All posts by Kudaibergen

Do you talk to think or think to talk?

Have you ever thought of the way you talk and think? Do you always mean what you are saying? Have you ever caught yourself realizing that this or that particular thing didn’t sound the way you wanted it to?

Time passing by, I notice that many of us are offended by their friends, colleagues or just acquaintances because of the way they express their thoughts. I would understand if it was connected to criticizing, but unfortunately not always. This once more reminds us that having good communicational skills is vital. It is even seen straight after the argument when you start to apologize and say that it wasn’t exactly the thing you intended to say. I am always contemplating over the preventions of such circumstances, trying to understand the possible reasons for this to happen. The general assumption I have made was that everything depends on the circumstances, situations and the conditions you in; But the article (fastcompany, 2006), I accidentally stumbled, was a kind of a frame to sort the diversified ideas I had.

According to this article, there are two types of people, the ones who talk-to-think and the ones who think-to-talk. Talk-to-thinkers express their minds out loud all the time and they are willing to understand the things by talking to others or by hearing their opinions and views. This type of people may construct their thoughts while talking; they clear their minds by getting rid of every single detail they have there. Whereas, think-to-talkers first construct their thoughts carefully and only then speak. Though it takes time, and usually it happens that the person they are talking looses interest or gets impatient and even angry while waiting for an answer.

Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t assume that all people can fall under one of the descriptions given above. Some people may contain both of the characteristics, some neither; some might be of a category of “think-to-thinkers” or “talk-to-talkers” 🙂  Anyway, in this blog my intention was to make you feel the difference between your thoughts and words.

Inclusive education in Kazakhstan. Personal perspective

Inclusive education remains to be a big confusion to me, both as a student of inclusive education cohort and as a teacher. Assessing it now is a complex task. The perspectives of inclusive education is not considered as a reform only, but also supported by the law on several approaches: education, social defend of the rights and vocational provision. All of them aimed at providing disadvantaged students with least restrictive environment. This do not depend on government only, here participation of non-governmental organizations more or less facilitates the burden. There are many organizations working with people with special needs, up to now almost all of them have been working on their socialization and health care, creating them zones of support, like social clubs of interest and sport activities. I need to assume this in turn helps them socialize and feel less restricted from the society. Even though, the field of education has been hard to attach. However, having reviewed the literature on this issue of Kazakhstan, I understood that from the beginning it is rated as an issue. Respectively, attitudes towards this idea are mostly negative. In the case of Kazakhstan such a relation was inherited from the Soviet Union traditional approach of common belief in the society. People used to avoid meeting people with disabilities in the streets, not mentioning everyday school classes. Having considered such circumstances, as a teacher I can understand the worry of the teachers, defectologists and parents. Teachers are too much concerned about pedagogy, favorable conditions for these exceptional students; this is understandable, because they are not trained at the higher education institutions to meet the requirements of the students with special needs. Then, parents of children with disabilities are afraid to give their children to mainstream schools, because of the low awareness of the benefit for their children and because of the fear of being rejected by the society. What concerns defectologists, they worry about their profession, their status. They are afraid that with the implementation of the inclusive education, the requirement for their profession will deteriorate.

One of the reasons for such a consequence is that people with disabilities have always been marginalized and have always remained unaddressed and unnoticeable. In this respect, I would suggest to promote inclusion in general, with the help of mass media. Promotion will increase public awareness, firstly. Secondly, society will get used to the fact that the world does not contain only healthy people.

The next point I would like to highlight is the promises and numbers. According to the State Program of Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020 the incredible numbers were given like 70% of schools will be inclusive until 2020. But how realistic is this, is still a big question. On the one hand this is good to have higher aims to try to reach, but on the other hand, it is better to have concrete realistic goals, where you know what to do and where to go.

Overall, I believe in the future of inclusive education and the country. Step by step, time by time everything will be achieved, not at once and not everything.

Challenges of inclusive education implementation in Kazakhstan.

Inclusive education became to be necessary for the modern education not only in Kazakhstan, but in all developing countries. Generally, it is aimed at the elimination of educational and social exclusionary practices, such as diversifying and discriminating by race, social class, language, ethnicity, religion, gender and (dis)ability (Rouse et al., 2014). State Program of Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020 states inclusive education implementation as one of the priority objectives. Nevertheless, the process of implementation is facing the difficulties caused by various factors in the given context.

