Kazakh education ministry to upgrade internet at schools

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science will be systematically introducing four areas of digital technology in educational institutions, Minister Yerlan Sagadiyev said at the April 10 government meeting.

Photo credit: arcusys.com.

Photo credit: arcusys.com.

Paper documents and information will be completely accessible and mobile to ensure students, teachers, parents and principals can get the necessary information on their smartphones. The availability will allow students to monitor their grades, learn about homework, read textbooks and use all digital resources.

Digitisation means openness and justice. All necessary information, from the queue to place one’s child with a kindergarten to questions about obtaining a certificate or diploma, should be publicly available.

Each student or teacher should have free, 24/7 access from his or her smartphone or computer to textbooks in the Kazakh and Russian languages, the latest foreign and Kazakh lectures and interactive lessons. The ministry also seeks to integrate all data into one database, implement Big Data technologies and conduct online analyses that will manage all the processes from one situation centre.

The ministry has begun implementing a schedule to gradually introduce digital technologies.

“In 2016-2017, more than 14,000 multimedia kits were purchased. This year, the national budget allocated 6 billion tenge (US$18.72 million) for these purposes. For the third consecutive year, the akimats (administrations) purchased more than 10,000 sets for educational institutions. The task is to increase the availability of multimedia kits in rural and urban schools to 80 percent,” said Sagadiyev.

Nearly 99 percent of schools are now connected to the Internet; 62 percent have access to fast Internet and 47 percent are connected to Wi-Fi. In accordance with the Digital Kazakhstan programme, the ministry plans to connect all schools. More than 4,000 schools have introduced electronic diaries, which are used by 50 percent of schoolchildren, he added.

The ministry also provides public services; it offers 73 state services, 25 of which have been automated. Its base is integrated with those of other state agencies on the e-government platform. Within the next two years, there are plans to automate and optimise an additional 48 services.

Sagadiyev focused on the need to teach digital basics.

“Approximately 150,000 teachers and 1.5 million parents will be trained to use our information bases,” he said.