Art, Sports and RobotsEducation and leisure time not mutually exclusive in Kazakhstan.
The name of the ‘Bolashaq Saraiy’ training centre roughly translates as “Palace of Youth and the Future”. The institution in the northern Kazakh city of Kokshetau provides a non-school learning environment offering all children and young people additional free access to education out of school. The centre has around 150 trainers, with more than 1,000 learners attending the courses. Everyone can use their free time to do the things that particularly interest them, and they are helped in this by state-of-the-art learning technologies. We spoke to trainer Kazhymukan Karim, who teaches the technical disciplines at the ‘Bolashaq Saraiy’. In the interview, he explains what sets the school apart and what drives his students.
Hello Mr. Kazhymukan, could you give us an idea of the approach to teaching at ‘Bolashaq Saraiy’?
Kazhymukan: “We offer a unique platform for the development of creativity, sport and science. The general educational concept is based on five pillars: besides scientific-intellectual competencies, we promote creativity, sport and adaptation to one’s environment. Finally, the last pillar is ‘Home appreciation is the path of intellectual awakening’. Each of these directions consists of concrete workshops and follows a set timetable.”
What motivates the students to visit the centre in their free time?
Kazhymukan: “They want to acquire knowledge, further their development and hold their own in today’s competitive world: that is their main motivation. In the age of innovation and modern technologies, many young Kazakhs are very aware that additional education is not only necessary but that it can be their key to success. It is their voluntary decision to be a step ahead of their peers by taking a closer look at innovative technology, scientific research or critical-creative thinking.
The young people have access to state-of-the-art laboratories in the training centre. How do they use them?
Kazhymukan: “Lessons involve a symbiosis of theory and practice. We go much deeper than in schools. This practically orientated training is the answer to the challenges of the external environment. We embrace the principle of „learning by doing“, as the process of performing real practical tasks facilitates the development of specific professional skills. The fact that Bolashaq Saraiy is now equipped with advanced technologies makes it easy for the trainers to switch from theory to practice, which 70 percent of the education process is based on.”
How do the trainers use the new systems and digital media to teach the material?
Kazhymukan: “The teaching staff like the laboratories because they allow young people to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge and put all their newly acquired knowledge to the test. This makes it easier for young people to master the subjects they are studying. The fact that the centre meets all the modern standards means that we can also address new trends such as ‘digitalization’. The digital multimedia courses offered by Lucas-Nülle GmbH were therefore very important when it came to choosing the equipment and they have proved to be a great advantage – because they allow the learners to work independently and thus develop further.”