38 rural schools in Turkestan region will get access to Internet

Overall, 19 976 students will receive an opportunity to improve the quality of education as a part of UNICEF's project on implementation GIGA initiative

22 November 2021
поселок Акбулак
UNICEF Kazakhstan/2021

November 22, 2021, Turkestan city –  A delegation of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan, together with the Akimat of Turkestan region, visited five out of 38 rural schools of region connected to the Internet within a framework of GIGA initiative. During this visit, a joint initiative of UNICEF and the Government to provide primary and secondary schools with high-speed Internet access and improve the quality of education for children was closely monitored. The trip was attended by employees of UNICEF, Akimat of Turkestan region, representatives of the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, as well as representatives of regional akimats, school directors, teachers of informatics, schoolchildren and media representatives.

GIGA is a global initiative of UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union to connect every school to broadband Internet. Kazakhstan has joined this initiative to provide every child with a wide range of opportunities for quality education and further career choices. One of the goals of the initiative is to create the necessary infrastructure to ensure digital connection for the whole country in general and for each child individually. To date, 1,000,000 schools have been mapped by GIGA in 41 countries around the world, and 3,200 schools have become partners of the initiative. With the support of UNICEF in Kazakhstan, 38 rural schools of the Turkestan region have already joined this initiative.

As a part of the trip program, the delegation visited schools in Akbulak, Shagyr, Kabylsay, Taldykuduk and Leskhoz villages, where 19,976 students are studying. Internet connections established in these villages through the GIGA initiative will have a positive effect on schools. Schoolchildren will have an access to online educational resources.

As Arthur van Diesen, the UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan noted: “I have visited schools of the Turkestan region with a great pleasure and have personally seen the real results of our joint project. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven once again that connecting schools and students to the Internet is extremely important to ensure every child has an equal access to education and new knowledge. I am glad that Kazakhstan supported the GIGA initiative and decided to become the regional leader in this project. I am confident that we will truly help young people to get a better education, and as a result, have better chances to find a job, and build a productive future for themselves".

Recall that in August 2021, a new joint work plan was signed between the Akimat of the Turkestan region and UNICEF. As a part of this agreement 38 schools will be provided with broadband Internet access. These events are also included in the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union on the joint implementation of the GIGA initiative dated May 19, 2021.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of rural schools, I express my gratitude to UNICEF, which supported and took care of children, created conditions for children to receive quality, affordable education,” said Ashimkhan Mombekov, head of Arys city's Human Development Department.

Elnur Utebayev, head of the Department of Informatization, Public Services and Archives of the Turkestan Region, shared the results of the project: “The existing digital gap between the rural and urban children in the field of education makes it impossible to receive a full-fledged high-quality education in our time. Therefore, we supported the initiative of UNICEF to connect schools in our region and at our level we are doing everything possible so that every child could realize their full potential".

It is especially important to improve the competences and digital skills of teachers in order to provide quality educational services. To achieve this, in early December, teachers from 20 primary and secondary schools of the Turkestan region, connected to the Internet as part of the GIGA initiative, will undergo a 72-hour online program on blended learning and will have get the methodological support through the platform on inclusive blended learning. Blended learning involves combining traditional forms of classroom learning with elements of digital learning.

The director of the secondary school named after A. Tleuberdin under the Human Development Department of Arys, Mahsat Aralbaevich, spoke about the difficulties in the education system without access to the Internet: “Last year, due to a weak Internet network, there were difficulties with distance learning. However, after the installation of the broadband Internet network by UNICEF, we got an opportunity to use the electronic diaries such as Online Mektep, Kundelik.kz to the fullest, since rural schools, like us, really needed such a broadband Internet network".

Director of the secondary school "Kabylsay" under the Department of Human Development in Arys city, Zhuzzhanov Shattyk Spartakovich noted the effectiveness of the project: “Now the majority of schools in Kazakhstan have enough resources for digital learning. I would like to express my gratitude to UNICEF for its assistance in establishing a broadband Internet network in solving these problems, for the high quality and efficiency of the Internet and timely assistance in solving urgent problems".

The director of the Bolashak secondary school of the Ordabasy region, Ilyasova Nazira Nasyrkhanovna, thanked everyone involved in the project: “I express my deep gratitude to UNICEF, Mr. Arthur van Diesen, Utebayev Elnur Rakhimberdievich, Head of the Department of Digitalization, Provision of Public Services and Archives of the Turkestan Region, Nurabaeva Shuga Turmaganbetovna, Head of the Human Development Department of the Ordabasy District of the Turkestan Region. I wish you continued success in your work!".

In addition, Tatyana Aderikhina, head of UNICEF programs on education and skills in Kazakhstan, added: “Connecting schools to the Internet also requires additional efforts on behalf of teachers and students to develop digital literacy skills in blended learning and teaching and to participate in targeted learning programs. that can improve the quality of education in the new conditions of the digital revolution and the demands for life caused by the pandemic".

In the second quarter of 2022, it is planned to launch among primary and secondary school students of Turkestan region the knowledge recovery program because of the effects of pandemics. Also in January 2022, as part of a pilot project on monitoring the speed of the Internet connection, in cooperation with the Information and Analytical Center (IAC) under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the software that transmits information about the real speed of the Internet will be installed in schools for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation of the quality of Internet services. This work is directly related to the participation of Kazakhstan in the international GIGA initiative.

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