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The first volume of the OECD TALIS-2018 International report is out

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The first volume of the International Report “Teachers and School Leaders as life-long learners” on the results of the TALIS-2018  was released on June 19, 2019.  This volume examines how teachers apply their knowledge and skills in the classroom through different teaching practices, taking into account the demographic composition of the classes and school climate. Also, this volume assesses initial teacher preparation and continuous professional development activities of teachers.

Some of the key findings for Kazakhstan

Demographic characteristics

On average teachers in Kazakhstan are 41 years old, and school principals are 48 years old. Most of the teachers in Kazakhstan are between the ages of 36 and 49 (54%), fewer teachers are under the age of 30 (18.4%). Almost one third of Kazakhstani teachers are over 50 years old. It means that in the next decade Kazakhstan will have to renew about one quarter of its teaching workforce.

76% of Kazakhstani teachers are women (in OECD countries – 68%). The share of female teachers is higher in urban areas rather than in rural areas. In Kazakhstan, in rural areas, on average, 71% of teachers are women, while in the city (more than 100 000 people), women account for 83% of teachers.

In Kazakhstan, women significantly prevail in the teaching positions rather than in school director position (77% vs. 53%). In OECD countries, 47% of women are school principals and 68% are teachers.

For the majority of teachers in Kazakhstan (75%), teaching was the first-choice career (67% in OECD countries). 93% of teachers in Kazakhstan said that they chose this profession to have an opportunity to influence children’s development or contribute to society.


Majority of the teachers have higher education. The share of teachers with a master’s degree is 3.5%, while the average in OECD countries is 44.2%. The share of Kazakhstani school principals who hold a master’s degree is 6%, while in OECD countries it reaches 63%. School principals and teachers in Kazakhstan with a PhD degree are virtually non-existent. (0.1% and 0.7% respectively). In OECD countries 1.3% of teachers and 3.5% of principals have a PhD degree.

Working conditions of teachers

Kazakhstani teachers work on average 48.8 hours per week (of which 15 hours are actual teaching time) while teachers in OECD countries work on average 38.8 and teach 20 hours. Our teachers spend on average more than 3 hours on extracurricular activities whereas in OECD countries - 1.7 hours.

Kazakhstani teachers consider an increase in the amount of teachers' salaries as a top priority. Most of the teachers (96%) think it is of "high importance"(74%)  and some of "moderate importance" 22%. Next up is offering high quality professional development for teachers (42.2%), improvement of school buildings and facilities (39.7%) and reducing teachers’ administration load by recruiting more support staff (34.9%). On average, in OECD countries, the first task is to reduce teachers’ administration load by recruiting more support staff (65.4% of teachers believe that is of high importance), and to increase teachers' salaries (64.2%), to provide high-quality professional development activities for teachers (54.8%).

On average, in OECD countries and in Kazakhstan, novice teachers tend to work in more challenging schools that have higher concentrations of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes.

Professional Development

Teachers in Kazakhstan in general seem to be satisfied with the training they received, as 86% report that it had a positive impact on their teaching practice (the average of OECD countries is 82%).

98% of teachers (on average in OECD - 94%) and 100% of school principals (on average in OECD - 99%) participated in at least one professional development activity a year prior to the survey.

As a part of their professional development, teachers observe colleagues lessons and participate in coaching (94%), attend courses/seminars (89%), participate in professional development teachers' communities (78%), read professional literature (77.3%), participate in conferences (64.8%) and online courses/seminars (60.8%), attend schools (62%) and other (54%).

On average, teachers in Kazakhstan experience a “high level of need” in the following professional development themes: renewed curriculum and textbooks (36.6%), criteria-based assessment (30.5%), the use of ICT in teaching (30.2%), student assessment practices (27. 9%), knowledge and understanding of the subject field (21.8%) and methods of teaching their subject (21.6%), teaching students with low levels of academic performance (21.4%), managing student behavior and class work (21.4 %), as well as the interaction between teachers and parents/guardians (20.7%).

Teachers in Kazakhstan have more favorable conditions for professional development than teachers from other participating countries in TALIS. Our teachers more often participated in various professional development activities and more often reported receiving support. On average, 85.7% of teachers received at least one type of support for participation in professional development, compared to an average of 75% of countries participating in TALIS. They are provided with such types of support as release from teaching duties (68.7% of teachers); provision of materials needed for the PDP activities (49.5%); and non-monetary benefits (30.9%).

More than 60% of our teachers are involved in mentoring: one out of three teachers (37.1%) has a mentor and as many as 37.5% are assigned as mentors for one or more teachers.

Thus, for the first time, an internationally comparable and reliable database of professionalism and working conditions of teachers in Kazakhstan and the school environment was obtained. The results should serve as a starting point for the development of various national policies, managerial decisions and the formation of new priorities in the educational policy of the country's teacher workforce.

A more detailed analysis of the results will be available in the National Report «Международное исследование педагогического корпуса TALIS: первые результаты Казахстана», which will be published in August 2019. The report will contain international comparisons of the results of Kazakhstani teachers with the results of teachers from OECD and countries participating in TALIS.

It will contain an in-depth analysis on the following themes:

  • socio-demographic characteristics of the teachers and school leaders;
  • working conditions and job satisfaction;
  • school climate;
  • the reasons for choosing teaching profession;
  • the content of professional development training programs and a sense of teacher readiness for teaching;
  • working conditions when entering the profession;
  • existing and necessary professional development trainings;
  • barriers to teacher professional development;
  • teacher’s instructional practices;
  • use of innovations in teaching;
  • forms of professional cooperation of teachers, etc.

It will also analyze the results through contextual characteristics of teachers (age, gender, work experience) and educational institutions (geographical location of the school, characteristics of the student body) with recommendations for improving the conditions of teaching and learning in the country. Additional national questions will be analyzed along with the application of national strata (by region city/village, by type of school, and by language of instruction). The report will also contain an analysis of the world’s best practices on key research issues. Report will be concluded with the recommendations on the improvement of the working conditions of teachers for effective teaching and learning.

More information on the results can be found on the official website of the OECD

You can also watch the OECD TALIS video interviews “How do teachers and school leaders respond to student diversity?” and “What are the most effective professional development activities for teachers and school leaders?» featuring teachers and principals of Kazakhstan on the official OECD YouTube channel?”  

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is an international, large-scale survey of teachers, school leaders and the learning environment in schools. The study is conducted every five years (2008 – 24 countries, 2013 – 34 countries, 2018 – 48 countries) to collect information from teachers and school leaders in order to help countries improve the teaching workforce and conditions for effective teaching and learning.