The meeting of the Consultative Group of Experts was held in the field of secondary education
As part of the Project “Development of Strategic Directions for Education Reforms in Kazakhstan for 2015–2020”, a meeting of the Consultative Group of international and national experts on secondary education was held on April 9, 2015 at the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education with the participation of Colleen McLaughlin, Professor of the University of Sussex (UK) and national experts on secondary education including Amantay Nurmagambetov, Acting Director of the Centre of Bologna Process and Academic Mobility” of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan , Dariya Kozhamzharova, Rector of Taraz State Pedagogical Institute, Kuralay Baytazhikova, Principal of School-Lyceum No.73, Astana. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the administration group including Murat Orunkhanov and Kairat Kurakbayev. The agenda of the meeting included issues of teacher training and professional development, ungraded schools and teacher training in rural schools. During the work of the Consultative Group, there were discussions focused on the problems of ungraded schools, in particular the issue of increasing the level of teachers in ungraded schools. The current state of ungraded schools requires special attention of teacher training in higher education institutions, including teacher training of multidisciplinary specialties. To solve the problem of ungraded schools, Professor McLaughlin and national experts discussed possible solutions to improve the quality of teacher training in teacher training universities and institutions, as well as selection criteria to enter the teaching profession. It is worth noting that the possible solutions to the problems of ungraded schools as the formation of resource centres in the regions under the regional teacher training institutions based on experience of Taraz State Pedagogical Institute, the establishment of special boarding schools for students in ungraded schools or the creation of foundation courses for graduates of ungraded schools provoked a lively discussion among the participants. Though, Professor Colleen McLaughlin, based on her international experience, expressed her concern about growth of social inequality with the introduction of additional courses as “Foundation” and the creation of special boarding schools for graduates in rural schools. Summarizing the discussion of the problems of rural and ungraded schools in Kazakhstan, the Consultative Group of Experts concluded that the best way to solve this problem is to improve the quality of teachers in higher education institutions and raise the status and prestige of teaching profession in society. The next meeting of the Consultative Group is scheduled for June 2015.