Category Archives: Other

3 ways to spot a bad statistics by M. Chalabi (Deconstruction)

Statistics takes an important role in our life. It gives us information about the things and events we are interested in, it somehow directs us to make right decisions about social-political field, for instance, voting in elections, or everyday life like shopping for goods. A data journalist, Mona Chalabi, makes the TedTalk speech about statistics and three ways of identifying bad numbers. She claims that checking the statistics for accuracy about the issues we are interested is crucial nowadays because numbers might lie for someone’s private interests.

She brings a lot of examples of situations in which statistics might be biased. One of the important types of the data which influence population is the government statistics. She suggests to see the uncertainty in the visualized numbers and check them for accuracy. But I think that she should have mentioned that the majority of population not only believe in visualized numbers, they just do not care about anything else except their everyday life, work, and family issues because they do not have time for being so skeptical about numbers. Of course, that does not characterize them from the best site, but this is true for the developing countries.

I find this topic applicable for certain professionals who deal with numbers in their daily working lives. For instance, specialists of statistics agencies, information analytical centers, and scholars of different fields need figures to speculate about various issues of social and political life. However, I doubt about their frequent checking these numbers for accuracy. Most of the time they tend to use the information with certain figures to surprise or persuade somebody. More often it appears that they even exaggerate approximate numbers to influence people’s opinion. That is why, Chalabi three tips are right at hand when people need to check if private interests are hidden under the figures.

References

Maikel Akkermans. (2017, March 25). Mona Chalabi 3 ways to spot a bad statistic. Retrieved on April 20 2017 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfJtMUXmllY

Image credit: http: http://www.riomarvillages.com 

Success and failure are not opposites!

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Failure. A scary word, isn’t it? I think almost all of us do not like this word and make everything in order to avoid every opportunity to fail. We all are so charmed by the words like “success”, “achievement” and “succeed” so that we often forget that our route to success is covered by mistakes and failures. From the failure of applying to a prestigious university to the refusal of giving you a job of your dream after the interview, every individual should go through the hardest parts of their life and dare face the difficulties. What does it mean? It means that we need TO LOVE our failures!

If to take some examples we will see that many famous people had failed several times before they became successful. For instance, Henry Ford failed twice with his “Ford” company; Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper for not being creative, and Abraham Lincoln failed plenty of times before he finally became a president in 1860. These are probably the most well-known examples in the world but they remind again that everyone may fall one day.

Although failures like those often are not so crucial for our life, they can hardly demotivate us and consequently, we may quit and give up. In our subconscious mind mistakes are usually connected with the sense of shame and guilt. Yes, there are some mistakes which we could prevent with our knowledge and attentiveness, and when we make such kind of mistakes we are definitely guilty. But the majority of other wrong decisions are not the result of our incompetence, but a natural and inevitable part of our way towards achieving goals. That is why we must see all the difficulties as an important component of our future success. In fact, we do not need to avoid failures, we need to changes our attitude to them. Success and failure are not opposites, and the second is necessary for achieving the first. We need to accept it fully then we will be able to love failures.

As for me, I have been experiencing difficulties since the very childhood. Honestly speaking, I was a loser who failed at my relationships with other children, later with boys. I was an introverted and frightened girl who was afraid to communicate because of the fear of being ignored or laughed by others. At the university, I always was silent during the lessons because of the fear to speak in English and make mistakes. After the graduation, I changed several jobs because I never believed in myself and feared of the possible failures that I could end with. But I obstinately kept moving forward and now I am here, a master student of Nazarbayev University. But even within the university, I am currently experiencing lots of challenges; at the end of the first term, for instance, I was close to dropping out. But then I realized that those were just temporary difficulties that I needed to go through. I am not afraid anymore.

And you?

 

 

12-year education reform: Are we ready?

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Kazakhstan is entering a new phase of the system of education. Growing market economy demands a new quality of education since it is a well-known fact that in all civilized countries education has been and remains the most prioritized area and the core indicator of development. The high quality of educational system should help Kazakhstan to respond to the social and economic challenges faced by the country, supply national security and strengthen institutions of the state (Smailova & Uvalieva, 2013). The high-efficiency educational system is one of the key factors that ensures sustained economic growth and Kazakhstani society.

