My Main Goals for Teaching in KZ (Final part)

To sum up, I will reveal my conclusion to the report I did over a week ago to satisfy the powers that be who make important decisions regarding education in Kazakhstan.  The Ministry of Education has much to do to keep on course with being a part of the 21st century, that is certainly the heartfelt desire of the president of this country.  I appreciate the fact that he knows his history of Kazakhstan and yet wants to be a part of the current global economy.  That can’t happen without having better educated citizens.  Of course, you can’t have well trained patriots of any country without having a good economy. Education and economics go hand in hand. Kazakhstan is oil and mineral rich.  I think of the phrase that I’ve heard a few of my American friends say, “we are house rich but cash poor.”  May it not be said of Kazakhstan that they are “resource rich but technologically poor.”

I would hope my dear blog readers have found the last five parts of my report to the Ministry of Education in Kazakhstan compelling enough.  I’m sure I left out many good points that I could have made to make a stronger case for my existence as a foreigner here in Kazakhstan.  However, I wanted to make it succinct and targeted to what the immediate needs are for now, as I see them.  I can only see them through my expat colored glasses.  I cannot know what an older Kazakh citizen must think about the dying off of the time honored Kazakh traditions and the language.  English is the global language (better that than Chinese, right?) and if there is any future for the young people of Kazakhstan it is knowing English.

Growing up among Americans from the Midwest, we have parents and grandparents who came from the Old Country. They knew the way for them to get ahead was to ditch the language and traditions and to embrace everything English.  That is why my own parents and older people from the Midwest may know a second language because they heard it around the house.  I think we as Americans should not berate ourselves for knowing only English because that was the way we were all on the same page.  If you have many languages that are to be on the ballot, then democracy is in trouble.  The very nature of a democracy is that majority rules.  So, I have my reservations about having the tri-lingual requirement in Kazakhstan (Russian, Kazakh and English).  Young people can absorb many languages and if they are taught that at an early age, they will master it.  However, those that made this rule are only thinking in terms of oral and aural skills.  They do not have in mind about writing and reading in all three languages.  Writing in English is very difficult especially if the students are not given enough material to read in English.

That is why I am hoping that there is a very measured perspective about accomplishing so much so quickly in Kazakhstan.  It all takes time, as it took time in the U.S. to have the educational system we have now.  The complication of having THREE languages given almost equal authority (English for global commerce, Russian for internal affairs and Kazakh for the sake of resurrecting a past culture and traditions), well that is a recipe for a debacle in the kitchen where the home fires are tended.  What are the Kazakh parents and grandparents to think?

I am an optimist like my Dad, I’m not a pessimist.  However, I’m also a realist and I want the best for this great country of Kazakhstan.  I did not add what I just wrote above into my conclusion but maybe I should have.  What do you think?  I’d like to know your views on this issue of education in Kazakhstan.  A very broad but hot topic for sure.  Here’s what I wrote in summary:

VII. Conclusion

I believe that it is very crucial for teachers in the primary and secondary level to be trained and taught how to use modern technology effectively for the sake of their students.  The students themselves are not afraid to make any mistakes and will learn about computers on their own despite the teachers’ fears about not knowing how to use it like an expert.  If given the right attitude and with enough experience, teachers are able to use modern technology which helps lighten their load of finding interesting material for the students to learn.

Teachers these days are competing with computer games and special effects in movies.  The least that can be done with the most amount of impact for the future of this nation is to equip those teachers who have a good IELTS score and who have an aptitude for experimenting with new things they learn.  They need to have curiosity and a desire to learn along with the rest of their students.  That is why the teaching methodology classes and the educational classes are so needed for such a time as this.  I will do everything I can to make learning fun and make teaching fun for the teachers and the students.  I wish great success for the nation of Kazakhstan and I know that I am touching the future when I am dealing with young people in the classrooms.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Success and happiness is not dependent on destiny of a man. We say, “In the right place in right time”. I know, I am in the right place right now! If it wasn’t for PDP coureses, who knows what I would be doing. I would teach at one of Aktobe schools, just following the path founded by our “ancestors” untill i found something to get straight away from that path. And now, it is guite different. I have a chance to turn to the right from that old way of teaching and do my small steps for novelty and integration.

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