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The Kazakhstan K-12 Education System

The K-12 education system of Kazakhstan is overseen by the Ministry of Education. Education in Kazakhstan is mandatory for all the children aged 6 to 15.

Understanding the K-12 Education System

Preschool Education 

Preschool education in Kazakhstan is provided by kindergarten. This educational level helps children to develop physical and mental abilities, and prepare them for primary school.  This level focuses on numeracy, reading, drawing, writing and music. This education is mainly financed by the local authorities. 

  • Ages: 3 to 6
Classes: 5-day week for 3-4 hours a day
Curriculum: Reading, music, pre-writing, art, arithmetic and play. The kindergartens in Kazakhstan teach Russian as well as Kazakh language.

Primary Education 

Primary education in Kazakhstan is mandatory to attend. This educational level provides basic writing, reading, arithmetic and numeracy skills.  

In Kazakhstan, all primary schools are state-owned. The curriculum is determined by the Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan. Primary education in Kazakhstan is free for the Kazakhstan nationals and residents. Parents are required to pay only for the extra-curricular activities, such as music or sports, lab etc.
  • Ages: 6 to 10
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Grades: 1 to 4
Class timings: Classes are held in 2 sessions-morning and afternoon. Morning session starts at 8:00 am and ends at 12:00pm; and afternoon session starts at 1:00pm and ends at 5:00pm.

Curriculum: Mathematics, reading, social science, Russian and Kazakh language, science, writing, arts, computers and informatics, physical education, and music. 

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Kazakhstan encompasses lower secondary and higher secondary education. 

Lower Secondary Education

Lower secondary education in Kazakhstan is compulsory. 
  • Ages: 10 to 15
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Grades: 5 to 9
Some of the lower secondary schools have the same campus of the primary school, while some have a different campus.
Curriculum: Mathematics, physics, Kazakh or Russian language, chemistry, world history, general science, physical education, history, biology, and social science. 

Higher Secondary Education

Students must have completed lower secondary education in order to gain admittance into the higher secondary education.  Higher secondary education provides three educational tracks- 
  • General education
  • Vocational education
  • Professional education
Students are required to select any one track as per their interest.

General Education

This educational track is academic in nature. Graduates from this track are eligible to apply for higher education institutions in Kazakhstan.
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Grades: 10 and 11

Vocational Track 

There are 2 types of vocational higher secondary education tracks:
  • Initial Vocational Education
  • Secondary Professional Education

Initial Vocational Education

This education is offered by the initial training schools and lycees.

Training Schools: These schools prepare pupils in a specific trade or skilled vocation. The programmes offered at these schools are vocational. Students who pass out from these schools are eligible to apply for higher education at the university or vocational college, or may go for job. This education offered by these schools is free, though pupils are required to buy their textbooks and other related study material.
  • Duration: 1 to 3 years
Lycees: Lycees provide basic academic education as well as specific vocational education. They also prepare pupils for a skilled vocation. 
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Grades: 10 to 12

Secondary Professional Education

This education is offered by the colleges. Graduates are eligible to apply for university education or go for employment in their field of study. The colleges are state-owned in Kazakhstan. 
  • Duration: 3 to 4 years (depending on the course of study)
  • Grades: 10 to 12

The curriculum for initial vocational as well as secondary vocational education is determined by the Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan.
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