According to the Concept of 12-year secondary education in the Republic of Kazakhstan (2010), there are factors that still negatively impact on the development of the educational system of Kazakhstan. They are: the lack of qualified subject and language instructors; the lack of the diagnostic targeting in secondary education, the maintenance of an obsolete assessment system which is aimed only at the evaluation of knowledge; the main focus is on getting formal results, but not on the personality development; informational overload of the educational content which leads to the decrease of learning motivation and health deterioration of students. Considering these problems and negative factors, there was made a decision to embed a new reform of shifting from 11-year schooling to 12-year education. In 2003-2004 academic years 51 schools in Kazakhstan were involved in the experiment on the shift to 12-year education, in 2004-2005 years the experiment included 104 schools, and at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, 373 students studied in the 12th grade (Zhilbayev, 2015).

The experiment generally had a positive impact on the educational process. There was a significant increase in students’ motivation; interests of parents in the educational process also have risen noticeably; creativity of teachers has activated (Zhilbayev, 2015).

However, despite the fact that the reform of the 12-year education is very important and attractive at the same time in terms of its goals and objectives, the rationales for implementing the reform are reasonable enough, there are several reasons in my opinion that make implementation of this reform quite difficult. The major reason is the lack of finance at the moment in the republic. Firstly, it occurs because of the economic crisis that we have experienced recently and, probably, are still experiencing in the State. Secondly, the preparation to the international exhibition EXPO-2017, which in fact creates this difficult financial situation in the country.  In such circumstances, we can, of course, talk about a new educational reform, but why to implement it now? After all, a large amount of finance is needed, firstly, to build a new school for six-year-old children. Secondly, a new educational reform requires new textbooks, updated methodology and curriculum. And the third and most important, training of qualified teachers, who are the main driving force of the reform, requires a huge amount of money. Hence, two options are left: the first is to gradually implement this reform, as the government has already decided to do and struggle with the challenges and problems, the second is to postpone the reform until the times when the economy of the country is stabilized and sufficient financing is ensured.

And what do you think about this issue?

References

Smailova, S.S., & Uvaliyeva, I.M. (2013). The problems of quality assurance of education in modern Kazakhstan. World education, 3, 50-52.

The Concept of 12-year Secondary Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. (2010). National Academy of Education named after I. Altynsarin.

Zhilbayev, Z.O. (2015). The Report on the experiment on the transition to 12-year education.  12-Year Education, 4, 6-54.

PPT in education

Teaching-PowerPoint-Template

Recently, in the classroom discussion when we raised the question of the usage of power point presentation in education, a couple of the students proposed the issue of finding alternative ways which can replace PPT. In our presentation, we focused on drawbacks and benefits of power point presentation and as the result, the majority of students highlighted the disadvantages of PPT rather than advantages. Therefore, in this post, I will try to clarify why PPT has more drawbacks and to give alternative ways which can be used instead of it.

Regarding drawbacks of power point presentation, the first problem related to the technical issues which can disrupt the work of it.  As PPT is done in a computer or other technical devices, in some cases because of computer viruses and the lack of electricity teachers can lose all their material for lessons. Secondly, in the PPT there is not a function for maintaining author’s rights and the plagiarism problem is not considered into account. Therefore, if you post your presentation on the Internet, anyone can use it without permission.

El-ikhsan (2010) also in his blog gives several reasons why PPT should be banned in universities. According to his article, he claims that PPT in education discourages students’ complex thinking skill and makes them lazy as students rely on only bullet points in slides and don’t read the whole material.

As the result of all these claims, we can come to the conclusion that the usage of PPT in education has more cons rather than pros. Thus, here appears a need to find an alternative way to replace it. I deem that there are two ways to solve this issue: to use other programs which have more developed functions or to come back to the traditional methods.

