National News in Brief

Young and talented people from other countries will be encouraged to move into Kazakhstan, Minister of Health and Social Development Tamara Duissenova said. “One of the directions for improving migration policy will be the attraction of talented young people from neighbouring countries, who will be awarded with grants,” Duissenova told a joint meeting of the Social Council of the Nur Otan party and the Mazhilis Committee for Social and Cultural Development. She added that this is the practice of Singapore, Malaysia, the U.K. and other developed nations. According to the minister, talented young people choosing to study in Kazakhstan and completing a three-year training course will be given the opportunity to work in their field in the country regardless of quotas or permits.

“Babalar Sozi,” a 100 volume collection of Kazakh folklore, was presented at the World Book Fair in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. The illustrated collection of epics, legends, myths and proverbs contains almost all genres of Kazakh folklore and includes manuscripts recorded in old Arabic print and other works. To compile the book, folklorists searched collections in Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and China. Folklorist Seit Kaskabasov in particular spent 10 years producing the collection, issuing 10 volumes a year. According to him, the work was difficult, and many texts of the songs had been banned. The presentation of the collection gathered eminent Turkologists, literary critics and scientists from different countries. German Turkologist Thomas Wyrwal said, “Not every country can show off such a rich culture and, beyond that, publish it for the masses. It is really great work. This is an opportunity for younger generations to know their history.”

“A project to include the Kazakh language in the global Google Translate system needs the support of native speakers,” Chairman of the Board of the WikiBilim Foundation Rauan Kenzhekhanuly said at an Oct. 15 Central Communication Service (CCS) briefing. According to Kenzhekhanuly, Google Translate and the improvement of its language options depend on the support of users. “There are some issues that require the participation of users of the system. For example, when you see any mistakes by other people on the website, you will have a chance to correct them,” he said. According to Kenzhekhanuly, the system has more than 80 languages and about 200 million people use it daily. Google Translate translates not only words, but also word-groups, small texts and whole web pages. “After a great number of texts were translated by the system, we were asked to evaluate the quality of translation. The work takes only one or two minutes,” he said. According to Kenzhekhanuly, the Kazakh language will be integrated into the system by the end of 2014.

“It is necessary to introduce free education for teachers,” Rector of Kazakh National Pedagogical University Serik Praliyev said at an Oct. 16 meeting of the National Council for Teacher Education. “We need to develop the social status of teachers in new format. Admission to teacher training institutions should be carried out only on a free basis,” Praliyev noted. According to him, teaching staff should be prepared only by state universities that meet international standards. He also noted that it is important to reduce the total annual load to 500 hours per teacher. “However, applicants wishing to enter university must pass the creative examination aimed at determining their teaching ability. And graduates who have completed the course with excellence should be admitted only on the basis of their creative disciplines, without passing national testing,” the rector said. According to him, after the training, a young person must be certified; only then should he or she be able to get a job.

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