Well, oil be ... Kazakhs turn to the British for overhaul tips

1st June 2012 at 01:00

Temperatures in winter can drop to -45 degrees Celsius, its democracy is in its early days and its leader names almost everything after himself.

Despite these drawbacks, British teachers have answered a call from Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev for support in overhauling the country's entire education system.

British teachers are already heading to the landlocked country to work in the first seven of a new network of 20 elite government grammars, set up using wealth generated by large gas and oil reserves. Experienced teachers are being targeted to teach their subjects while mentoring Kazakh teachers and helping to develop the curriculum. About 20 British teachers started work there last September, but the figure is expected to rise to 80 a year from August.

The authorities hope that they will be lured by attractive packages including free accommodation, two free flights a year and wages of between $4,000 and $5,000 (pound;2,550- pound;3,192) a month.

President Nazarbayev - who has named the new Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools after himself - is hoping that the British influence will help to move the education system away from old-fashioned Soviet teaching techniques and towards a modern curriculum taught in Kazakh, Russian and English.

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), the international arm of exam board OCR, was contracted last year to advise and support the government on the development of the curriculum.

As part of a related teacher training project, the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Education is developing in-service training programmes for Kazakh teacher trainers, with the aim of introducing more critical thinking, interactive teaching and learning and the use of assessment.

Pupils at the new intellectual schools will be expected to progress to Kazakhstan's new university, the imaginatively named Nazarbayev University, set up in partnership with University College London.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now