The Pilot Project to Have Been Launched in Aktobe Region on Developing the Potential of Small Rural Schools using Digital Technologies.

The presentation of the project took place in Aktobe at the meeting with the participation of Akim of Aktobe region, Yeraly Tugzhanov, Vice-Minister of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Aibat Ilyassov, Head of the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund, Bolat Zhamishev, Honored Teacher of Kazakhstan, public figure Kulyash Shamshidinova, Head of the Aitas Foundation corporate fund, Xeniya Verba, representatives of the regional education departments, directors of small schools, and partners in the project implementation.
The goal of the project is to improve the quality of education and the effectiveness of training through the introduction of digital solutions in small schools, strengthening the material and technical base, professional development of teachers.

The pilot project will be implemented in 134 small schools of Aktobe region and will cover remote rural schools with a shortage of teaching staff. The project is implemented by Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund, the Fund for Sustainable Development of Education, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Akimat of Aktobe region.

Akim of Aktobe region, Yeraly Tugzhanov, called the implementation of this project an important step for further improving the quality of secondary education in rural areas, ensuring equal opportunities in education, regardless of the place of residence of schoolchildren.

According to statistics, 72,5% of 404 secondary schools in Aktobe region are located in rural areas, 204 of which are small ones. In addition, 40% of small schoolteachers do not have a qualification category, which affects the quality of educational services received by students. The pilot project will be implemented in 134 small schools with a coverage of 10.5 thousand students. Schools will receive updated digital classrooms for online learning and science classrooms for laboratory work.

According to Kulyash Shamshidinova, the project will implement 4 models of school development, including streaming, online teaching, the creation of a complex of hub and magnet schools, as well as the use of digital solutions. Each model will be tested to identify effectiveness and shortcomings, and recommendations for improving and scaling projects will be given based on the results.

The total budget of the project amounted to more than KZT4 billion, of which the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund will allocate over KZT2 billion for equipping small schools.
“Being engaged in the development of rural areas, it became clear to us that education is the basis without which it is impossible to reveal the potential of human resources of rural residents. High-quality education should be accessible to both urban and rural residents. Today our educational projects find their logical continuation. Students of small schools will receive the most advanced knowledge, classrooms, access to quality education, and we have become even closer to our big goal - the sustainable development of Kazakhstan through affordable quality education for children and residents of rural areas,” Xeniya Verba, Director of Aitas Foundation corporate fund said.

Questions on methodology and professional development of teachers will be provided by subordinate organizations of the Ministry of Education. At the same time, for the testing and successful implementation of the project, the best educational platforms in Kazakhstan, such as Online mektep, Daryn online, Roqed science, Aman Sultan, Kundelik provided their resources to the schools participating in the project free of charge.

The project initiators are confident that its implementation will give rise to the preparation of proposals for improving regulatory legal acts on the issues of hub and magnet schools, the development of pedagogical and methodological recommendations, as well as become an example for scaling the project in other regions of Kazakhstan.