There are different opinions on the current state of realization: some claim that nothing has changed, while others are sure that we are moving forward step by step (UNICEF, 2013). On the one hand, the journal articles say that “still there is no one unified understanding of “inclusive education” (Yeliseyeva, 2014). Information from OECD (2009) report contradicts with the statement and estimates that there is no clear governmental vision on the notion. On the other hand, if we take into account the fact that the government has already stepped forward by committing itself into various international initiatives and conventions, the result is more likely to be achieved. Non-governmental organizations also do participate here and play a significant role.

Most professionals working on this sphere, like Suleimenova(2012) and/or Yeliseyeva (2014) describe “inclusive education” as governmental politics, which is aimed at eliminating discrimination and separating children from the generally healthy environment. Nevertheless, the activists look at the issue from different sides, that is why they point out challenges and different aspects which cause them. All in all, taking into consideration their arguments and statements and analyzing them, I came to the decision to classify the issues occurred while inclusive education implementation. For this reason, the illustration of challenges for different stakeholders that were mentioned by different authors was found necessary to present.

Government. What challenges does the government have? First of all, it is assumed by OECD authors that lack of framework and policy to satisfy the needs of inclusive education, and lack of clarity in instructions, as they sometimes appear to be contradictory and inconsistent. Secondly, very little quality control is being done, implementation is highlighted, but its quality still remains unaddressed (OECD, 2009). Next is a contradictory voices in the educational community, as there were some opinions that children with disabilities are better educated in the segregated specialized schools (Rouse et al 2014).

 Society. Poor awareness of the public builds wrong or negative attitudes towards inclusion. There is no clear vision of the notion, so it seems to cause unwillingness to participate in its implementation. For instance, teachers, they are not psychologically ready to have children with disabilities while they hardly cope with the ones who have lower academic achievements. According to the research done by UNICEF (2013) less than a third of the respondents approved the idea, interestingly, Rouse (2014) suggests the same figure. As far as parents are concerned, inclusive education provokes mixed reactions; this idea somehow hesitates those parents whose children do not have any special needs, so they are not willing to have their children studying together with those who are with disabilities. Whereas, along with the parents with kids with disabilities who fight for inclusion, there those ones who do not want to give their children to school, some even hide their children, by not registering them, which also cause some trouble however the exact amount of children cannot be figured out (Rouse, 2014).Defectologists come next, we shouldn’t miss their attitude as well. Who seem to accept the idea also negatively, Rouse (2014) explains the situation by assuming that this is because of threat to their status and need for their specialty. Up to nowadays profession of defectologists were highly needed and were well-paid, however after inclusive education implementation there is a wrong fear that they will not be in need anymore.

Infrastructure. Although, the state program requirements are set for 2015, up to nowadays there is not much done in terms of infrastructure, one of the main reason of which is funding(OECD, 2009), as the international experience revealed that special education in its any form is costy.

One of the most important challenges that was mentioned by many authors is pedagogy (OECD, 2009; Bridges, 2014; Suleimenova,2012; Yeliseyeva, 2012; Yersarina, 2012). Judging by their findings this is a big issue which implies: lack of teacher-training and retraining, specialists to train the teaching staff, pedagogical-psychological support, teaching materials; textbook-language issue; organization matters, like curricular adjusted specially to meet individuals’ needs; methodological issues.

This classification was made to understand the issues of inclusive education implementation from different perspectives. I think that it is useful to have the clear picture of the problems whenever you confront them, so that it would easier to solve afterwards.


Rouse, M., Yakavets, N., & Kulakhmetova, A. (2014). Towards inclusive education: Swimming against the tide of educational reform. In D. Bridges (Ed.), Educational reforms and internationalization: The case of school reform in Kazakhstan (pp.196-216). Cambridge: Cambridge university press

UNICEF. (2013). Study about public opinion on building inclusive society for children with disabilities and maintenance prevention of infants’ abandonment. Astana.

Yeliseyeva, I. G. (2014). О практической реализации инклюзивного образования в Казахстане. Открытая школа, 1(132).

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2009). Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan; Students with Special Needs and Those with Disabilities. Paris: OECD.

Suleymenova, R. A. (2012). Методологические подходы к развитию инклюзивного образования в Республике Казахстан. Открытая школа, 7(118).

Yersarina, A. M. (2012). Развитие инклюзивного образования в Республике Казахстан. Открытая школа, 1(112).

Do the specialties provided by vocational education and training (VET) for people with special needs correspond to the requirements of the labor market (LM)

Young adults are considered to be independent, when they can take care of themselves and start living separate from their parents. This usually takes place when they go to large cities to study or in search of a job, insofar as one of the constituents of the quality life is being employed. Adolescents go into adult life in pursuit of self realization through trying new things, new experiences and new opportunities. Is it the same for the young adults with disabilities? If your answer to this question is positive, then you are far from the truth. Unfortunately, not everyone can take this opportunity.

