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National report as an annual monitoring of the state and development of educational system of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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National report on the state and development of educational system of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Report) is an annual analytical public document. The Report distinguishes not only the state but trends of educational policy development as well.

Information sources for the Report include data of government statistics, administrative reports and official information of lower organizations of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) and original sources of international organizations.

National report on the state and development of educational system of the Republic of Kazakhstan is prepared in accordance with key target indicators and performance indicators of educational system for the republic in whole, in inter-regional comparisons and for levels of education.

The Report states the facts of transformations taking place and defines conceptual particular aspects related to high level of educational initiatives being under implementation. The key message is to ensure achievement of set indicators in the context of their effectiveness and performance.

All chapters of the Report contain comparative information of efficiency of regional educational strategies carried out. Considered all, the Report summarizes primary positions required for preserving stability of success gained in compliance with key components of its content. Analysis of education state and development trends is presented in the light of its quality - "Availability of educational services", "Resource use efficiency", "Education content" and "Educational system efficiency" for 2 years. 

Effectiveness of state educational policy implementation depends on external and internal factors including the level of economic development of the country, population and migration processes. Education is included into the structure of 3 components of gross domestic product (GDP) which determines the national level of prosperity (share of GDP - 4.2%). At significant growth of absolute values, amount of financing of educational system of the country versus GDP is not high compared to global indicators (6-8% of GDP).

There are significant differences in the level of total government expenditures for education described as a share of gross regional product (GRP). For example, South Kazakhstan (8.4%) and Zhambyl (7.6%) oblasts demonstrate high indicator for "GRP for education" though a share of GRP per capita is the lowest. With fairly high amount of financing of Atyrau oblast (10.3%) for the indicator "GRP per capita", the region demonstrates the lowest share of GRP for education (1.2%). The same trend is seen in Almaty (18.7% and 2.7%  respectively).

Therefore, despite of fairly high economic potential such regions as Almaty and Atyrau oblast create educational inequality risks resulting in restraint of effective mechanisms of educational system modernization at the regional level.

Effectiveness and efficiency of educational system distinguish human professional realization indicators in accordance with the level and quality of education obtained. According to the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan (ASRK) year 2012 sees simultaneous growth in number of economically active and employed population and in unemployed population. However, the level of unemployed youth at the age of 15-28 is higher than the total unemployment level in the country by 0.1%.

Availability of quality education directly depends on internal and external migration flows. Insignificant reduction in intensity of external migration (population outflow "-1428 people) is seen over the last 2 years. However, active urbanization goes on - size of cities increases and the size of small and medium-sized villages decreases. Therefore, a trend of low school construction level in Astana (+1) and Almaty (+3) is unjustified.

Major indicators of educational system scope and affordability are the network and cohort of educational organizations and their geographic distribution. Network of general educational organizations existing in the country provides an access for various categories of children and teenagers; and educational area is established with due account for needs of the people. The program "100 schools, 100 hospitals" has been successfully implemented. 106 schools were built as the part of the program. A new school construction program was launched in 2012 in the context of future shift to 12-years education.

However, there is still a requirement in educational institutions. The largest number of schools in emergency condition are located in East Kazakhstan (65), Kyzylorda (34) and Zhambyl (33) oblasts. The largest number of schools requiring capital repair are located in South Kazakhstan (249), Almaty (206) and Zhambyl (177) oblasts. High requirement in construction of new institutions is also seen in Almaty and Astana cities due to the growth in population migration related to the level of economic welfare of cities.

Growth in indicators of pre-school organization network (by 801) has been recorded which is the result of implementation of the program "Balapan" and development of public-private partnership.

Network of schools of general secondary education was increased by 2 items in 2012. In the regional view an increase in the number of schools took place in Almaty oblast - 3 items, South Kazakhstan oblast - 2 items, Atyrau, Mangistau, Astana city and Almaty - 1 item. However, the largest reduction in number is seen in East Kazakhstan oblast - 20 items, South Kazakhstan oblast - 16 items and Kostanay oblast - 14. Trend of disagreement in network of schools and displacement of population affect equal access to quality educational services irrespective of place of residence.

At the same time quantitative indicators in Vocation Education and Training system (VET) and higher and postgraduate study (HPGS) reduce due to optimization of the network (by 3% and 10% in cohort respectively). According to the ASRKdata, coverage of students in VET system has reduced by 1.8%, in higher education system - by 2.3%.

Expenditures for education are one of the key indicators of social development that reflects attention paid by the government and society to people's education. Investments into education are not not just an important method to improve human capital of the country and enhance prospects for economic development, they also have their own value since education elevates the mind of people, provides opportunity for self-fulfillment and promotes material wealth and healthy lifestyle.

At the same time this indicator does not take into account how effectively expenditures for education are distributed among different social groups within the state, the relation between public and private expenditures for education, expenditure pattern and related factors.

A Law on National Educational Saving System (NESS) was adopted in 2012 to enhance affordability of fee-based educational services and public support for the population. Similar systems of educational saving accounts exist in a number of countries, for example, Belgium, Canada, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain, USA. The government promotes accumulation of money in such accounts in the form of incentives and subsidies. There are 2 mechanism in operation in the country which ensure affordability of education - national grants using which around a quarter of students study, and educational loans guaranteed by the state. National Educational Saving System (NESS) is destined to become the third mechanism that provides an opportunity to the people to accumulate money for education of children.

Expenditures of state budget for education saw 2 times increase in absolute terms over 5 years (2008-2012). Over the same period of time this indicator versus GDP increased only by 0.2%. A share of GDP for higher and postgraduate study increased by 0.1%, for other educational programs - by 0.3%. At the same time, a share of this indicator for preschool  and secondary education remained at the level of 2011.

