12-year education is a big plus for Kazakhstan


August 31, 2016

12-year education is a big plus for Kazakhstan

Shai Moshe Piron, Minister of Education of Israel in the third government of Netanyahu

September 8 Astana will host a round table "Perspective education development models", one of the participants of which will be an Israeli politician, rabbi, teacher, leader of religious Zionism, Israeli Minister of Education in the third Netanyahu government (2013-2014), Shai Moshe Piron. On the eve of the new academic year, Kazpravda.kz discussed the topical issues of education with the guest of honor. 

- This year Kazakhstan moves to 12-year education. As known, such a system has long been successfully implemented in Israel, where the academic year begins on September 1 and ends on 20-30 of June. Our students will also go on a vacation in the middle of June, in connection with the introduction of five-day school week. What advice would you give about the transition to 12-year general education system?

- The transition to 12-year education in Kazakhstan is great news, a big plus. Students need time for internal maturation and development in order to be well prepared for the farewell to the school, and for the competition on the world market. In addition, the distribution of the training program for 12 years gives the ability to add content, themes and issues that are important for the optimal development of graduates, such as the issues related to personal and national identity, solidarity, active citizenship and participation in society. 

- RK MES carries out a series of reforms related to improving the quality of education of Kazakhstan, for example, the transition to a trilingual education. A very important role in this, of course, belongs to the staff. Please tell us how popular is the profession of a teacher / educator in Israel? How does your country prepare professionals in the field of education?

- Israel is now in the center of a huge reform in teacher education. Changes occur on three levels. 

Firstly, it is the understanding that teaching does not have to be a career for life. Israel offers young people to start a career in education as a teacher, with the obligation to assume a professional mobility in about five years. 

Secondly - the retraining of adult scientists around the age of forty years, who seek to make their lives more interesting.

Third, the combination of teacher and researcher, which connects the secondary school education system with an academic education. Thus, a student of doctoral (PhD) in Physics may work as a part-time teacher of physics in high school. Students benefit from working with an outstanding young teacher; PhD student receives a salary - a scholarship.

There are many other excellent programs designed to promote the best of the young people to choose the teaching profession.

- Are there data on how many students from Kazakhstan are studying in Israeli universities? How easy is it to enroll to the universities? 

- At the moment, unfortunately, there is no well-organized information about students from Kazakhstan, studying in Israel.

The higher education system in Israel is divided into two parts. It is universities that focus on research. Enrolment standards are tough, require matriculation certificate with high performance results and the psychometric exam, and the colleges that focus on training in such areas as law, accounting, economics and business administration, engineering, and more. Most colleges allow students to combine study with work. Entry requirements are more flexible.

I also note that currently there are no special bilateral educational programs between Israel and Kazakhstan, and it is not good. 

- Israel is called the "Startup Nation". It will also be one of the topics of the forthcoming round table. Experience in development of the Israeli start-up industry is interesting for other countries of the world. What was the role of education in creating a "startup country"? 

- Transformation of Israel into the "startup nation," in fact, has a lot of system prerequisites, in addition to the quality education. This is the favorable investment climate, and technical capacity and political will of the leadership, and much more. However, the dynamic development of the country would have been impossible without a strong education system. Youth entrepreneurship education is aimed at helping the rising generation identify opportunities, develop their entrepreneurial skills and acquire practical skills.

It is also necessary to focus on the question "why", instead of "what" and "how". 

Changing the approach to assessment and certification, moving from exams that test memorization to the testing of understanding - this means that we need to give up meaningless rote learning, and give students free time to study new material for laboratory research. 

It is necessary to understand the deep connection of education and its relevance.

- Kazakhstan today also tries to develop startups, introduce entrepreneurial education and develop an entrepreneurial mindset among young people. What do you advise our country to do?

- I do not give advice, but I would like to wish your country, like any other, to adhere to "meaningful learning". At the same time you need to focus on developing personal capabilities of young people, development of a wide variety of areas of excellence, strengthen their sense of personal freedom and choice. 

The training system should contribute to the manifestation of individuality and initiative, to encourage entrepreneurial thinking. This can be implemented, especially in entrepreneurial universities which, I know, appear in your country. One of the first is the Almaty Management University (AlmaU), at the invitation of which I will come to Kazakhstan in the next few days. September 8 this year, I plan to take part in the round table "Perspective education development models", organized in Astana by the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan "Atameken" and AlmaU. I think it will help me to become better acquainted with the educational system in your country.

Author: Xenia Voronina