In terms of the first option, there are a large number of other programs such as PowToon, Keynote, Prezentit etc which have functions for the creation of videos or with developed transition capacity.  The next alternative will be to go back to the traditional methods. The majority of oppositions of PPT support the idea to use methods such as using music or videos, paper-based materials, and contact with the audience during the lessons.

To sum up, the usage of PPT in education is the controversial issue and people have the different attitude towards it. Regarding me, I found that it has more disadvantages than advantages. What is your opinion regarding this issues and do you know other alternatives for PPT?

 

Credits to:

http://www.myfreeppt.com/free-powerpoint-templates/business/

https://penalido.wordpress.com/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-teaching-by-using-microsoft-powerpoint/

 

 

 

 

 

Giving or taking? Is a “Pronoia” connected with succeeding? (Deconstruction).

Take a minute before watching a video or reading this blog post, and answer the question: “Are you a giver, a taker, or a matcher?”.

I have recently watched TED video where Adam Grant tells about givers, takers, and matchers in our society. The question of giving and taking is discussed in the talk of Adam Grant, and it is connected with every sphere of our life. I remembered the words of one of our professors at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education (NUGSE) that each of us should share and help. In this blog post, I would discuss the issues of givers, takers, and connect them with the educational area.

Do you always ask people do anything for you? Do you ask people if you can do anything for them? Do you do anything for the sake of taking back? These are general explanations of a taker, a giver, and a matcher.  As Adam Grant noted, givers are found in all the spheres of life, work, studying both at the bottom and at the top. They make the process work, but they are sometimes unevaluated. They share their knowledge, give feedback, and it could be 5 minutes help, but it is worth. The speaker pointed out three things to protect givers: protect givers from burnout; encourage help-seeking; get the right people on the bus/keep the wrong people off the bus. Explaining in other words, givers should know that they can receive as well; people should not be shy to ask for help; takers should be out because they could pass over the whole work to a giver.

What image do you have when you think of givers and takers? Agreeableness is for givers, and disagreeableness is for takers? However, these traits of character are not connected, and they could represent both of them. Personally, I appreciate disagreeable givers, they are the most critical and tell things that no one wants to hear, but they tell the clear truth and to the point. Adam Grant ended his speech with the words that if there will be more givers, and if people would ask for help, it could lead to the change of success understanding.

The claim of a speaker is valuable, and the presented evidence mostly come from diverse studies. However, I have several points to debate about and add something from my own experience. I refer myself to matchers. Previously, I was a giver, but I have the story behind which made me a matcher. Now I think that everything should be built on balance. If there should be many givers, as Adam Grant suggests, takers and matchers will be off the bus. I believe that three of them should have the place in every sphere of our life. If a giver gives, who would receive then? I agree with the opinion that people should not be afraid of asking questions, they should share and help. However, not only givers can do this.

Talking about an educational sphere, I would like to speak of studying and teaching experiences. Studying at NUGSE, I see on the practice that helping each other, sharing, and asking questions open the door to the suitcase of knowledge. People who do these things are not only givers, but they manage to do it. Working as a teacher of the English language, there seemed to be a lack of givers. Mentoring is what I needed as a first-year teacher. However, no one wanted to help. Then, I asked for a help, and I got it. From my experience, givers are mostly awake when you ask. Thus, asking, sharing, and helping are more important in our life.

Do not be shy and afraid of asking questions, as it is the wheel to progress and all the developments in our society. Do help people and share with them, no matter who you are: a giver, a taker, or a matcher. Not the point of being a giver, but being responsive is a key to success.

Multitasking. You’d better get rid of it!

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You probably often notice when people around can do two or more things at the same time. For instance, a man working on the computer, drinking coffee and listening to music; a woman singing the baby to sleep and reading a book; students surfing the Internet and using VK or Instagram at the lecture or Mr.Bean hurrying to the dentist. There are so many examples, in fact. We live that way every day and sometimes, in our busy living and rush, we do not recognize what is happening. But our ability to perform several things simultaneously has its own name multitasking. A majority of people tend to justify it by giving arguments like “it helps to save time” or “I can manage everything”. However, multitasking has a number of negative consequences. I myself became recently aware of this notion and realized that my weak productivity, slow academic progress and apathy, which sometimes I suffer from, are all the aftermath of multitasking. It is time now to identify this enemy and make a right decision!

