ASTANA – The last bell sounded May 25 in Kazakhstan secondary schools, marking the end of required education and the start of adult life for more than 147,000 students across the country.
The ceremonies, which have become a tradition in post-Soviet countries, included words of gratitude to teachers, good luck wishes and farewell speeches.
Students went out and celebrated the last bell, filling the city streets and parks, singing songs and taking photographs. However, graduating students must still take final exams.
Final exams on five subjects, including the Kazakh and Russian languages, algebra, history of Kazakhstan and an additional fifth subject, will take place May 29 – June 9. Students hoping to continue their studies in college or university will also sit for the Unified National Testing (UNT).
This year, 102,442 students or 70 percent of all school graduates will answer 120 UNT questions in 167 locations June 20 – July 1. Three quarters of all exam takers will take the exam in the Kazakh language, the other quarter in Russian.
The maximum UNT score is 140, while the passing score is 50 and 65 points are required to enter national universities.
Approximately 7,000 students are expected to win the Altyn Belgi (Golden Badge) award for outstanding academic performance.
In Astana, 5,870 students will graduate from school this year, 90 percent of them plan to take UNT.
The ceremonies awarding school diplomas will take place June 15 in all schools across the country.