When a person has a limited ability and a limited opportunity it is twice harder to function independently. In most developed countries, the second limitation is made less restrictive, by fitting the jobs to the people with special needs – VET works in cooperation with LM. The situation, however, may be completely opposite in different countries.

In Kazakhstan employers are most likely to hire a person with higher qualifications, or can only offer people with special needs the low-paying and low-skilled jobs, such as a janitor, cleaner, watchman etc (Kazizova & Pritvorova, 2013). Moreover, consistent findings show that young adults with special needs scarcely participate in tertiary educational institutions (Polidano & Mavromaras, 2010). However, in case of having VET qualifications the graduates suffer from discrepancy of their specialties with LM demands (Polidano & Mavromaras, 2010). Due to the political, social and economical changes LM requirements are constantly altering too. This explains why graduates cannot find jobs according to the specialties they are prepared for. To be more specific, there are VET colleges, which offer such specialties as a tailor, designer, hairdresser and massage therapist for young adults with vision impairment, hearing loss and deaf-mute only. People with other mental or physical disabilities have little option but accept living in a society where they have possibilities neither for education nor for later occupation.

One more reason for reluctance of LM to employ VET graduates with disabilities is the lack of accurate information on productivity of such individuals in suffice. Ideally, practical methods, including probation periods, training before and after hiring, adapting the job content should be organized to address this problem. Nevertheless, these activities cost much for employers and demand serious commitment from both employers and employees (Polidano & Mavromaras, 2010).

Therefore, it would be useful for VET to work in collaboration with LM in order to know what professions are in demand and affordable for students with special needs. In the modern society, such professions as a salesperson, businessman, IT specialist, self-employed, accountant, translator, teacher or writer should be made suitable for people with disabilities. As far as, providing people with special needs with quality life is a final goal of social inclusion.


Polidano, C., & Mavromaras, K. (2010). The Role of Vocational Education and Training in the Labour Market Outcomes of People with Disabilities. A National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program Report. National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. PO Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.

Pritvorova, T., & Gazizova, G. (2013). Vocational rehabilitation of    the disabled in Kazakhstan: Problems and theirs Solutions. Middle East Journal of Scientific Research, 15(4), 546-55.


When a person asks me such a question, I don’t know how to answer it. Well, I would say that Language is something mystical for me. At school I studied in Kazakh-medium school, where Russian was taught as a second language and English as a foreign language. The most interesting things happened when we started learning English. The textbooks were by Russian authors; accordingly all the rules were in Russian. The teacher had to explain things in Kazakh. So now, just try to imagine: An English subject. Rules in Russian. Explanation in Kazakh. And all of these within one sentence! Complete mess! Nevertheless,  we managed to understand. This story had its continuation in the university too. But here we did more serious things, for instance translating exercises from English into Russian, or vice-versa; but presenting them either in Kazakh or in English. Then I tried to teach English in English to Russian-speakers at work; And Russian, as an interethnic language, was used as a common one within the office. At this period of my life, Kazakh, my native language, was used only at home.

Considering the whole situation, I found it wise to differentiate the purposes these three languages used for. Then it turns out to be that I use English for academic purposes, Russian for communication in more formal contexts and Kazakh for daily household purposes. So, to be me, how would you answer the question? Can we consider such a person as being fluent in any of these languages?

Let’s take our daily cases now. While listening to professors lecturing, do you always translate what you hear? Can you always explain that easily in your native language? If you are trilingual, then what language it is easy for you to deliver the gained knowledge? Do you use all these three languages in the same amount and frequency? Does your speech always sound the same way you intended to? Is it possible to express the same emotions and feelings the same way in all these languages?

In this respect, there is research discussed by Dewale and Nakana (2013) on perceptions and feelings of multilinguals. He defines the change in personality and feelings while switching the languages. According to this research, a person is more logical, emotional and sincere while speaking his native language. But if he speaks in other languages, he seems to show the shift in personality, fake or unnatural emotions and feeling. Also he becomes more serious trying to make himself understood, that is why the speech is dry. After reading the research, my conclusions on why the words, like “sorry”, “forgive me”, I love you” or “thank you” seem to be the hardest in native language, were confirmed.

To sum up, I would like to say that, may be this is not the most important issue, but is worth paying attention. As far as, how clear we think affects on how well we concentrate and how well we understand; and this is what matters.


Dewaele, J. M., & Nakano, S. (2013). Multilinguals’ perceptions of feeling different when switching languages. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development34(2), 107-120.