The education system in Kazakhstan is highly centralised where the Ministry of Education and Science (MOES) is the central body responsible and works with four administrative levels: the oblast (regional) Departments of Education; the Municipal Departments of Education; the rayon (district) Departments of Education; and finally the school level. The State is responsible for the financing of 10-year compulsory education. Oblasts are responsible for education in vocational and professional schools as well as in special and specialised schools. Oblasts are also responsible for distributing textbooks, maintaining school infrastructure, providing free and subsidised school meals for specific categories of students, and supporting orphan students. Local authorities are assigned primary responsibility for financing schools, evening education, and boarding schools.
A new State Programme for Education and Science Development 2016-2019 (SPESD) calls for the introduction of per capita financing, a transfer of funds from the state budget to the school for each student for education level to eliminate differences in expenditures per student across oblasts. In 2019, the country announced that all public and private schools in Kazakhstan will gradually introduce per capita financing starting in 2020. The standard of will differ in terms of education level (primary, secondary, higher), normative class size1, type of general education program, place of study, and also will depend directly on the form of ownership of the school. Kazakhstan develops new national plan for people with disabilities. Tertiary education is financed through State Grants system. The system also provides financing for the brightest students and some special-needs students.
A further 1% of total public funds available for higher education is allocated through students from disadvantaged groups such as students from rural areas, orphans and disabled students. Scholarships for students with disabilities or from disadvantaged background can receive a scholarship payment between 24 000 KZT and 36 000 KZT.
Students primarily pay for their higher education through personal funds and state grants. State grants only provide funding for around one-quarter of higher education students. Typical tuition levels at public institutions range from roughly KZT 300 000 to KZT 700 000 or roughly USD 900 to USD 2 000 at mid-2016 conversion rates.
Through the State Educational Accumulative System (SEAS), introduced in 2013, the government stimulate families to regularly save money for their children’s future education by paying an additional interest premium on educational savings accounts and training (5% per annum on the sum of educational accumulative deposit; and 7% for vulnerable population). All Kazakhstani citizens can contribute to SEAS with some tax benefits.
Students with disability
Children with special needs and disabilities receive education in “correctional schools”, in separate or mainstream classes within mainstream schools, and in their own homes. In 2012, there were 106 correctional schools catering to 15 261 students, 388 mainstream schools had a total of 1 219 special classes attended by 8 825 students.
Children with disabilities are entitled to monthly benefits in the range of 0.87 – 1.36 times the minimum subsistence level [i.e. from 15,103 KZT (US$ 100), to 24,231 KZT (US$161)] based on the child’s age and disability group. In addition, parents of children with disabilities also benefit from an allowance in the amount of a minimum wage (about 18,660 KZT or US$125).
Students who are considered disadvantaged are entitled to free meals. Schools are supposed to receive an allocation amounting to at least 1% of their budget from local governments to be distributed to students in economic difficulty. The State Programme for Education Development 2011-20 stipulates that 100% of students from low-income families receive free fortified hot meals by 2015. Due to stigma attached to be identified as disadvantaged, five regions and the city of Almaty have decided to provide them to all their students.
Students with disabilities
The State fully or partially compensates for the costs of maintaining children with developmental disabilities, people with disabilities and people with disabilities during their education2. Persons with visual and hearing disabilities have the right to receive an increased state scholarship3.
The most academically gifted are admitted to the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) with full scholarships and boarding opportunities as required. In 2012, 3 966 schools offered advanced instruction to 815 177 students, which represent an increase of 1 958 schools and 5% of students since 2011.
There is no publicly available information on this topic.