Expenditures for one learner in universities per year are 15% higher than in VET system, 35% higher than in general secondary education and 1.8 times higher than in preschool education. Difference in expenditures is linked to the process of education at a certain level, complexity of educational programs and requirements for equipment of material and technical base.

Any investments into basic education must be measured in such a manner so that one could answer the question: to what extent they promote extention of access to education, improvement of quality of education at all levels of education.

Only 88.4% of schools have libraries, and its share has reduced by 1.9%. Not only quantitative indicator is important, but effectiveness of work of school libraries as well. The question is specially important in the context of preparation in PIRLS-2016.

Availability of dormitories demonstrates the dominance of the share of indicator in higher education system. Percent of dormitories in universities is 8.94% higher than in VET (university - 74.6%, VET - 65.7%).

Promotion of teacher's status is one of the priorities of present-day educational policy of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s State Programme of Education Development until 2020 defines a number of measures aimed at creation of positive image of a teacher and his motivation for professional self-education. Total number of teaching staff in levels of educations in 2012 was equal to 426 428 people which is 12 433 more than the indicator of 2011. 2% growth in quantitative composition of teachers has been recorded. However, a share of young specialists with work experience below 3 years has decreased by 0.5%. The trend is important in the context of updating teaching structure of schools. Low turnover of staff is the key reason for insufficient pension coverage of school teachers. At present income of a retired teacher is 3-4 times lower than such of a working teacher. Moreover, natural staff renewal does not take place. Unjustified number of graduates of teachers' university is a negative trend for educational policy effectiveness.

The highest share of teachers with higher education works in VET system (90.2%), the lowest - in preschool education system (57.9%). There are still teachers with high school diploma - 0.6% of teachers work in preschool education system and VET, and 0.15% in secondary education.

Problems of teachers' educational level are provided in the Report in terms of impact of the indicator on student performance. Dependence of average score of External Evaluation of Educational Achievements-2012 and Unified National Testing-2012 on a share of teachers with higher education is questionable.  

With relatively high share of teachers with higher education in the country (87.9%) average score of EEEA (External Evaluation of Educational Achievements) is 51.6%, UNT (Unified National Testing) - 70.91%. Average score of UNT (65.66%) in South Kazakhstan oblast is one of the lowest though despite of the highest share of teachers with higher education (94.3%). Low percent of teachers with the highest category (75.3%) of Mangistau oblast can be the reason of low EEEA result (49.2%).

State Program of Education Development until 2020 has defined an annual 20% achievement of indicator by engineering and teaching staff of VET organizations who have undertaken professional development and placement including in manufacturing plants, and 20% by teaching staff of universities. Year 2012 was marked as a year for activization of work based only on quantitative indicators but qualitative as well (inter-regional industry centers, research institutes, companies abroad).

The Report considers the issue of school teachers' undertaking multilayered programs in an integrated manner. In 2012 287 teachers completed training on the 3rd basic level and 299 - on the 2nd principal level. However, analysis of mechanism for launching the project has shown that transparency and accessibility for each teacher to in-service training on multilayered programs of Cambridge system (applications are registered in special portal) need to be provided.

Common education quality structure has ensured cooperation of various levels of education regulatory bodies. Average score of UNT-2013 is 3.56 points higher than that in 2012. Indicators of rural school leavers are 8.74 points lower than those of urban students. More successful results are seen for humanitarian subjects compared to scientific and math subjects.

High results were shown only by 1.6% of participants of CTA-2012. Overall average score of students of 116 universities of all fields in EEEA-2012 was equal to 92.59 points. The best result was shown by students of the field "Education" - 101.93 points.

Average score of 9 grade students in EEEA-2013 was equal to 35.81. Indicators of 10 grade students of 12-year education experimental schools who took part in EEEA-2013 was more than 2.8 points. In regional comparison incompliance of school evaluation with EEEA-2013 results was seen.

Participants of independent monitoring studies have demonstrated only 50-60% execution of tests for science and math. Tests that require comprehensive and well-reasoned answers were the most difficult for students.

According to the results of Independent Qualification Assessment-2012 72.5% of 123 483 graduates of VET took qualification certificate.

14 Kazakhstani universities have been accredited in foreign certification bodies and are in the National Register. Three leaders of "Ranking - 2012: Ранжирование вузов Казахстана по образовательным программам» возглавляют Казахский национальный университет имени аль-Фараби, Евразийский национальный университет имени Л.Н. Гумилева, Казахский национальный технический университет имени К. Сатпаева.

Independent social research on "Access of population to educational information (study of web-sites of Departments of Education) was firstconducted as the part of implementation of the Decree of Government of the RK "On approval of Rules for educational monitorng". Kostanay oblast is the leader among 15 of 16 official web-sites of Departments of Education of the country.

National report has systematized an event line of information materials and statistics. Year 2012 was marked as a year of obtaining success in implementation of Kazakhstan educational initiatives. More than 4 million of Kazakhstani people go into education, acquire skills and knowledge required for successful personal and professional realization.

Professional use of provided information of National report by pedagogic and administrative community will promote implementation of effective and successful educational policy.

Further forecasting of development trends proves that rate of growth in achievement of education target indicators for 2012 allows positioning Kazakhstan among the countries with high level of human development in the reputable ranking of the Program of United Nations in 2015.

Collection of reports and scientific articles of International Conference "High quality and leadership in education - 2013", Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, 2013, Astana.