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ERI: Countries - Kazakhstan

Collage showing students and schools' exteriors and interiors

Kazakhstan is going through a period of rapid and energetic educational reform aimed at raising the quality of educational experience for all and addressing in particular the inequalities of opportunity and achievement between urban schools and mainly small and multi-grade rural schools.

The ERI team at the Faculty of Education was formed from the Kazakhstan Programme, and has worked in the country since 2011. Currently there are a number of projects that we are engaged with, including:

  • Collaborative Research with Nazarbayev University
  • Advisory Support to NU Graduate School of Education
  • Hosting doctoral students from NUGSE in Cambridge
  • Conducting Professional Development Workshops for Center of Excellence AEO "Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools"
  • UNICEF Kazakhstan Consultancy

For more information about our past and present projects in Kazakhstan, see here.

Roadmap for Education Reform

All our work in Kazakhstan falls in line with the agreed Roadmap for Education Reform. The current agenda for this is:

  • a new curriculum for schools (piloted initially through the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools but now to be ‘translated’ to all schools) along with new approaches to both formative and high stakes summative assessment
  • new approaches to pedagogy with more emphasis on interactive learning, the application of knowledge, project work and critical thinking
  • trilingual education
  • new textbooks and learning resources
  • a massive programme of in-service professional development for teachers in support of these changes, an initiative led by Center of Excellence AEO “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools”
  • a new professional culture based on the principles of leadership for learning and of collaborative action research.

All this is set within a continuing commitment to respect for the ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity of Kazakhstan’s people (made up of some 120 different nationalities) and for traditional values of care for family and community.

UNICEF Kazakhstan

ERI has secured a project to work for UNICEF Kazakhstan in support of the Ministry of Education on the topic of school dropout. The project is a review of existing early warning mechanisms for preventing, identifying and responding to school drop outs. The project will examine two types of young people: those excluded currently from school for whatever reason but primarily on the basis of disability; and those currently at school but at risk of dropping out mainly due to behavioural difficulties. It will involve examining barriers to inclusion and developing a mechanism to identify and monitor the school engagement of young people.