The concept of multitasking is not a recent (as it turned out) phenomenon, but with the advent and development of new technologies like smartphones and tablets, it became an integral part of our life. Abate (2008) defines it as “an attempt by individuals to engage in several tasks in rapid linear succession (rather than simultaneously) where at least one of the tasks is a conceptual learning activity” (p. 8). It was long believed that multitasking is an extremely positive feature which helps us to improve our effectiveness, manage lots of things, especially those which are repetitive and simultaneous (Judd, 2012). And really, why not to check social networks while your professor is introducing a new material? Or do homework listening to music at the same time?

Not so fast. Multiple studies were conducted following the main question: is multitasking indeed a positive characteristic as it has been long considered? The study of Rubinstein, Meyer, & Poldrack (as cited in Abate, 2008) revealed that multitaskers are less productive comparing with people who can concentrate on doing just one thing because it is impossible for a human brain to perform two simultaneous things. So, when we multitask our brain has to switch quickly between the different tasks which consequently leads to the reduction of effectiveness and productivity. Multitasking also impedes the acquisition of knowledge since it creates redundant brain overload which hinders the working memory (Lee, Lin & Robertson, 2012). Moreover, “as multiple tasks are performed simultaneously, a cognitive bottleneck develops because of the limits of cognitive capabilities, and this results in an appreciable disruption in the decision-making process” (Lau, 2016, p. 287). A number of research studies were conducted on the theme of media multitasking and academic performance. For instance, Junco (2012) found that permanent usage of ICTs (Facebook and WhatsApp) during lessons has a negative impact on overall students’ GPA. Mayer and Moreno (as cited in Junco, 2012) have also revealed that “paying attention to Facebook or texting in class limits essential processing because energies focused on attending to these technologies cannot be focused on making sense of lecture material” (p. 2241). A study by Brasel & Gips (as cited in Judd, 2012) provides a good example of the prevalence of multitasking in the modern world: students and staff of one university who had simultaneous access to a computer and TV toggled between them more than 4 times per minute.

It can be seen therefore that multitasking indeed is not as good as it sounds. Having a number of negative consequences such as a poor productivity, cognitive overload, slow memorizing abilities, distraction and low academic performance, multitasking becomes a serious problem for all the people, especially for students. However, the decision of keeping on multitasking or not is only up to us. Perhaps it will take a lot of time to get rid of this habit and learn how to focus and concentrate, but it is really worth it. Because consequently you will start enjoying what you do and have a more meaningful, productive and happy life.

P.s. I also put a link to one good article in case you would like to know some tips for reducing the opportunities to multitask.

References

Abate, C.J. (2008). You say multitasking like it’s a good thing. Thought & Action, The NEA Higher Education Journal, pp. 7-14.

Lau, W.F.W. (2016). Effects of social media usage and social media multitasking on the academic performance of university students. Computers in Human Behavior, 68(2017), pp. 286-291. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.11.043

Lee, J, Lin, L, & Robertson, T. (2012). The impact of media multitasking on learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(1), pp. 94-104. DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2010.537664

Judd, T. (2012). Making sense of multitasking: key behaviours. Computers & Education, 63(2013), pp. 358–367.

Junco, R. (2012). In-class multitasking and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, pp. 2236–2243.

Image credit: http://www.livescience.com/19983-multitaking-work-bad-feel-good.html

That feeling when you start speaking English in a public place

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Retrieved from: http://reactiongifs.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/people-looking-at-me-on-the-bus-the-Graduate.gif

I would like to raise a commonly ignored issue in Kazakhstani society: foreign language anxiety in public places. If you are proficient enough to have a fluent conversation in English with your mate, you have probably felt those gazes of people in the bus or supermarket. If yes, have you ever thought about the reasons triggering this feeling?

