Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education



NUGSE hosted a meeting with representatives of the National Testing Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan

NUGSE professors met with the leadership of the National Testing Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the directors of its regional branches. The guests were addressed by the Vice-dean for Research of NUGSE, Professor Michael Mаcoelle, who spoke about the main activities of the school, and Balzhan Bliskeldinova, the administrative director of the CPS, who covered in detail the process of conducting entrance exams to Nazarbayev University.
With great interest, the guests of the University got familiarised with the presentation of NUGSE Professor Matthew Courtney, specializing in educational measurements, which, in fact, was the main purpose of the meeting.
Dr. Courtney analyzed the data collected by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan based on the results of testing the updated curriculum in schools from 2015 to 2019. As part of its research, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan monitored the numeracy and literacy skills of thousands of primary school children enrolled in the old traditional curriculum and the new updated curriculum.
A study of these data by Dr. Matthew Courtney showed which children are academically much better prepared to enter school. Three main factors positively influence the level of literacy and numeracy before children enter school: attending kindergarten for a longer time, raising children by more educated mothers, and attending an art program, Dr. Courtney believes.
Among the results obtained, there is another interesting fact: the different level of admission, demographic characteristics of the child, his preschool experience had nothing to do with the "pace of development" (or growth) during the first five years of schooling. This suggests that teachers provide an equivalent level of educational support to all students in Kazakhstan.
"However, my analysis of these data also showed that children studying according to the updated curriculum, as a rule, study much faster than their peers studying according to the traditional curriculum, and that the positive effect of the updated curriculum was equally felt by both Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking children, which is also important," - Dr. Courtney noted.
Also during the event, NUGSE graduate Daniyar Kerey-Kenzhetai made his presentation, who made an invaluable contribution to this research.
Since the NTS is engaged in organizing and conducting all types of external examinations and monitoring in the education system of Kazakhstan, the information available to Professor Courtney and his unique experience in educational research are of great interest and practically useful in the work of the National Testing Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan.