Educational System in Kazakhstan

The one tip that you hear expats living in Kazakhstan repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Kazakhstan. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Kazakhstan is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Kazakhstan.
|-Educational System in Kazakhstan

Relocating to a new country can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to understanding the educational system for your children. The educational system in Kazakhstan is unique and offers a variety of options for expats. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the educational system in Kazakhstan, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, availability of bilingual and private schools, and options for homeschooling and online schooling.

What are the main stages of education in Kazakhstan?

The education system in Kazakhstan is divided into four main stages: pre-school, primary school, secondary school, and higher education. Pre-school is for children aged 3-6, primary school is for ages 6-10, secondary school is divided into two stages, lower secondary for ages 10-15 and upper secondary for ages 15-18. Higher education includes undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Kazakhstan is not compulsory but is highly recommended. It focuses on the child’s overall development and preparation for primary school. The curriculum includes basic literacy, numeracy, and social skills.

Primary School Education

Primary education in Kazakhstan is compulsory and lasts for four years, from age 6 to 10. The curriculum includes subjects like Kazakh or Russian language, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Secondary School Education

Secondary education is divided into two stages: lower secondary (grades 5-9) and upper secondary (grades 10-11). Lower secondary education focuses on a broad range of subjects, while upper secondary education offers specialized tracks for academic or vocational education.

Higher Education

Higher education in Kazakhstan includes undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Universities offer a wide range of programs in various fields. Admission is based on entrance exams and high school grades.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

To enroll a child in a Kazakhstani school, parents or guardians must provide a birth certificate, proof of residence, and a medical certificate. If the child has previously attended school, academic records may also be required. It’s advisable to contact the school directly for specific enrollment procedures.

Can children still learning Kazakh or Russian enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Kazakh or Russian can enroll in public schools. However, they may need additional language support, as the medium of instruction in most public schools is either Kazakh or Russian. Some schools offer language support programs for non-native speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Kazakhstan where instruction is given in both Kazakh and Russian. There are also a few schools that offer instruction in English along with Kazakh or Russian. Admission to these schools is usually competitive.

What types of private schools are common in Kazakhstan?

Private schools in Kazakhstan include international schools, bilingual schools, and schools following specific national curriculums like American, British, or Turkish. These schools often have smaller class sizes and a wider range of extracurricular activities.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Many expats in Kazakhstan choose to send their children to private international schools due to the language of instruction (usually English) and the international curriculum. However, some expats do choose public schools, especially bilingual ones, for cultural immersion.

How expensive are Private schools in Kazakhstan?

Private school fees in Kazakhstan can vary widely depending on the school. International schools are generally the most expensive, with fees ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per year. Other private schools may charge less.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Kazakhstan?

Homeschooling is not common in Kazakhstan and is generally only allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as for children with special needs or those who cannot attend school due to health reasons.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Kazakhstan?

Online schooling is not widely recognized in Kazakhstan. However, with the recent developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some schools have started offering online learning options. It’s advisable to check with the local education authorities for the most accurate information.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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