New Kazakh programme allows students to earn tuition funds, course credit for volunteering

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Ministry of Information and Social Development will launch in September a programme allowing Kazakh students to receive course credit and funds to pay tuition in exchange for volunteering.

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The Social Student Loan Project will be administered by the information and social development ministry and Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science.

“The student picks an activity and the location of the organisation, where he wants to volunteer. He registers and has an interview, after which he begins the activity. Upon completion, the organisation evaluates the job done and gives the student a grade. Then, an e-voucher for volunteering is issued, and the financial centre pays the student 1,000 tenge (US$2.6) per each hour of socially beneficial activities. In addition, the student receives academic credit,” said President of the Ministry of Education and Science joint-stock company Financial Centre Askar Ibramov.

For example, if a student teaches the Kazakh language for 20 hours, they would be allowed to skip certain Kazakh language lessons. The list of subjects from which a student can be exempted is still developing.

Ibramov said the programme contains two types of vouchers. With the first type, a student receives 20,000 tenge (US$51.7) and two academic credits. With the second, a student receives 50,000 tenge (US$129.2) and five academic credits. Students can use the money to cover part of their tuition.

The platform is meant to encourage student volunteering in inclusive education promotion, elder care, tutoring (Kazakh language, English, and computer science), organisation of community and sports clubs for children and working with children with deviant behaviour. Students will be able to volunteer at orphanages, retirement homes, education centres and other social institutions.

All students can register for the platform, said Vice Minister of Information and Social Development Daniyar Yesin.

So far, 1,400 people have registered with more than 60 volunteer organisations involved. According to local executive bodies, there are more than 200 volunteer organisations with more than 50,000 active volunteers. One can visit to register.

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