Gulshara Abdykhalykova was appointed Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State on Nov. 11, becoming the first woman to occupy such a high position in the country’s political system and the highest ranked woman in Kazakhstan’s modern history. According to state protocol, the Secretary of State is ranked after the President, the Chairman of the Senate, the Chairman of the Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) and the Prime Pinister. The Secretary of State oversees numerous interagency commissions, such as on citizenship, the Bolashak scholarship, state awards, state symbols and on fighting corruption, among others, and is a top advisor to the President. Before her appointment, Abdykhalykova served as deputy prime minister of Kazakhstan responsible for social issues, such as education, healthcare and social protection.
“Eighty-two percent of children from three to six years old receive pre-school education in the Mangystau region,” said Akim (Governor) of the Mangystau region Alik Aidarbayev at a Nov.14 Central Communications Service (CCS) briefing. “The network of pre-school education institutions increased by 82 organisations in 2011-2013 by means of construction of new and reconstruction of existing kindergartens, establishment of mini-centres and opening private organisations within the implementation of the Balapan Programme,” the head of the region said. According to the akim, as a result of the measures, the inclusion of children from three to six years old in pre-school education reach 82 percent in 2014.

The eco-bridge “Kazakh Elim – Zhasyl Zherim” (“Kazakh Land is Green Country”) launched in educational institutions in the Aktobe region on Oct. 14 and the Pavlodar region on Nov. 13. The purpose of the eco-bridge held within the Zhandanu projects is to form an environmental conscience and culture within the younger generation. The peculiarity of the event is that rural school students from Algabai village and Aksu town in the Pavlodar region will take part in it. The campaign will begin with an exhibition of children’s drawings called “Planet of Childhood,” which is also expected to launch a similarly-named nationwide contest for the youngest citizens of the country aged five to ten years. A presentation of documentaries titled “Earth Heritage” will complete the campaign.
In Kazakhstan, about 18,000 people with special needs are involved in the Paralympic Games movement, President of the National Paralympic Committee Darkhan Kaletayev said at a Nov. 17 briefing. In addition, he noted that in preparation for the 15th Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the focus will be on swimming and track and field events (athletics). “The Paralympic Committee decided to establish a national swimming team in Astana, athletics in Almaty. We will strengthen the two centres,” he stressed. According to the agency, today in Kazakhstan there are eight sports clubs for disabled people and two schools with sports for the physically challenged. At the 11th Summer Asian Games, Kazakhstan’s Paralympic team, which included 84 athletes, took 11th place, winning seven gold, six silver and 11 bronze medals. This is a record number of medals in the history of the Summer Asian Games since 2006.
Grain harvest finished on 14.5 million hectare fields and 18.3 million tonnes of grain at the average harvest of 12.6 centner/hectare was obtained, Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov said at a Nov. 17 briefing in the Mazhilis (lower chamber of the Parliament).According to the minister, 64 percent of oil and vegetable and 96.6 percent of the potato harvest was gathered. This year, yield capacity of vegetable cultures is 12.1 centner/hectare higher than last year, potatoes are at 15.9 centner/hectare. Thus, according to Mamytbekov, in some areas of North Kazakhstan and the Kostanai region, the harvest is still continuing, but two areas in the Akmola region are nearing completion. The other districts have completed the harvesting campaign. “This year, the gross grain harvest after completion is forecast at about 17.6 million tonnes, which allows increasing the export potential up to seven million tonnes,” Mamytbekov concluded.