Distance Learning to Become New Standard in Education as Academic Year Begins in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – Some 3.3 million schoolchildren, 466,000 high school students and more than 600,000 university students began a new academic year on Tuesday. While the majority will continue to study remotely amid the pandemic outbreak, about 780,000 primary schoolchildren will study in special groups at schools.  

Photo credit: Іnformburo.kz.

On Sept. 1, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev congratulated students and teachers on the beginning of the school year. 

“The pandemic has imprinted itself upon the school year in schools and universities. But this is a temporary phenomenon. The government set the task to develop a procedure for returning to full-time education in compliance with sanitary standards in order to avoid an outbreak among the children and youth,” Tokayev wrote on his Twitter. 

Earlier, Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov said that the current approach to studying is a combined one. It depends on the epidemiological situation. Children in grades 1-4 can study in the special classes at the request of their parents. 

At least 15 children will study in special classes. Lessons and breaks for each group will start at different times. At the same time, sanitary requirements will be strictly observed with constant temperature checks of both children and teachers, mandatory masks, frequent use of antiseptics, cleaning, airing and quartzing rooms.

Overall, 60 percent of children will return to schools and approximately 3,000 schools out of 7,000 schools will be reopened.  

Online classes will be broadcast on the Balapan TV channel in the Kazakh language and on the EL ARNA TV channel in the Russian language from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The schedule is available on the social media accounts and website of the Ministry of Education and Science. TV classes are mandatory for all students. The duration of each lesson is 15 minutes. Its recordings will be available on the TV channels’ websites and the ministry’s website. 

“Students’ readiness is essential,” Mathematics Teacher Bagdat Kabasov told Khabar TV Channel. “Children should adapt to this format and focus on the classes. Teamwork is also important. Parents and teachers should work together. A teacher will guide children and parents should support them.”

This year, 32 new schools were commissioned across the country and 77 schools are expected to open by the end of the year. Local executive bodies temporarily issued computers and routers for distance learning for schoolchildren in the regions. Some 10,258 new teachers have resumed working in schools.

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