Kazakh Schools Report on First Day of Distance Learning
Yesterday Kazakh school students started their final term of the school year after the prolonged three-week spring break. Public schools in Kazakhstan have launched distance learning programs amidst COVID-19 pandemic. Kazakh Ministry of Education experts, teachers and their parents had been doing a thorough preparatory work to start the final term of the academic year. However, the transition to distance learning wasn’t that smooth. Thus, yesterday the Kundelik education platform experienced some system failures due to the heavy workload.
“In total, in one day there were 32 million completed sessions on the Kundelik platform, which is the unprecedented record. There were some system failures and complaints, but the technical support services fixed them in time. All malfunctions were resolved timely, and you can see the result. Obviously, if the distance learning platforms didn’t work properly, there wouldn’t be 32 million finished sessions. Still, the system experienced some failures, so our technical workers will be working on improving the system,” said Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov.
Minister Aimagambetov added that the distance learning system will be further developed. Thus, the TV lessons will be complemented by the sign language interpretation for deaf-mute students.
“We have received a suggestion related to the TV lessons to add the sign language interpretation to them. Currently, we are working on that, and soon we will include qualified sign language interpretation for the TV lessons. It is very important,” he said.
In addition, Aimagambetov noted that more than 3,000 Kazakh students will be receiving homework by mail. To date, these students don’t have access to online messengers for distance learning. However, parents are concerned that it will take a lot of time to deliver the study materials by post and by that time it will lose its relevance. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Education explains that this is the only possible solution. Moreover, this way the communication and feedback between the student and a teacher will only be reinforced. The Kazakh Education Minister has banned to demand any kind of reports from teachers.
“A few days ago, there were cases when teachers demanded to send screenshots and photographs to prove that children study from home. We have stopped them. It got to the point when students were asked to send videos and other evidence of their work. We have stopped this all. In addition, some people complained that there was a lot of homework given to children. For example, the homework that was given 10 minutes ago had to be done within an hour, which is unthinkable. We have already organized a meeting with our colleagues on this issue, so I would like to reassure you that it is not necessary,” Aimagambetov said.