The Senator wrote a letter to the Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aymagambetov. The Deputy is sure that the existing infrastructure is still unable to provide full coverage of distant learning for Kazakh schoolchildren, when not even all teachers at home have computers and high-speed Internet access. At a recent enlarged meeting of the Government, the Head of State said that more than 20 percent of teachers could not teach remotely due to communication problems. The President expressed doubt of the readiness of the Ministry of Education and Science for the new school year. Despite the instructions given by the Head of State to relevant departments and akims to resolve the issues with the Internet access in a prompt and high-quality manner and provide the necessary equipment, the situation has not changed much, said the deputy of the Senate Murat Baktiyaruly.
“No Internet access and lack of equipment hinder the transition to distant learning. This was seen in the “emergency” academic term. These problems remain in the new academic year, and how can we solve it? Currently, there are 405,000 computers in the country’s schools, of which only 162,000 or 40 per cent can be used. 210,000 computers are required just to solve technical issues. You said that you were planning to buy 80,000 computers in April. Was this equipment purchased and transferred to regions? Won’t there be a shortage of computers and other school supplies for the new school year in Kazakhstan,” Murat Baktiyaruly said.
The Senator also said that the Parliament Deputies were currently traveling around the regions, visiting social facilities in populated areas, monitoring the quality of services provided and listening to citizens’ opinions. The Kazakhstanis are concerned about education in the new academic year. In particular, the Senator knows that currently there is no Internet access in his region – Kyzylorda Region – in 26 settlements. The communications provider serves the districts using outdated technologies. As a result, 21% of settlements in the region do not have access to the high-quality communications.
“Given the current situation with the pandemic, what is the degree of readiness of the Ministry for the upcoming school year? What is the level of provision of educational institutions with computers and high-speed Internet access? How will the educational process be organized for the first-grade students except for compact remote schools in rural areas,” the Senator asks.
The Deputy focused on primary education. Murat Baktiyaruly suggested that the Ministry of Science should pay attention to the wishes of thousands of parents of first-grade students who offered to teach primary school children in strict compliance with sanitary standards and with parental consent.