“Competence of a Nation” (Part III)

I think the writing of these English teachers from Kazakhstan are helpful to know that they are VERY aware what needs to change in the educational systems they have inherited from the former Soviet Union.  The younger people with ideas and energy can make a difference. This young 20 something, Kazakh woman admitted the following:

“Kazakhstan is one of the developing countries.  It is just entering the world educational field.  It has been changing its paradigms of education.  It is very difficult to accept and inculcate the new technologies of developed countries to our system of education, because of long established old ways of teaching.  As a result, most classes are conducted in traditional ways that were taking place during Soviet Union.”

Another woman in her early 20s from southwestern Kazakhstan had a more positive spin despite her disability:

“At the age of 22, I consider myself to be one of the happiest individuals in the world because I have health, family and education.  I am fortunate to hold the position of a teacher at the university, and of having the opportunity to teach smart students who have what it takes to realize their dreams and live life to the fullest. Every single day students impress me with their congeniality, desire to know everything and worldwide outlook.  I am committed to my work because I believe it is important.

But sometimes I felt that they deserved a more experienced teacher who could give them more than I am able.  These thoughts captured my mind especially when I realized that I was not able to teach because of a speech impairment that resulted from an operation.  There were moments when I wanted to give up with everything, feeling like an invalid because of an inaccurate diagnosis of our ‘qualified’ medical officers…My life to date has prepared me for dealing with many obstacles and also shown me the strength, determination and optimism that I consider to be a part of my character.”

One more thought about education in Kazakshtan:

“…Education is something modern society cannot progress without.  The quality of education in a country determines its further development.  My strong belief is that any investments in education eventually pay off.

My country is currently changing its educational standards from those that existed during the Soviet Union times to those that exist nowadays in the western society.  But as those standards have not been designed for our society and mentality and the whole system is rather new for us, we are experiencing some difficulties.  It is clear that we cannot simply take the new system and apply it to our reality, and our government has developed some guidelines to facilitate the process of adapting to the innovations.  However, we do not have any institutions that would teach higher education administration and management techniques, that would give us knowledge we would be able to rely on in reality.”

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