In fact, anxiety refers to the emotional state of nervousness, worry and apprehension related to a stimulation of the autonomic nervous system (Speilberger, 1983, in Horwitz, 2001). This feeling is more known as a negative and destructive sort of emotion. However, in some cases our inner flash of anxiety before the deadline might  somehow help us to write more effectively and creatively. Anyway, it does not have the same trait during the speech.

Studies on language anxiety tend to focus on the educational process rather than everyday live experience (Horwitz, 2001; Portugal, 2007; Elaldı, 2016). Thus, Horwitz et al. (1986) identified three types of foreign language anxiety as following: 1) Communication anxiety (inability of a learner to express mature thoughts and ideas); 2) Fear of negative social perception (seeking for a positive evaluation from others); 3) Test anxiety (fear of academic evaluation). Thus, our case is more likely to be related to the second classification of foreign language anxiety.

Well, being more or less familiarized with the theoretical framework of given phenomena, let us discuss our live experience. Personally, I often feel foreign language anxiety when my friends unexpectedly to me start conversing with me in English especially in the bus. Some people tend to turn around and stare at me which makes me feel uncomfortable and stressed. Even though there is no any criticizm or disapproval towards those who speak foreign language in Kazakhstan, speaking English in public places is not commonly accepted by the majority and still is calls their attention. Frankly speaking, I myself and some of my friends perceive such odd reaction as people’s attitude to foreign language speakers’ attempt to blow their own trumpet, so to speak. Therefore, my feeling of anxiety is more about a possible negative attitude prescribed to me by arbitrary listeners staying next to me. Anyway, this feeling does not overpower my attemts to communicate in English outside the classrom in order to fix my current speaking skill and practise new words and expressions. Moreover, I noticed that this feeling depends on the current emotional state and mood.

Do you always feel comfortable to have a conversation in a foreign language in public places? To what extend do you think this feeling disturb language learners? And how would you suggest to cope with this feeling?

 

References

Elaldı, Ş. (2016). Foreign language anxiety of students studying English Language and Literature: A Sample from Turkey. Educational Research and Reviews11(6), 219-228.

Horwitz, E. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual review of applied linguistics21, 112-126.

Horwitz, E., Horwitz, M., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. Modern Lang. J. 70(2):125-132.

Portugal, M. K. (2007). Language anxiety: Creative or negative force in the language classroom. Humanizing language teaching7, 1-7.

Image Credit: http://www.therapistdevelopmentcenter.com/blog/lmsw-exam-prep-abc%E2%80%99s-therapist-development-center-1

The triangulation masters

Do you find it difficult to make an excuse for not telling some issues which you would not like to share even with close people?

It might be easy to recollect the time when your friends or parents were constantly asking different questions about an obscure issue. You see their eyes full of increasing curiosity and their attempts to paraphrase the question prompts afresh. You also guess that the meaning is unchangeable. Once you weaken the caution on the secret matter, you are caught. In this case the winners (your friends/parents) might celebrate their successful method of triangulation. People can use the triangulation method without learning a qualitative research design for discovering the truth.

Denzin (1978) identified four basic types of triangulation: data triangulation, investigator triangulation, theory triangulation, and method triangulation. However, there are people who use this methods without even knowing how scientists and scholars call them.  

The first reason for using this method is a simple human relationship which is connected with psychology. Close people are not usually unreasonably curious. They are eager to figure out important information for protecting and supporting you. It proves their care about you. In psychology “triangulation occurs when an outside person intervenes or is drawn into a conflicted or stressful relationship in an attempt to ease tension and facilitate communication.” (Triangulation, 2016, para. 1). This is mostly assumed to be the family therapy conducted by a professional therapist in a psychological council. However, close friends could also replace the therapist council if they are involved into problematic relationship. It is not mandatory to be a professional psychologist for urgent investigating and supporting a close friend or relative in need.  

