behalf of the Head of State, the transition from state programs to the format of national projects was carried out. In the national project on Quality Education “Educated Nation”, continuity with the state program on issues requiring immediate solutions and aimed at meeting the needs of the population has been preserved.

“When we talk about the national project on Quality Education ‘Educated Nation’, we should consider this document as a whole, in conjunction with the concept of education development. This document is planned to be approved by the end of this year,” Aimagambetov said.

According to the minister, the national project provides for gradual introduction of per capita financing in the country in full-fledged rural schools, the issue of increasing teachers' salaries will be considered.

The national project consists of 4 main directions, 5 tasks, 15 indicators and 26 events.

“Its peculiarity is that it is focused on specific and most important tasks. If we compare with the state program for 2016-2019, then there are almost 10 times fewer events. But this does not mean that fewer problems will be solved. It's just that here the state is concentrating on the main achievable and most necessary tasks,” Aimagambetov noted.

In particular, the national project continued with such issues as the coverage of children with preschool education and training, reducing the gap in the quality of education between urban and rural schools, building schools to solve the problem of the shortage of student places, creating a safe and comfortable educational environment, etc.

The National Project also contains new initiatives aimed at the implementation of the National Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025 and the Nur Otan party's electoral program "Path of Change: Decent Life for Everyone!" The national project will expand access to quality education.

In the course of development, the national project was discussed with representatives of the public, experts in the field of education and worked out with all interested government agencies.

The first task is to ensure the availability and quality of preschool education and training. To accomplish this task, work will be continued on the development of a network of preschool organizations through the placement of a state order through voucher financing on the “money for a child” principle. As a result, by 2025, the coverage of children with preschool education at the age from 2 to 6 years will reach 95%, from 3 to 6 years old — 100%.

In addition, as part of the instructions of the Head of State, a new model of child development will be introduced in all preschool organizations. The state standard will be changed based on the principle of "learning through play".

The second task of the National Project on Quality Education "Educated Nation" is to improve the quality of secondary education. In particular, reducing the gap in the quality of education between regions, urban and rural schools (PISA). Within the framework of the National Project, comprehensive measures will be taken to reduce the gap in the quality of students' knowledge. Within the framework of the National Project, it is planned to switch to 12-year education. Starting this year, it is planned to place a state order for additional education. This process will take place on a competitive basis and in private organizations.

The third task is to provide schools with a comfortable, safe and modern educational environment. To reduce the shortage of student places, it is planned to build 1,000 schools by 2025. As a result, it is expected that three-shift schools will be liquidated and the share of emergency schools will be reduced to 0.1%. By 2025, 5,000 schools will be modernized in small towns, regional centers, villages, and safe and comfortable conditions for teaching children will be created.

The fourth task is to provide affordable and high-quality technical and vocational education. By 2025, 100% of young people will be provided with free technical and vocational education in popular specialties. As a result of the increase in coverage, the share of NEET youth is expected to decline.

The fifth task is to increase the competitiveness of Kazakhstani universities. Within the framework of the national project, 20 centers of academic excellence (15 regional and 5 pedagogical universities) and 2 advanced universities based on the experience of Nazarbayev University will be created. At the same time, by the end of 2025, it is planned to open 5 branches of foreign universities, which will reduce the outflow of young people.

Answering journalists' questions, the Minister of Education and Science shared his opinion on preparing children for adult life.

“Within the framework of the school curriculum, certain information, in accordance with age, has already been laid down. In general, when we talk about this topic, we must talk not only about the school, because every parent must also educate and take care of their children. This question is very intimate. This is a matter of interaction between a parent and a child,” Aimagambetov said.

The minister also expressed his opinion about which family member should talk to the child on such topics.

“The father will say it or the mother — it depends on what kind of relationship in this family. In some families, the child has a closer relationship with the father, some with the mother, in accordance with this distribution of roles. In general, conversations on this topic and educational work should be entrusted to parents, this is an essential component of educational work,” the Minister of Education said.

Aimagambetov also said that no one has the right to distract children from their studies, all civil servants and citizens must comply with the norms of the law "On the Status of a Teacher" and not distract teachers from their primary function — teaching and upbringing of children.

The minister said that over a year and a half more than 200 different officials were brought to justice for violating the rights of teachers. Some of them, according to him, were dismissed, some were brought to administrative responsibility, fines, and disciplinary responsibility.

“We will continue to adhere to this irreconcilable position on the implementation of the status of a teacher of the Law on ‘Status of a Teacher’. As far as the situation in Semey is concerned, we clearly stated our position, as soon as this information appeared, we first tried to make sure that this information was true. And when we learned that such an egregious case took place, we expressed our position. We held a meeting, attracted employees who attracted teachers to unusual functions, to administrative responsibility,” said the head of the Ministry of Education.

He added that in the future, it is also necessary to bring to strict disciplinary responsibility those who violate the rights of teachers.

“We also sent letters to our colleagues in the regions, so that there would be no such facts in the future. We must understand one thing, that there is a law ‘On the status of a teacher’, there is a clearly described norm that has been adopted and this is the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan and all civil servants and citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan are obliged to comply with this legislation. The teacher should only deal with the educational process. Involving him in an unusual function should be strictly suppressed. And in the future, in accordance with the current legislation, we will prosecute, disciplinary liability, administrative liability will be envisaged,” the minister said.

The minister also stressed that very often school principals can be punished for a million tenge with a salary that is much lower.

“When it comes to punishing school principals, I take the following position. Our school principals are punished very often and with large sums of money. It happens that one director can be punished for one million tenge per month. At the same time, the director's salary, I assure you, is much lower,” Aimagambetov said.

According to him, a question has now been initiated: if this school director did not have the opportunity to influence the situation, then he would not be punished.

He gave an example, when a video camera in a school burned down, the director made an application, fulfilled all the requirements, but the money had not been allocated yet.

“The allocation of money is not his competence. Here we believe that it is not the school principal that should be punished, but the competent person. It would be fair. But, if the money is allocated, the procurement director did not carry out or organize this work in a timely manner, thereby not fulfilling the order, then in this case it is the direct responsibility of the school principals. I will tell you that more than 57 school principals were punished by using CCTV cameras alone,” explained the head of the Ministry of Education and Science.

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