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From 25 to 28 April, Cambridge University hosted the “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools days” event for the first time. Guests were given a detailed overview of Kazakhstan's innovative schools programme and the projects which have been implemented to reform the education system. The event was organised by the University of Cambridge, the Intellectual Schools' strategic partner.
As part of the event, a delegation from the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, led by its Head Ms Kulyash Shamshidinova, visited the Bottisham Village College, Cambridgeshire, and held meetings with the management of the University's department of education, as well as Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment International Education.
During the talks, global trends in education and topical issues of modern teaching practices were discussed. This included topics such as the expansion of equal access to education, the creation of curricula and manuals, the enhancement of the professional competence of teachers, the evaluation system, the training of authors and textbook experts, and the well-being of teachers. A key event was the delegation's meeting with some of the Intellectual Schools' graduates, who are currently studying at leading British universities.
In addition, the Head of the Intellectual Schools Ms Shamshidinova delivered an open lecture at Cambridge University entitled "Time for Change: 10 years of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools”. It was attended by the management of Cambridge University, leading scientists and international experts in education, representatives of the British universities, as well as diplomats and students.
The lecture was preceded by a speech from the Ambassador of the Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom Mr Erlan Idrisov, who noted that in the years since independence, Kazakhstan had achieved significant results in reforming its education.
“The creation of the Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, have become one of the main drivers in the advancement of the education system of our country. Successful co-operation of the Intellectual Schools and the Nazarbayev University with the University of Cambridge will allow for further improvements to be made across the education spectrum in Kazakhstan, in line with international standards”, Mr Idrissov said.
In her presentation, Ms Shamshidinova focused on the key stages of the establishment of the Intellectual Schools, the priority directions of their development, the introduction of modern educational standards and technologies, the implementation of new systems in school management and evaluation, and the goals and tasks facing the schools in the near future.
Geoff Hayward, Head of Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, reiterated that the faculty was proud of the co-operation with the Intellectual Schools. “Partnerships with innovative schools in Kazakhstan can serve as a vivid example of global co-operation in the field of pedagogy. This event has opened up a new stage in the successful co-operation of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Cambridge University.”
Shigeo Katsu, President of Nazarbayev University AEO, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools AEO, and Tristian Stobie, Director of Education at CAIE, noted that the creation of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools has become one of the most vivid and successful country projects in the field of education.