Secondly, another field in which triangulation is widely practiced is the case investigation made by police officers. In order to identify important facts about a criminal case, inspectors use simple triangulation method for asking several questions repeatedly. Aftermath they check the suspects’ stability or changeability in responding. For instance, the triangulation of interests is a deep model applicable for a criminal court work. Altrichter et al. (2008) state that triangulation “gives a more detailed and balanced picture of the situation.” (p. 147). Although the aim of the usage is almost the same, we can say it is more serious since it decides whether the accused person is guilty or not. In parallel, this might remind you of the situation in school years when your parents were asking you a lot of questions about the broken vase or window at home, etc. aiming to figure out who was guilty. At that time they might seem to be police inspectors for you.

Thirdly, popular researchers Cohen and Manion (2000) determine the triangulation as an “attempt to map out, or explain more fully, the richness and complexity of human behavior by studying it from more than one standpoint.” (p. 254). The triangulation is taught in the research classes in higher educational institutions in order to teach students to conduct qualitative interviews. Using this method appears to be easy to understand and implement in practice for students as they used to do it habitually in informal everyday communication.  

Summing up we can state that time passes and triangulation becomes more and more popular among professionals of different fields. However, people automatically use triangulation methods successfully in everyday practice to solve their family or other issues for centuries because all methods are justified if they solve vital issues.

By the way, thank you to my mother who unintentionally encouraged me to choose the title of this blog post while our breakfast conversation recently.     

References

Cohen, L., & Manion, L. (2000). Research methods in education (5th ed.). UK: Routledge.

Denzin, N. (2006). Sociological methods: A sourcebook. Chicago, USA: Aldine Transaction.

Altrichter, H., Feldman, A., Posch, P. & Somekh, B. (2008). Teachers Investigate Their Work: An introduction to action research across the professions (2nd ed.). Oxon, USA: Routledge.

Mathias, D. (2004, September 3). The triangulation of interests fallacy. Retrieved March 2 2017 from https://nzcriminallaw.blogspot.com/2004/09/triangulation-of-interests-fallacy.html  

Triangulation. (2016, August 1). Retrieved March 2 2017 from http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/triangulation  

Image Credit: http://www.therapistdevelopmentcenter.com/blog/lmsw-exam-prep-abc%E2%80%99s-therapist-development-center-1

“Throw away the papers! E-learning is coming! … Is it really coming?”

gfnfmgmE-learning system in Kazakhstan has been working without any changes for about four years, and there are many obstacles towards it. In order to implement something from the very beginning, we need to try to look at the research projects that were conducted before to eliminate some problems. After reading the blog post “E-learning reform” with a substantial amount of evidence, I decided to add some other points to this issue in terms of untrained teachers problem in this system.

As Sommerville (2004) mentioned that “effective implementation of E-learning requires proper integration of the needs of both e-students and e-teachers into administrative, managerial and delivery systems” (as cited in Safavi, p.52, 2008). It is highlighted that the interconnection between all stakeholders and people who are responsible for the realization of the program is crucial. It is like a triangle system that should be connected with each other; otherwise, it will not be that triangle which we were planning to have. One of the research papers that was published by Boulton (2008) was held in the ICT equipped school in the United Kingdom. It showed that E-learning would take place in the curriculum of secondary schools, but the teachers had to be aware of the system. It is important to pay attention to the preparatory courses. The needs of teachers are to be trained, firstly, in order to meet the requirements of a new system. In other way, it will impact negatively the teaching and learning processes in schools in terms of traditional lessons which make students demotivated sometimes, and there will not be a place for transparency in the process of education.

Another research that was conducted by Bulgarian team was exploring Unified eLearning Environment for the schools (UNITE) (Nikolova, Georgiev & Gachev, 2008). UNITE does provide new information to the secondary schools’ students, and it varies traditional methods with innovative ones. The shortcoming among teachers was about some technical problems that were difficult to deal with, and computer literacy was lacking. The decision was to create for teachers some workshops; luckily, such workshops began to exist (Nikolova et al, 2008). It is great that this challenge had been noticed and the main step towards the solution was made. It would be better for Kazakhstani context to create these kinds of workshops as well.

