Kazakh ministers report progress in digital literacy training among population

ASTANA – Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Madina Abylkassymova, Ministry of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov and First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev reported on progress in digital literacy training among the country’s population during a Sept. 11 government meeting.

The ministries are responsible for training professionals and the country’s population in using information technologies in daily life and work, which is the central aspect of the Digital Kazakhstan programme that seeks to reach 83 percent digital literacy level by 2022.

Digital literacy encompasses a wide range of skills and Kazakh ministries specify several levels of digital literacy, where the basic level refers to one’s skill in using computer and mobile gadgets and getting information from the internet.

The second level denotes the ability to use e-government services and make payments, while the third level allows a person to engage in e-commerce – buy, sell and promote goods online. The fourth level entails use of digital solutions, mobile applications and synchronising several gadgets and the advanced level means a person is capable of programming on his or her own.

Sagadiyev said his ministry’s plan encompasses both teachers and parents.

“The courses include training teachers to improve content of classes taking into account digital technologies and their practical use, training them using different education systems, mobile apps and digital education resources,” said Sagadiyev.

To facilitate the effort, teachers can also communicate within a single information network.

“Introducing information systems and automatisation in the school learning process trains teachers and equally parents. This year, we organised a national gathering of parents where more than 1.6 million parents were taught the use of educational information systems. This is also done through creation of parents’ chat, mobile apps and automatisation of public services,” he said.

Digital literacy is also reinforced among healthcare workers, said Birtanov, with more than 182,000 people currently employed at 740 medical organisations.

“Within eight months, the number of doctors that were trained in the use of information systems of the ministry reached 44,869 and also 118,035 nurses. A total of 46,282 doctors and 125,729 nurses attended digital literacy courses,” said the minister, emphasising the ministry’s goal to train all healthcare workers until the end of 2018.

The ministry also conducts work to reach out to the other side of health sector, patients. Birtanov said to date 5,093,257 people, accounting for 28.2 percent of the total contractual population, received training.

Digital literacy training facilities, 471 to date, are also installed in healthcare organisations, where specialists demonstrate patients how to install mobile apps and use health services with the apps.

Abylkassymova believes electronic labour exchange, the country’s recent initiative launched in January, is one of the important channels to enhance digital literacy of the population.

She said training at employment centres and electronic labour exchanges have reached out to 535,695 people.

Agriculture sector workers, noted Yevniyev, had four tracks in their digital literacy training that included electronic public services, filling electronic field maps, working with digital technologies and using automated information system for identifying farm animals.

“We trained farmers on how to use electronic government services when they submit applications for subsidies of fertilisers. We had a task to train 40,000 farmers and to date, the figure is 29,623,” said Yevniyev.