Development of Hub Schools in Rural Areas project: Results and Plans for the Future

On May 17, the Bilimdi Urpak – Bilimdi Yel educational conference has been held in Astana, organized by the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund.
The Kazakhstan Khalkyna Public Social Fund was created on the initiative of the Head of State, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to solve problems in the field of healthcare, education and social support.
One of the initiatives supported by the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund in the field of education was the Potential Development of the Hub Schools in Rural Areas project.
“Children in rural areas have fewer opportunities than children in urban schools – this does not need to be. In 17 regions of the country, our Fund, together with ESDF and NIS, is implementing a project to develop 17 hub schools. In fact, we have created the material and technical base of these schools, equipped all the classrooms completely. If we want support schools to become centers of competence for education in rural areas, then we need to train teachers, equip classrooms with everything necessary, and create an appropriate environment to make it comfortable to study. Now we have started scaling the project,” Bolat Zhamishev, Head of the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund said.
The Potential Development of the Hub Schools in Rural Areas project was launched in 2022. It aims to reduce the education gap between rural and urban schools. The operator of the project was the Education Sustainable Development Fund (ESDF), the sponsors are the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund and the AITAS holding. The general partner of the project is Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools AEO, which has taken over the academic part.
“In 2019, as AITAS holding, we launched a project to develop education in five rural schools. This corresponds to our purpose and mission, which we have laid the foundation for our work – serving the people of Kazakhstan for the sustainable development of the country. This is how our AITAS Foundation funds appeared, whose projects later received the support of the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund.
The potential development of the hub schools in rural areas is an excellent example of successful and effective collaboration of civil society, government and business. Both on the example of our Holding and on the example of the projects of the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund, we can say with confidence that business can change education. And systemic and scalable projects can participate in sustainable development,” Ksenia Verba, Head of the AITAS Foundation said.
In 2022, for the implementation of the mentioned project, the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund allocated KZT4.25 billion, which were directed exclusively to equipping schools. The first stage was attended by 17 schools – 602 classrooms in 17 schools in 17 districts of regions of Kazakhstan. An average of KZT250 million was allocated to each school for equipment.
“The first stage of the project on hub schools developing in rural areas covered more than 13 thousand students. This means that 13 thousand children from villages study in schools, which sometimes are not inferior to elite urban educational institutions. This year, in the second stage, 63 schools, which are more than 45 thousand students and almost 80 thousand parents, will become participants in the Potential Development of Hub Schools in Rural Areas project. Our project is gaining national status. This means that our responsibility to the people and society has increased significantly. And we are confident that the project will significantly reduce the gap in the level of education between urban and rural schools,” Daniyar Toktarbayev, Director of the Education Sustainable Development Fund states.
In general, the project is planned to cover 191 rural schools in the coming years.
About 850 participants took part in the conference online – Deputy Akims of regions and the capital, cities of republican significance, Heads of regional departments, district departments of education, rectors and Vice-rectors of universities, collectives of reference and special schools.