What is a grand educational concern nowadays in Kazakhstan is an issue of rural schooling due to numerous drawbacks it is referred to.
According to the official stats, rural schools are responsible for the upbringing and educating 47% of the school learners all over Kazakhstan (432 thousand).
Meanwhile, the analysts have fixed the funding of ungraded schools, which is the prevalent type of village schools, costs 30-100% more than the financing of urban schools.
The gap between the urban and rural learners UNT scores is 10-15% and it has not changed in several years.
Due to financial constraints and UNT low grades, rural schools learners will not be able to enroll in higher education institutions to continue and enhance their education and go back to work in the native areas, improving the rural welfare.
The issue will be resolved with the availability of high quality education for students from the abolished villages or settlements where there are no schools or only ungraded schools are present.
In accordance with the Law “On the Republican Budget for 2013-2015”, spending on education will compute up to 469.6 billion tenge. Thus, it is worthy to spend on high quality education within village schools walls: by providing classrooms with an adequate number of peers and appropriate curriculum (opposite ungraded schools where are uneven aged learners, mixed curriculum), higher salaries for teachers.
The analysis of publications in pedagogical literature shows that research on the reform of rural schools is not enough, the nature, content and criteria to modernize the education systems are not determined as well as readiness of rural educational institutions and the model of rural school restructuring, organizational and methodological support for the implementation. (Abramova, 2010).
The school work depends largely on securing the village specialists. There the level of culture of the rural population and village demographic problems are crucial factors in maintaining high quality education. In modern conditions the school in the village is not only an educational institution, but also a cultural center. The high importance of the school in the village life is recognized by many policymakers, who allocate funds for school needs from public funds. The development of education is one of the most profitable investments; however, the proper maintenance of schools still does not solve the problem of their low achievement. The results showed that the characteristic of today’s rural schools has been a sharp decline in the number of pupils there, and that rural school modernization is needed, including the development of the education process.
The crucial measure is to ensure the effectiveness of the educational process, the quality of general education of its graduates (Day and al., 2009). Organization of education in rural schools by type of large urban schools loses their effectiveness. For example, directors of large rural schools continue to voice unanimously that ungraded schools’ graduates demonstrate lower levels of the training.
- Features of teaching in a rural school
The class size in rural schools often ranges from 5 to 15 students. Reduction of the number of students per class alters qualitatively either the teachers work, or students’ activities. In a class with a small number of pupils there clearly emerge individual differences of students, the level of preparedness and the development of each of them, and it requires teachers to individualize learning skills, organize and manage training activities of each student (Harris-Van Keuren, 2011).
2. Teachers in rural schools, as a rule, sometimes act as pluralists. And this is also one of the features of teaching in such schools. Teacher with basic education conduct other subjects as well.
Other sources claim that nearly 50% of some subjects are taught by teachers who do not have special education on this discipline. Complicating is the fact that the consolidation of those subjects is not always stable. In addition, sometimes hours allocated to teaching some disciplines are divided between different teachers.
In this situation, the burden increase in terms of preparation for lessons, this naturally makes it difficult to develop their creative capability. Existing guidelines are focused mainly on teacher-specialists working in large classes. The distance from school resource centers, which is typical for small rural schools, hampers the possibility to obtain a systematic methodological assistance.
Abramova M. (2010). Education as a factor of socio-cultural adaptation of students to the conditions of modern transformations (in Russian language). Voprosy obrazovaniya, 3, 195-242.
Day, C, Sammons, P, Gu, Q. (2009). Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies in research on reachers’ lives, work, and effectiveness: from integration to synergy. Educational Research, 37(330). doi: 10.3102/0013189X0832409.
Harris-Van Keuren, C. (2011). Influencing the status of teaching in Central Asia. Globalization on the Margins: Educational and Postsocialist Transformations in Central Asia.(pp. 173-201). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, Inc.