New textbooks, interactive programmes to help Kazakh students learn local, regional history

ASTANA – Historians in Kazakhstan have begun a programme of history teaching using new formats intended to captivate students and give them the opportunity to study not only the history of their country, but the histories of their regions, cities and even the districts where they live. Events and textbooks connected to this change are already being produced.

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One such event was Almaty’s interactive quest, Through the Pages of Memory in Almaty. Through this practical implementation of the Ruhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity) programme, students were asked to solve puzzles about their area. In doing so, they learned the history of Almaty from the Iron Age through the Middle Ages, the Verny period, the post-World Wars years and up to the establishment of modern independent Kazakhstan. Five museums participated in the event.

Organisers believe such games will reveal to young people how exciting local history can be.

Senior officer of the Almaty Museums Union Kairat Tarbayev is a strong supporter of the event, saying the game’s main purpose is to study the history of Almaty and attract students’ attention to their own history.

“We want students to know the history of the streets of the city, the history of the city establishment, famous historical figures who were born and worked in Almaty. Students will also learn local history from absolutely new textbooks. The first copies of the book in the Kazakh language for students in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades were presented in Taraz. Leading historians and teachers of the Zhambyl region have written on 20 topics of history, geography, Kazakh literature and music in the book. The textbook consists of three parts. Officials plan to publish 20,000 copies of the book by September,” he said, Kazakh TV reports.

“The book offers a lot of information on local history. The textbook for fifth graders provides an overview of local history while the textbooks for the sixth graders reveal great personalities of the region. The seventh graders’ textbooks are dedicated to the culture of the Taraz and Zhambyl regions. The local history textbook for fifth to seventh grades was also presented in Karaganda. It is a supplementary textbook on the history of Kazakhstan, geography, Kazakh literature and music,” school teacher Bazarbai Duyssenbayev said.

The new textbooks, of which about 60,000 will be printed, will help students learn about the legends and historical monuments of the Karaganda region. The educational programme will focus on research activities.

“If a student lives in the Shet district and knows the history of his district, he will learn more information in this textbook about the incredible historical sites of the Ulytau and Zhana Arka districts. The book also presents information about the prominent talents born on this land such as biys [Kazakh judges], akyns [singers] and speakers,” textbook author Bakhytkul Abdikerova said.


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