12 thousand Kazakhstani teachers will take a course of digital inclusive education

The representative office of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan together with the international technopark of IT startups Astana Hub plan to train more than 12 thousand teachers in 11 regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the basics of digital inclusive education in a mixed format.

The training is conducted jointly with the regional departments and departments of education of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Teachers of both urban and rural schools will take part in the training. To date, more than ten thousand participants of the course have already been registered.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that the most vulnerable children – children with special educational needs - suffer more from the restriction of access to education and the transition to distance learning. Our main goal is to support the educational process that is equally accessible to every child, regardless of their needs. The mixed format with the use of digital technologies makes it possible to make the educational process more flexible and the educational environment more adaptive. But the key role here is played by the skills and knowledge of teachers. Therefore, I am glad that together with Astana Hub we will be able to train a large number of teachers in the latest digital tools," said Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.

The mixed format is a modern educational approach that implies a combination of traditional forms of classroom instruction using special information technologies. The course of digital inclusive education in a mixed format for Kazakhstan teachers is held on an educational platform Okoo.kz . The first group has already started studying the term "inclusion", existing stereotypes and prejudices. The course participants get acquainted with new technologies for involving children with special educational needs in their studies. They study methods of organizing remote and interactive lessons using various digital tools to create a comfortable and favorable environment at school.

"It is especially gratifying when using digital technologies it is possible to influence such global topics as providing affordable digital inclusive education. We hope that in the future IT technologies will help to completely overcome all the barriers that prevent children with special educational needs from participating in the curriculum. It's great that thanks to the consolidation of our competencies and efforts with UNICEF, we can influence, and most importantly, give a significant impetus to solving such a socially significant issue," said Magzhan Madiyev, Director General of the international technopark of IT startups Astana Hub.

In addition to the theoretical part, teachers are given practical knowledge for effective online learning.  As part of the course, teachers learn how to use tools such as Mural, Padlet, ZOOM, Canva, Kahoot, etc.

"We are very grateful for such courses. Our training lasted 3 days, and during this time we learned a lot of new things: we got acquainted with methods and technologies that we did not know about before, deepened our existing knowledge. It was especially interesting to work with tools such as Padlet and Canva. In the future, I will definitely apply the knowledge I have gained in the classroom," Zhupar Tanatarova, a teacher of the GKP "OOSH Shagan" of the village of New Life in the Terektinsky district of the West Kazakhstan region, shared.

According to official data of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as of January 1, 2020, more than 161,826 thousand children with special educational needs live in Kazakhstan, for whom 99 special schools have been created, where about 15 thousand children study. There are also 42 special preschool organizations. The rest of the children study in secondary schools in conditions of inclusion.

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