If the kids are a national treasure of any country,
gifted children are its intellectual potential.
Kazakhstan is on the way of its transformation to be one of the 50 most competitive countries in the world. To achieve this ambitious goal, the country is overhauling its educational system to be able to produce quality human capital as it will significantly result in benefit for economy and society (Bhuiyan, 2011). Therefore, gifted education is considered to be a core element of generating quality human capital; hence, a great deal of resources has been investing into education in order to implement strategies to provide a high quality education for gifted children (Hernandez-Torrano & Abisheva, 2013, p. 86).However, from the perspective of a teacher and a former school student I think that the implementation of gifted education has some issues and challenges.
First of all, there is a strong lack of highly qualified teachers who really can recognize a wide range of distinctions of students and support them. It is evident that mostly the identification of the high level thinking skills and indifferent abilities in each child depends on a teacher. There are about 2.5 million students studying at secondary schools in Kazakhstan and 80 schools for gifted students within the framework of 16 NIS, 34 Daryn and 23 KTL schools (Amirova, 2013). However, every single school is full of talented students who suffer from being unnoticed. Though those elite schools offer good quality knowledge, sometimes even the teachers of such schools cannot meet the extraordinary students’ needs. As it was mentioned in the report for “Eurotalent” conference by the director of Daryn RRPC, the number of talented and gifted students is increasing and their need cannot be fully satisfied, because gifted students require prepared, highly professional teachers.
Secondly, there is one more issue which needs attention, in my opinion. As far as you know we have many special schools for gifted students such as NIS, KTL and Daryn schools. However, the competitions, Olympiads and various types of activities organized by the Daryn RRPC is for all students regardless their school type, whether it is KTL or NIS. Henceforth, it is not truly fair to mix the students of elite schools and mainstream ones due to the fact that the curriculum they are taught is quite divergent. The elite school students are more skilled in comparison with usual school students because they are purposely trained for such rigorous tournaments. Concerning the fact that there are limited places for talented students and it is impossible to educate all of them at once, the policy makers have to redesign the curriculum with the enrichment approach provided by the in-depth and breadth content. As a result, there will be a hope that mainstream students can take advantage of that and their unnoticed skills will be developed.
Having read and analyzed some policy documents and related papers, it is apparently seen that within the framework of “Daryn” Republican Research and Practical Centre and the schools for gifted children such as NIS, KTL, Daryn Kazakhstan has a strong belief that this new elite and gifted generation will put its own durable brick in the growth construction of home country’s economic, social-political and educational, technologic-innovational industries. The evidence from present days suggests that there is no doubt that education, in particular, gifted education has been changed in Kazakhstan. However, there is always something that still needs to be desired.
Amirova, B. (2013). Blagorodnaya missiya Daryn [The noble mission Daryn ]. Class time 13(61).
Bhuiyan, S.H. (2011). Transition Towards a Knowledge-Based Society in Post-Communist Kazakhstan: Does Good Governance Matter? Journal of Asian and African Studies DOI: 10.1177/0021909611401565
Hernandez-Torrano, D. and Abisheva I. (2013). How to create enrichment clusters for gifted learners. Pedagogical Dialogue, 3(5), 86-90.