All posts by aidanamakulbayeva

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“You become what you think about most. But you also attract what you think about most. (John Assaraf) ” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Decentralization and Local Governance in Kazakhstan

The paper argues that decentralization in Kazakhstan has limited capacity to contribute to good local governance. However, since the 1990’s decentralization has positively effected local governance in Kazakhstan. The key purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of decentralization in achieving local governance. Bhuiyan (2010) supports his statement based on the following reasons: lack of public participation in decision-making processes, dependency of local public administration on the authority of central administration, and a limited degree of fiscal autonomy enjoyed by local governments.

Firstly, the methodology is mainly based on literature review, such as published research, local reports, and websites. However, this method reveals only one side of the local governance in Kazakhstan. The real local governance context is more complicated. The author claims “Kazakhstan suffers from legal and political barriers to develop local self-government”(Bhuiyan, 2010, p.665). While this may be true, it is only one side of the issue, while there are other factors involved – citizens’ inactive attitude, low political awareness etc. It would be more efficient to survey local residents and public policy experts to obtain first-hand information and hear their voices.

Secondly, the article overemphasizes the positive side of the decentralization concept (Ostrom, Schroeder and Wynne,1993), while it fails to present alternative views. Numerous sources suggest rather the opposite. For instance, in their work (Peixoto, Rocha, Nishijima and Postali, 2012) analyzed the possible correlation between decentralization and corruption in the context of Brazil’s primary healthcare programs, and concluded that there is no relationship between decentralization and corruption, whatever the measure of decentralization used. In his article, Remy Prud’homme (1995) described the danger posed by decentralization, stating that the benefits it entails under the standard theory of fiscal federalism are not obvious.

Finally, the author makes blunt inaccuracies. For instance, “to reap benefit of the plan, the government intends to improve the state and to grant autonomy to local levels”(Bhuiyan, 2010, p.659). However, given that Kazakhstan is a unitary, not federal, state autonomy is neither feasible nor possible.

In conclusion, this essay attempts to critique Bhuiyan’s (2010) article. Despite the overall clarity of the author’s arguments, improvements are needed with regard to the methodology. Attention should be paid to providing a more comprehensive analysis of decentralization. As a last point, the author should better attempt to take into account the local political and policy context in Kazakhstan.


Bhuiyan, S. H. (2010). Decentralization and local governance in Kazakhstan.International Journal of Public Administration33(12-13), 658-672.

Peixoto, S. G. D., Rocha, F. F., Nishijima, M., & Postali, F. A. S. (2012).Decentralization and corruption: evidence from primary health-care programmes.Applied Economics Letters19(18), 1885-1888.

Prud’Homme, R. (1995). The dangers of decentralization. The world bank research observer10(2), 201-220.

Ostrom, E., Schroeder, L., & Wynne, S. (1993). Institutional incentives and sustainable development: infrastructure policies in perspective. Westview Press.

Body language and lying


According to the Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary (2000, p. 161) “body language is the process of communicating what you are feeling or thinking by the way you place and move your body rather than by words”. There is no doubt that when people start to express ideas they move their hand, arm, body, head or eyes. Some gestures may help to determine do students lie whether tell truth. In this paper, I would like to invest on typical lying gestures and the role of parents whether they can accept the truth on their child’s academic achievement.

Teachers may determine truth from lies by following gestures: when a student appears nervous or uncomfortable, especially when he\she demonstrates unnatural gestures, such as completely covering their mouse or glancing away (Wilson et al, 2003). However, sometimes children may deceive their teachers easily. For example, a teacher may believe when all groups asserts one thing in a class. In other words, students came to an agreement before the class. From my point of view, most of the lies fail, because the liar has not well prepared enough for this state. One of the bright examples of this example is when a liar forget the details about something what he or she said before.

Parents’ responses to their children lying varied widely: they were most likely to challenge the lie (38%), ignore the lie (18%), and address\punish the transgression of the liar (18%)(Wilson, Smith and Ross, 2003, p.34). Lying may become more frequent in adolescence, because youths spend more time outside the supervision of parents (Engels, Finkenauer and van Kooten, 2006). However, I think most modern parents trust their children in much case. This is a natural phenomenon that parents should believe, support and take care of their children. Therefore, they might confuse whether their children tell the truth or lie. From my personal experience, I can say that parents do not always accept the negative comments. For instance, when I informed one parent about the bad behavior of her child, she started to blame our school policy criticizing the way I taught children. Finally, she added that her child was very intelligent and obedient. As a result, she did not want to believe in her child’s misbehavior at the lesson, even when I showed her an official letter from the history teacher.

To sum up, despite the fact that parents and teachers teach their children and students to be honest and sincere, it is a natural phenomenon that lying is happening rare among children. Yet, sometimes it is hard for parents accept the truth about their children’s poor progress or misbehavior from teachers.


