Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring the education of its population. 99.7% of Kazakhstan’s population is literate. President Nazarbayev recognizes that Kazakhstan’s future rests as much on its ability to educate its people as it does on the amount of oil flowing from its fields. Having earmarked billions of dollars for education reform, President Nazarbayev is turning Kazakh classrooms, at all levels of learning, into modern refineries of the human capital and talent needed to power the country’s industrial development and sustain its ever-increasing integration into the global economy.
Nowhere is that effort more evident than in the Presidential Interactive Learning and Teaching Initiative (PILTI), which upgraded the technological capacity of thousands of secondary schools. Launched in 2007 by former Minister of Education and Science Zhanseit Tuimebayev, the PILTI aims to enhance the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing schools with a 21st century learning environment. To do that, education officials have assembled a team of the world’s top suppliers of innovative education products, including members of the UK consortium TVET UK and the California-based firm Pasco Scientific. In the less than five years since its launch, PILTI has facilitated the installation of new STEM and language teaching technologies in more than 20,000 classrooms across the country. More than 40,000 Kazakh teachers have been trained to use these new tools and incorporate them into a pedagogical method that emphasizes student participation, rather than lecturing.
There are plans to continue and increase the scope of activity of the PILTI over the next several years. Firms, organizations and individuals with subject-level expertise and/or teaching technologies interested in participating in the PILTI should contact the Embassy in the USA or the Ministry of Education.