Government Tuesday: SEZ development strategy, summer holidays for schoolchildren and free air travel for children

May 21, 2019, at the Government meeting, issues of the development of special economic and industrial zones, the organization of summer holidays, the rehabilitation and employment of children during summer were considered. Vice Minister of Education and Science Bibigul Assylova answered questions from the media at a press conference in the Government’s press center.

Regarding the first issue on the meeting — development of the special aconomic and industrial zones — Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Roman Sklyar, Vice Minister of Energy Asset Magauov, Managing Director of the Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Alisher Pirmetov reported on the implementation of industrial facilities in the special economic zones. The supplied infrastructure and the conditions created made it possible to attract more than 1 trillion of private investments, including 27% of foreign investments. From 2019 to 2021, about 320 projects will be introduced on the territory of special economic and industrial zones with the creation of 11,500 jobs.

After considering the issue, Prime Minister Mamin noted the need to systematically carry out work to attract new projects and investments, create jobs. To this end, regions should attract professional management companies with successful international experience to the FEZ and special economic and industrial zones.

“Special economic and industrial zones should be the growth points of the regional economies. For this, we need well-defined and coordinated work, high-quality projects,” emphasized Mamin.

During the consideration of the issue of organizing summer holidays for children, the Ministry of Education and Science proposed to open summer academic schools on the basis of Kazakhstani universities, to ensure the participation of children in thematic campaigns aimed at studying cultural, historical and archaeological monuments.

The Ministry of Culture and Sports is planning to hold “literary morning performances” in all libraries of the country, in museums and museums-reserves — free local history and educational excursions, “mobile libraries” will be organized in all rural districts.

As part of the development of mass sports among children and adolescents today, 1.8 million children of school age are involved in physical education and sports, including over 816 thousand children in the countryside.

Chief Sanitary Doctor of Kazakhstan Zhandarbek Bekshin said that this year the Ministry of Healthcare took control of more than 200 out-of-town recreation facilities for children. In order to prevent cases of mass poisoning, jointly with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, strict summer camps will be checked during all seasons.

Following the results of the hearing of reports, the Head of Government instructed to keep the issues of ensuring the safety of children in summer camps under special control. This applies to the quality of food, sanitation and medical equipment.

“All camps should be provided with medical personnel and relevant teaching staff. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of food in public places, the sanitary level of food outlets and leisure facilities,” Askar Mamin instructed.

In order to increase the outreach of children in summer, the Prime Minister instructed to open institutions at sanatoriums, camp sites and in National parks, universities, to reanimate inactive camps.

On the sidelines of the Government meeting, the Minister of Culture and Sports Aystanbek Mukhamediuly announced the introduction of free air travel for children on the principle of “KIDS GO FREE.”

“We have now submitted a draft state program, we are waiting for its approval and make changes to the law on tourism activities. This is a huge advantage when expenses are covered. For example, if a parent flies to a vacation within the country, then she is likely to have two children under 15 years of age. They are provided with free tickets. Free inside the country. Due to this, our compatriots do not go abroad, and our money remains with us. That is, we conditionally subsidize 1 tenge, the state allocates to children, and we save 6.5 tenge. In terms of time, this will be possible within 2 months,” said Mukhamediuly.

The Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Kulyash Shamshidinova, in turn, reported that the work of the League of Academic Honesty continues.

“We will continue this work. There are 12 universities, more than 10 universities are candidates. We plan to increase the maximum written exams, move away from the test character exams. We think that the entire system will be transferred to electronic format. If all this is in electronic format, there will be very tight control. In addition to the questionnaire system itself, a new course on countering corruption is being introduced in universities. We have already begun this work. This year, a survey was conducted: more than 70% of children said they did not encounter corruption, but the remaining percentage should put us on guard and we will work in this direction,” assured Shamshidinova.

At the press conference in the Government, Vice Minister of Education and Science Bibigul Assylova told about the organization of summer holidays for schoolchildren. Answering the question of the Kazinform news agency regarding the provision of summer holidays for children from large families and the cost of vouchers, Assylova said that socially sensitive groups of the population receive priority and free stays in the camps. These are orphans, children from low-income families with special educational needs, as well as children who have shown the best results in their studies.

Prices and rates for health services in the camps are approved by local executive bodies. The cost of trips varies from 10 thousand to 40 thousand tenge per course of stay in the camp (10 days).

When asked by the Vremya newspaper about labor camps, Assylova noted that children would be sent there through employment centers. There will be a wage system.

The vice minister also answered questions concerning the safety of summer holidays for schoolchildren and the organization of new-format camps.

The outcome of the consideration of the second issue on the agenda was the approval of the approaches of the Ministry of Education and Science to expand the number of camps for the next year. As instructed by the prime minister, the number of camps must be brought to thousands.

Thus, the government conducts systematic work to provide children with high-quality and safe rest and leisure, especially in summer. In addition, all the conditions for part-time employment are created for those wishing to work. These measures allow the younger generation not only to improve their health, but also to develop personal and communication skills. Summer schools introduced from the current year based on local universities will teach children in such areas as language learning, IT technology and robotics, history, philology, biotechnology, entrepreneurship and business management, law, critical thinking, etc.

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