Dictionary, O. (2000). Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

Wilson, A. E., Smith, M. D., & Ross, H. S. (2003). The nature and effects of young children’s lies. Social Development12(1), 21-45., P. (1988). Lying and nonverbal behavior: Theoretical issues and new findings. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior12(3), 163-175.

Engels, R. C., Finkenauer, C., & van Kooten, D. C. (2006). Lying behavior, family functioning and adjustment in early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence35(6), 949-958.

You may share of yours personal experience on lying

Recommended video

What makes students happy?

In modern society many students live to discover the answer “What makes student happy?” There are strong perceptions of students that happiness comes from the highest grades, money, fame, power or influence. We cannot guarantee or convince that they are true or false. However, from my point of view, good health, family, feeling of love and believe for the future life created the one bright word happiness.

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Good health

Health is the most significant element of being happy student. In order to be healthy individual, students should be better to follow the next concepts: do exercise, permanently go for stroll, sleep 7-8 hour a day, keep active social life, play, love and be creative. These major elements, which sustain healthy life, demand daily effort from human being. However, the tremendous events which do not depend from you, such as car accident or losing someone might worsen your health. Personally in my case, I have broken my left leg by accident, when I started my study (Master degree). Then, I realized to focus on my health. I recommend you to think over how keep fit, and demonstrate active social life.

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Family is a fundamental institution of life throughout the history (Stutzer & Frey, 2006). Authoritative parenting, close relations with parents and long lasting parents’ marital status are positively effect on children’s life satisfaction (Demo and Acock, 1996). It takes huge responsibility from parents; indeed bring more love and happy feelings both for parents and children.



In 1968, the American president Richard Nixon said: “In the next 20 years we shall become much richer, but will we really be any richer as people – happier?”(Lyke, 2008, p.140). Many students confuse the role of the money with happiness. From their point of view, money is a one tool to be happy. However, we cannot buy happiness. Even fame cannot guarantee to be happy. Therefore, I don’t want allow money to lead us for the happiness. In contrast, students can earn money with passionate job and become successful worker in the heir future life.


  Internet influence

Does the internet use influence on stundets’ feelings? There is no doubt that more and more pupils students their leisure time in the internet, which have its positive and negative effect on not only young generation, but also for older generation. For those who are very shy and taciturn, internet use tends to strengthen social isolation (Nie et al, 2002). However, people can get positive effect on the perceived quality of life from the face-to-face communication with relatives, friends or acquaintances (Pénard et al, 2013). They conclude that computer-based communication cannot replace traditional sociability. Therefore, enjoy being with your mum, dad or with the moment when you feel love and care.

School Life

School life

Most of the studies report high overall happiness in children and adolescents (Huebner, Drane, and Valois, 2000; Park and Huebner, 2005). Much young generation spend their time at school by studying special subjects and participating in extra-curricular activities, where they can be in a positive and negative atmosphere. For example, many recreational activities were identified as happiness-increasing indicator, such as playing football, cycling or running (Huebner, 1991). There is no doubt unpleasant confluences at school makes student feel unhappy; in contrast, teacher care and love bring more positive attitude for students.



The last one but not least indicator to open the happiness is the faith to life or just belief. Whenever being sorrow or unlucky, just smile, think positively and go ahead. The American leader Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”( Rielly, 1984, p.17). In my opinion, he means that, no matter how arduous situation it is, we should believe that we can overcome and handle with it. In fact, there are many people who fight with diseases in order to leave and be happy. If we are faithful, we will easily attract and find out positive solutions of the problems.

To sum up, students can start to be happy since now. Doing recreational activities, regular sport exercises and permanent sleep hours have such a profound effect on students’ happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. Everything has its own measure and boundaries, such as internet use or money. Therefore, I recommend you to be active and share your ideas with your friends, peers and relatives. And do not forget believe.


David, H., Demo, D. H., & Acock, A. C. (1996). Family structure, family process, and adolescent well-being. Journal of Research on Adolescence6, 457-488.

Huebner, E. S., Drane, W., & Valois, R. F. (2000). Levels and demographic correlates of adolescent life satisfaction reports. School Psychology International21(3), 281-292.

Lyke, H. J. (2008). The Impotent Giant: How to Reclaim the Moral High Ground of America’s Politics. iUniverse.

Nie, N.H., Hillygus, S.D., Erbring, L. (2002). Internet use, interpersonal relations, andsociability in the Internet. In: Wellman, B., Haythornthwaite, C. (Eds.), Everyday

Park, N., & Huebner, E. S. (2005). A cross-cultural study of the levels and correlates of life satisfaction among adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology36(4), 444-456.

Pénard, T., Poussing, N., & Suire, R. (2013). Does the Internet make people happier?. The Journal of Socio-Economics46, 105-116.

p.s: I recommend you watch this experiment about happiness

And what makes you happy?