American teenager with Kazakh roots launches free digital courses for schoolchildren from Kazakhstan
An American teenager from Kazakhstan decided to support his compatriots. The distance of 10,000 kilometers did not stop him from launching a free educational program ‘Skills for Leaders’ for Kazakh children, including the children of COVID-19 frontline health workers.
The project has already started in online format. 16-year-old Adilzhan Nazarov decided to teach his Kazakh students basic soft and digital skills of the 21st century. He wanted to help children master the skills that are most valued in today’s world.
“I live in the United States, but I come from Kazakhstan and I hold my roots in high regard. I want to contribute to the development of my home country and to help my peers improve their skills and succeed. I know how to code myself, and I want to help other kids to learn how to do it,” Nazarov said.
The young enthusiast has enlisted the support of professional coaches and software engineers, who help him teach the course. They started to invite children by word of mouth through common chats in instant messengers and social media. Thus, the organizers gathered 100 Kazakh schoolchildren who did not want to spend their summer holidays in vain, but, on the contrary, strived to acquire new and important knowledge.
“The course in the format of an intensive online marathon will last seven days. Adilzhan determined the duration of the course together with our coach, who volunteered to help him for free. Considering the peculiarities of children’s attention and their motivation, they decided to make a week-long course. Adilzhan and his co-organizers Miriam and Amani, as well as our professional software engineers and coach, are extremely impressed with the level of motivation of the children,” Nazarov’s mother Ainur Yertlessova shared.
Thus, every day students receive new knowledge, go through coaching sessions, do homework, work in groups, and compete for valuable prizes. By the end of the course, they will have practical digital skills, including creation of landing pages, Telegram Bots, graphic images, games, html layout and many other things. In addition, schoolchildren learn the basics of digital security and protection, communication and create a proper digital identity for themselves.
“The kids are busy with the course all day: before lunch and then later in the evening they practice the digital skills. In the afternoon, the coach holds a live meeting with them for 2.5 hours with a new topic each day such as setting goals, motivation, ability to manage emotions, self-confidence, searching for their strengths and so on. When it comes to soft skills, children work in pairs with the ‘buddy approach’, when two people unite to help each other achieve success. They are real support for each other, real companions. One couple of students even decided to work in English to practice the language at the same time,” Yertlessova said.
The organizers were impressed with the first feedback – they could not believe that it would turn out to be so useful. They now do not exclude that they will launch a similar free marathon, but already for Kazakh children from large and low-income families, and orphans. Nazarov intends continue the project – the next course is tentatively scheduled for autumn of this year.