By making these steps, we could minimize the shortcomings to a less number. It would positively impact the quality of lessons in terms of more innovative lessons which bring interest among students, and these steps would also lead to transparency in the educational process.

 

References

Boulton, H. (2008). Managing e-Learning: what are the Real Implications for Schools? The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6 (1), 11 – 18. Retrieved from http://www.ejel.org

Nikolova, N., Georgiev, A., Gachev, G. (2008, January). The Challenges in the Secondary School e-Learning Process. ECEL 2008 – 7th European Conference on E-Learning.Sofia, Bulgaria: Sofia University – St. Kliment Ohridski

Safavi, A. A. (2008) Developing Countries and E-Learning Program Development, Journalof Global Information Technology Management, 11 (3), 47-64, DOI:  10.1080/1097198Х.2008.10856473

Photo credit: https://cw-blog-static3.netdna-ssl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/4.jpg

E-learning reform

In the modern educational system, the role of computer technologies and digital educational resources is constantly increasing. In 2012, the President of Kazakhstan in his Annual Address “Strategy of Kazakhstan till 2050” highlighted needs in the modernization of teaching methods and in actively developing the online educational system (Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, 2012). In 2011 the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan approved national program “State Program of Education Development for 2011-2020” which initiated a national E-learning project. The aim of the project was “ensure an equal access for all participants of the educational process to the best educational resources and technologies” (Fimyar, Yakavets, Bridges 2014). However, the initial plan of government and the real situation in the implementation of the project in the educational system of Kazakhstan according to the current statistic indicators mismatch. Here appear questions: Why did this project fail? What were the main obstacles in the realization of reform? Was it just the waste of time and money? Below I will try to answer to these questions.

Firstly, according to the statistics of the national website of e-learning in Kazakhstan, in the beginning of the project, the target number of educational institutions where this project should be realized and the reached number were almost similar. However, starting from 2013 the discrepancy between target number and intended number of started to expand. For instance, in 2014 the intended number of educational organizations where e-learning project implemented should be 2824, while in reality, the number of institutions reached only 1139. Similarly, in 2015 the target number was 4135 and the implementation took part only in 1159 educational institutions. In other words, the first part of the project wasn’t realized in a proper way. So, what were the reasons of fail of the reform: finance, equipment or inappropriate planning?

In terms of the infrastructure of the educational institutions, even though they have all essential equipment such as electronic backboards, linguistic classes, and projectors teachers used them rarely and didn’t have the desire to use them as there always were problems with getting permission.

Secondly, the most important problem in the realization of the e-learning is finance. Most of the people consider that e-learning is the very expensive project as it covers not only the infrastructures of the educational institutions also the preparation of electronic books, staff training, and the invention of different programs. Therefore, in some sense educational system of Kazakhstan cannot invest such excessive project. At the beginning of the project the government spent a great amount of money for this project, but as we mentioned above even the first part of the e-learning couldn’t reach target percentage. Moreover, in 2015 the government temporary stopped to invest the project due to the finance crisis.

Sum up, E-learning project was one of the reforms which couldn’t reach indicated target. The majority of people consider it as the waste of money from government’s budget and it served as one of the reasons for skeptical attitude towards other educational reforms such as trilingual education, education autonomy etc. However, we shouldn’t be the pessimist because of only one project but vice versa we must get a lesson from it and don’t repeat such mistakes in the future.

 

References

Nazarbayev, N. (2012). Kazakhstan 20150 Strategy: New Political Course of the Established  State. Annual State of the nation Address. Astana, December 2012.

Fimyar, O., Yakavets, N., Bridges, D. (2014). Educational reform in Kazakhstan: The contemporary policy agenda. In D. Bridges (Ed.). Educational reform and Internationalisation. The case of School Reform in Kazakhstan. (pp.53-68). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Image credits to https://www.dokeos.com/elearning-price-can-sell-elearning-expertise/