Equal opportunities for every child: How to achieve social equality in Education
Gamification, nanosatellites and online training – IITU and UNICEF join forces to increase access to Education
ALMATY, April 13, 2023 – Today, International Information Technology University (IITU) held ‘UNICEF Day’ dedicated to increasing education access and quality by introducing information technologies into the classroom.
During the event, representatives from five Kazakhstani universities spoke about their joint projects with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Amirkhan Temirbayev, PhD, General Director of the Cluster of Engineering and High-tech Technologies at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University discussed the advantages of STEM education. For the third consecutive year, KazNU, together with UNICEF, is implementing an innovative educational UniSat project to train girls in Kazakhstan to develop and launch nanosatellites. This project aims to overcome the gender stereotypes faced by women and girls in choosing a STEM career. To date, more than 3,000 girls have completed the program and seven nanosatellites have been launched into the stratosphere to collect data on radiation, atmospheric pressure, gravity, and light and gas compositions for subsequent analysis.
Alexandra Knysheva, Head of the GameLab Video Game Development Laboratory at Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU), shared information about the use of gamification and video games in education. It is with KBTU that, this year, UNICEF will gamify the offline component of the UniSat programme and increase access to programme education for Kazakhstani schoolchildren from remote regions of the country.
Aizhan Kassymova, Deputy Director of the Institute of Automation and Information Technologies at Satpayev University, discussed developing online training as a potential solution for children with disabilities with limited access to online education.
Head of the IITU Languages Department, Zhannura Manapbayeva, spoke about implementing a project for children affected by migrathion studying at and primary and secondary schools. The project aims to improve literacy and develop children’s digital skills using a specially designed course on the Akelius international platform. Additionally, a key area for cooperation between IITU and UNICEF is better involving children requiring tailored assistance in the learning process using new digital technologies and blended learning formats.
Continuing the digital education theme, Bolat Sultangazin, Technical Director of the Innovation Cluster at Nazarbayev University (NURIS), presented a joint project with UNICEF to support developing and investing in creating new open-source IT products. Such products, created by Kazakhstani developers and startups, will comply with global Digital Public Goods Alliance standards as approved by the United Nations Secretary General.
Conference presenters paid special attention to COVID-19’s impact on underprivileged children’s access to online education.
"COVID-19 has shown that children from wealthy families have more opportunities for online education than underprivileged children. Our task is to eliminate this inequality with innovative approaches and digital tools. Every child, regardless of social status, should have equal access to education to realize their potential in full," commented Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.
"We are pleased to cooperate with UNICEF to ensure access to education, and at the same time, the safe and effective use of digital internet technologies and resources. Inclusive blended learning is no longer a distant future but our everyday reality, and it is in our power to ensure the safety of every child through use of the best international standards," said Yevgeniya Daineko, PhD, Vice-Rector for IITU Global Partnership and Continuing Education.
UNICEF carries out its activities to ensure the rights and well-being of every child. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
See more about the UNICEF on www.unicef.org.
International Information Technology University (IITU) was established in 2009. After over 14 years of development, IITU firmly entered into the ranks of the best technical universities in the country. The University is constantly working to improve the quality of educational services and provides high-quality faculty and staff. The University’s modern infrastructure and harmonization of educational programs with leading international universities contribute to the student body’s dynamic growth. Currently, more than 5,000 students are studying at IITU in the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programmes.