405. The National Preschool Childhood Centre was established by Government decision No. 405 of 29 April 2005 to coordinate relations with relevant ministries, departments and local authorities, explain State policy on the provision of preschool education services, and provide quality scientific and methodological support for preschool education and instruction. Branches of the Centre have been opened in the cities of Almaty, Semipalatinsk, Qostanay and Shymkent to directly coordinate the activities of all actors in the preschool education system in the eastern, southern and northern regions of the Republic.
406. The State programme for the development of education for 2005 2010 defines kindergarten as a social institution that gives women the opportunity to work and provides support to socially vulnerable and low income families. In this connection, it is planned to develop a basic general education school preparation programme for 5 year olds and to restructure rural schools with a view to establishing “school kindergarten” complexes and preschool mini centres within them.
(Thousands of tenge)
407. Vocational training for teachers with pastoral responsibilities is being reformed in order to promote cooperation with families. Currently, educational standards are being developed for university level teacher training institutes and teacher training colleges to ensure that students receive instruction in individually oriented and interactive teaching methods.
408. Under the State programme for the development of education for 2005 2010 it is planned to:
(1) Construct 164 preschools, thus creating 23,000 places (2008 2010);
(2) Create, within educational establishments, 800 preschool mini centres for a further 20,000 places (2008 2010);
(3) Open 380 rehabilitation and inclusive education offices to bring children with special needs into the preschool education system (2008 2010);
(4) Ensure that 75 per cent of 5 year olds attend a school preparation institution with enhanced teaching methods, personnel, and facilities and equipment.
409. Efforts are continuing to create the conditions necessary for the realization by every child of the right to appropriate, quality education.
410. In the 2003/04 academic year, there were 7,925 general-education schools in Kazakhstan (not including specialized educational establishments for children with special needs), including 3,687 (44.6 per cent) with Kazakh as the language of instruction, 2,231 (26.7 per cent) with Russian, 80 (1 per cent) with Uzbek, 14 (0.2 per cent) with Uigur, 3 (0.03 per cent) with Tajik, 1 with Ukrainian and 2,243 (26.1 per cent) with more than one language of instruction.
411. A pressing issue in primary education is continuity, which ensures that the interests of pupils are respected and helps the youngest pupils to adjust successfully to school studies.
412. In 2005, in order to create the conditions necessary for the education and instruction of children, 6 billion tenge was allocated from the central budget for the construction of 44 rural schools with a planned capacity of 21,900 places, and 23 schools were put into operation, at a cost of 4,212 million tenge. Thirty-two schools, providing 7,600 places, were built with funding from local budgets, at a cost of 3,472 million tenge.
413. Significant progress has been made in enhancing the facilities and equipment of State rural educational establishments. For example, in 2005, 3,480 million tenge was allocated from local budgets for this purpose, or 72.6 per cent of the total amount allocated across the Republic.
414. Of this sum, 1,903 million tenge was allocated to purchase equipment for 285 physics, chemistry and biology laboratories in rural establishments, 149,400 tenge to purchase 2,661 items of school furniture, and 1,427 million tenge to purchase sports equipment, computer laboratories, studies, language and multimedia laboratories, woodworking equipment and hearing devices.
415. As part of the European Union project entitled “Vocational education and training linked to small and medium enterprise (SME) development in Kazakhstan”, which is aimed at strengthening the resources of vocational schools (lycées), 25.6 million tenge was allocated to Almaty province, 6.9 million tenge to East Kazakhstan province, 7.4 million tenge to Qostanay province, 37.1 million tenge to Mangistau province, 5.9 million tenge to Pavlodar province, 9.9 million tenge to North Kazakhstan province and 33.9 million tenge to South Kazakhstan province.
416. In order to provide schools with highly qualified teachers trained under the new system, enhance the status of the teaching profession and ensure educator support for the reforms of secondary education, the Head of State in his message to the nation in March 2004 gave instructions for the allocation of 5,000 grants (in addition to the 3,000 already available) for training educational specialists for the 12-grade school system and upgrading teachers’ skills.
417. Efforts are being made to enhance social support for students:
418. The President’s targeted international scholarship programme “Bolashak” has been implemented for more than 10 years; the programme is aimed at enabling the most gifted young people to study the specialized subjects most necessary to the country in the best foreign institutes of higher education. The “Bolashak” scholarship, presented in the name of the President, is one of the highest degrees of recognition of a young person’s ability, and requirements for candidates are therefore high.
419. Since 1994, 2,556 of the most gifted young Kazakh citizens have received “Bolashak” scholarships.
420. In 2005, on instructions from the Head of State, the number of scholarships under the “Bolashak” programme was increased to 3,000: along with candidates for master’s and doctor’s degrees, bachelor students will also be taught in leading foreign institutes of higher education.
421. The range of countries covered by the “Bolashak” programme has been broadened substantially. Kazakh citizens will also be sent to countries in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and others) and to Asia and Oceania (China, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).
422. Issues concerning access to education, including vocational training and guidance are reflected in paragraphs 304-334 of the initial report on the implementation of the Convention, considered in 2003.
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