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Astana, Kazakhstan • 21 February, 2024 | 09:53

Teacher Shortage: Kazakhstan Partners with Michigan State University

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education seeks a strategic partnership to train teachers in hybrid learning and leadership

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Michigan State University
Michigan State University

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education met with representatives of Michigan State University to discuss strategic partnership, QazMonitor reports citing the press service of the Ministry.

Meeting agenda: Minister Sayasat Nurbek put forward a proposal to representatives of Michigan State University to develop a memorandum on strategic partnership in the following areas: hybrid learning, leadership of school teachers, and advanced training of university admin staff. The parties also discussed the establishment of a Michigan State University branch in Kazakhstan.

Why it matters: "Schools [in Kazakhstan] are experiencing a great shortage of staff, especially in the capital, the population is growing, and so is the demand for quality education. In addition to public schools, we have various international schools, all in need qualified teachers. The institutional transformation of teacher education is underway," Minister Sayasat Nurbek said during the meeting.

What MSU offers: Sakil Malik, Senior Global Practice Leader in Global Education at Michigan State University outlined available programs for teacher professional development and suggested an ongoing partnership between the university and the ministry.

"We do teacher professional development, we do real research, we also do inclusive education. The hybrid model, certification program, etc. are available from our side. If there are specific school leaders, teachers who want to come to Michigan for longer-term or shorter-term programs, we can become a permanent partner of the Ministry. After discussing all the details, we will develop a specific project for you,"

 Malik said.

What's next: The parties agreed to develop a draft memorandum and a roadmap for its implementation.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Ministry of Science and Higher Education

The bigger picture: Back in 2022, Minister Nurbek addressed the shortage of educators, saying how Kazakhstan will need to prepare to teach at least 1,5 million children in the near future.

“By presidential order, we are building 1,000 schools by ‘26–'27. But in order for these 1,000 schools to work and be functional, we need to have trained more than 100,000 teachers by that time…Given the current demographic and the number of schools to be built — we need about 120,000 teachers. Because there are people retiring, the teaching profession is aging quite badly now. We need fresh young blood who will need time to get experience in the field,” the Minister told QazMonitor on the sidelines of Nobel Fest in 2022.

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