No fines will be assessed if children do not begin school at age 6

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science will not assess fines if children do not begin school at age 6. According to the education law, pre-school education and training are available for children one-six.

Six-year-olds are enrolled in first grade. Children with special needs may be deferred until age eight.

“We do not have the requirements that the child should know the basic skills including witting, counting and reading before going to school. The programme is designed with the option that children will come without skills and knowledge. They are expected to study letters, counting, writing and reading. Admission to school from the age of six is possible, but it is not obligatory. This is the right of the parent to decide when the child wants to go to school. Every child has his/her own characteristics of development,” said Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aitmagambetov at an Aug. 13 press conference.

Students are also permitted to use electronic textbooks, downloading them using the QR code and attending class with a tablet, e-book or laptop. The ministry prepared a special instructional letter for the regions indicating children and parents are free to decide.

“People ask if teachers let students to use electronic textbooks. We did the instructional letters to inform them that students are free to choose printed or electronic books. An electronic textbook is the same textbook. A child can come with different devices. There are no strict requirements for this process,” he added.

More than three million children will go to school this year. In excess of 405,000 will be in first grade, 20,000 higher than in 2018.

According to the admission rules, educational institutions providing primary, basic secondary and general secondary education will accept applications from parents or legal representatives of children entering first grade from June 1-Aug. 30.

Enrolling students by training level and development degree is not permitted. The maximum number of students in one class should be no more than 25.

The transition to a 12-year school system will be completed by 2020.