President: education, diversity key to nation’s modernisation
An enhanced national identity along with embracing diversity and education are necessary for Kazakhstan’s political, economic and cultural modernisation, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said recently.
Nazarbayev published April 12 the “Course towards the future: modernisation of Kazakhstan’s identity” outlining steps to modernise social norms in addition to earlier announced political and economic modernisations.
“I am sure that the large-scale reforms that we launched should be continued with advanced modernisation of nation’s conscience. It won’t just complement the political and economic modernisation, but will be its core,” the article reads.
The efforts are intended to include Kazakhstan among the world’s 30 most-developed countries.
He singled out several directions to modernise the mindset of the nation and its people. He mentioned specifically competitiveness, pragmatism, preserving national identity, establishing a culture of knowledge, an evolutionary development of Kazakhstan and open-mindedness as necessary to achieve the nation’s goals.
He also noted specific projects to advance the country’s modernisation, including transitioning the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet.
By 2025, Kazakhstan will begin using the Latin alphabet in documentation, periodicals, textbooks and other official communications to better accommodate the technological environment, communications, scientific and educational processes.
The second project is called the “New humanitarian knowledge. One hundred new textbooks in the Kazakh language.” It will translate the 100 best textbooks of the world into Kazakh by the 2018-2019 school year.
Third, the “Tugan Zher” (“Homeland”) programme will be developed.
The programme will improve the business, educational and cultural environments of Kazakhstan’s regions, including the study of local lore in education, ecology and site improvement, study of regional history and the restoration of cultural and historical monuments and cultural sites of local significance. It is also about supporting business people, officials and others who, having moved to other regions, would like to support their region of birth. The “Tugan Zher” programme will be a basis for national patriotism.
Fourth, the “Spiritual holy sites of Kazakhstan” programme or “Sacral geography of Kazakhstan” will unite in the national conscience, the monuments surrounding the Ulytau and the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, the ancient monuments of Taraz and other places.
The government will develop this project within a year and unite three elements in the project while maintaining a dialogue with the public: educate every citizen of Kazakhstan on the role and place of this Cultural and Geographical Belt; the mass media should be involved in national information projects in this sphere; domestic and international cultural tourism should be based on this project.
Fifth, the “Modern Kazakh culture in the global world” project will identify the best examples of modern Kazakh culture and translate them into the six languages of the UN.
Sixth, the “100 new faces of Kazakhstan” project will tell the stories of 100 people from different regions, representing different age groups and ethnicities who have succeeded during the years of independence.
It is that embrace of Kazakhstan’s many diverse faces and the education of the populace that the President believes are important to advance the nation.
Nazarbayev said in his article that education must be universal and that all young people and the entire workforce must be educated to have the skills, knowledge and qualities to make a positive mark on the 21st Century.
He also noted that this education not only includes skills, such as creating doctors and engineers, but of a populace that has studied the humanities. We need people “who understand modernity and the future well,” he said.
In telling the stories of a diverse array of Kazakhs, Kazakhstan can more successfully promote the country around the world and provide clear role models for Kazakhstan’s young people.
With these initiatives, Kazakhstan now has a clear spiritual, political and economic direction toward becoming a modern, highly developed nation.