NUR-SULTAN – Every child dreams of studying at a school that can provide the best learning opportunities, and for rural children, who are not able to reach their full potential due to the level of schooling and lack of teachers in rural areas, this dream is now becoming more real.
Among the 53 boarding schools around the country, the IQanat High School of Burabay is unique in its own way. First, it is located on the shore of Lake Burabai near one of the most beautiful natural parks in Kazakhstan called Burabai National Park. Second, it gathers 200 talented high school students from rural areas to prepare them for enrollment in the world’s most prestigious universities.
Founded in 2020 by BI Group CEO Aidyn Rakhimbayev, the school’s teaching system is based on the synthesis of the Finnish and Japanese education models.
“We are a derivative of the IQanat olympiad [IQanat fund’s three-stage olympiad in general education subjects for pupils in the ninth grade of rural schools]. When we started to hold the olympiads, we had finalists and winners. So logical question emerged: what should we do next? We decided that it is fair to provide those who have demonstrated their skills in the olympiad with the chance to study at the progressive educational establishment,” said school director Arnur Madenov in an interview with Forbes.kz.
Among the 35,000 annual participants, approximately 600-700 children qualify for the final of the national stage of the IQanat olympiad, and only 100 children are selected for the IQanat High School of Burabay free of charge. Some students may enter the school on a fee basis.
According to him, all students have their individual profiles with detailed information about their personalities. “We test and analyze what children want, who they wish to become, what skills they should improve and how we can help in achieving this goal. At the beginning of the school year, someone wanted to become a rural akim (mayor) or work at the National Security Committee. Later at the mid-year mark, we discovered that children changed their interests and want to become entrepreneurs or engineers,” he continued.
Besides the innovative approach to education, the school offers other classes – language, intellectual, technical, decorative, artistic and aesthetic, sports, economics, and housekeeping.
To date, 237 students in the 10th and 11th grades study at the school. 84 percent of school graduates won grants at universities, including from more than 40 top foreign universities to apply for their programs over the past year.
Madenov added that in the light of the first-year experience the school administration decided to accept ninth-grade students.