Quantity vs. Quality – Education in Kazakhstan
Despite the increased spending for education, research and development, Kazakh Universities still do not offer a high level of education, while the job market is not ready to place graduates.
Ben reported back in May that Kazakhstan is to increase spending on science development by 25 times until 2012, reaching 350 billion tenge, and recetly we found out that Nazarbayev announced that by 2012, Kazakhstan’s science budget would constitute 5% of its GDP.
All-round installation of modern information technologies into the educational process will be a central component element of education reforming system. President has made public a decision to open a new international university as well.
Opening new international, eurasian, world class universities becomes trendy in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. But building new campuses with excellent facilities is not enough: we would need to train a pool of qualified teachers and overcome the post-Soviet education demise.
On the Russian version of neweurasia Kazakhstan, Marat discussed the deteriorating higher education in Kazakhstan (RUS). He says that after “perestroika” many teachers either started their own businesses as they could not provide for living with teachers’ salary anymore, left the country or changed their specialisations. Those who stayed could not handle cnanged that came after with independence. Those changes involved paying for a workplace and for dissertations, and collecting bribes from the students. “As a result, we got a system for collecting money, not for educating people. In the end, the students learn how to bribe and apply it in real life”, says Marat.
Luckily, the situation is different in other parts of Kazakhstan. Basil B. Akimov from Karaganda commented on Marat’s post that he met many teachers who would never accept bribes from students, as well as many bright young students. Marat answered that this is mostly Almaty reality and Karaganda is a special case comparing to other regions of Kazakhstan (it is true that Karaganda is regarded an intellectual center of Kazakhstan, and many attribute it to the existence of Karlag, the Karaganda labor camp, one the biggest affiliates of GULAG, where many USSR scientists and artists were deported and later on stayed and made their contribution to education).
Natalia Haritovona writes on KUB that when the labor market demands change, the students who chose major 4-5 years ago are not employed (RUS). You see many social sciences’ graduates while there is a real demand for contruction and technical spheres. According to Natalia, developing socially responsible business and non-profit sector could help create more jobs for young people.