This section is dedicated to my personal reaction to the informatization policy from the student, teacher and researcher perspectives. The critique toward schools’ coverage with computers, the effectiveness of ICT trainings, creation of digital resources and broadband internet provision is provided.
As a student, I can say that there is a huge difference between what is reported in the National Reports about the implementation of computerization, and what the country has in reality. The most obvious discrepancy is seen in the percentage of school coverage with computers. As an experienced pupil who changed several schools and who also had an opportunity to see the situation in rural areas, I can say that two of urban schools and two rural schools in Pavlodar where I studied, were not equipped with computers during her schooling years, taking into account that it were 1999-2007 years, while the National Report – 2006 (Damitov et al, 2006) stated that approximately 100% of schools were equipped with PCs.
As a teacher at school, I state that teachers’ trainings which were organized in order to reduce computer illiteracy and raise the ICT competence of teachers were ineffective. The trainings were oriented to memorizing the theoretical information rather than to examining the practical skills which ICT users must possess. In this way, many teachers were able to pass the examination successfully and finally got the certificate, but still they are not able to utilize this knowledge in the class. Also, the point that I would like to point out is the absence of monitoring of those teachers who completed ICT courses. As if nobody cares about the effectiveness of these courses; as if courses are run only for the sake of formalities.
As a researcher (future), I would put in question the Ministry’s intent to create interactive and intellectual digital academic resources for each subject studied at the secondary and profession-oriented schools (National Education Development Program, 2011). The reason is that the analysis of scholarly researches shows that even taking into account the fact that 50 packages of off-line electronic teaching aids covering 465 topics (National Center of Informatization, 2010) have already been created, this educational content is used only by 5% (Sapargaliyev, 2012). The first suggestion made by me will be to investigate the reasons why these digital resources are not in use, and only then move to ambitious plans to cover all school subjects with digital academic resources. Otherwise, the problem will remain unchanged, and, definitely, the increased number of subjects covered with digital resources is not going to solve the issue.
100% schools’ provision with broadband internet also generates doubts from the researcher’s perspective. Even considering that approximately 45 schools have already been connected to high speed internet, other 7515 schools struggle with low speed connection (Kaskatayeva, 2014). After analyzing the data which show that the connection of these 45 schools to broadband internet took almost 4 years, it can be expected that the realization of government’s plan to provide all 7515 secondary schools with the same internet connection will take nearly 600 years. These are my own calculations (45 – 4, 7515 – x, then x = (7515 * 4)/45 = 668) which show that the government’s aim to cover all schools is unfeasible. That is one of the reasons why I do not agree with the policy objectives. These objectives seem to be unrealistic and delusory.
I tried to answer my question about the difference between the policy and reality regarding the implementation of informatization reform in secondary schools in Kazakhstan. The analyses had shown that there is a huge discrepancy in what was reported and what was actually done during these seventeen years. This does not necessarily mean that the informatization reform failed to reach its objectives. It means that there are things that Kazakhstan still should work on. The policy makers have a lofty aim to improve the education system of the country by adopting info-communicational technologies. The national experts agree that the government succeeded in establishing the policy which is irreproachable in theory, but, unfortunately, is not applicable in practice due to inaccurate planning and absence of systematic coordination (Sapargaliyev, 2012; Nurgalieva, 2012; Nurgalieva, Aktybayeva, 2010; Akhmetova, Issayev, 2013; Mamykova, 2014; Khalikova, 2013; Kaskatayeva, 2014, Kerimbayev, Akramova, Suleimenova, 2014). I am sure that it is important to take into account the results obtained by Kazakhstani scholars in order to avoid future mistakes in planning for further reforms.
Damitov, B.K., Ermekov, N.T., Mozhaeva, O.I., Golovataya, G.I., Egimbaeva, Zh.K., Nogaibalanova, S.Zh., Suleimenova, Sh.A., Makhmetova, G.P., and Tekesheva, T.U. (2006). Natsional’nyi doklad o sostoyanii i razvitii obrazovaniya (National Report on the Status and Development of Education), Astana: National Center for Assessment of the Quality of Education.
Kaskatayeva, B. (2014). Informatization of education in the Republic of Kazakhstan: current status and future prospects. Global Journal for Research Analysis, 4, 1-4.
Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Education and Science (2011). The state program of education development till 2020. Astana: the Ministry of Education and Science. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from <http://www.edu.gov.kz/en>.
Kerimbayev, N., Akramova, A., Suleimenova, J. (2014). E-learning for ungraded schools of Kazakhstan: Experience, implementation, and innovation. Springer Science+Business Media, 9, 22-31
Khalikova, K. (2013). E-portfolio as a mean of students’ achievements assessment in the training of future teachers in the field of informatics. Tradition and Reform, 10, 209-219.
Mamykova, Z. (2014). IT decisions for education. The East Kazakhstan State Technical University named after D.Serikbayev, 4, 1-4.
Nurgalieva, G., Aktykbayeva, E. (2010). Content provision for information and educational environment in the Republic of Kazakhstan. UNESCO, 5, 112-117.
Sapargaliyev, D. (2012). E-Learning in Kazakhstan: Stages of Formation and Prospects for Development. Astana: Eurasian National University, 4, 1-4.
The National Center of Informatization (JSC) (2010). Informatization of education in Kazakhstan.