Kazakhstan - education
Education in Kazakhstan is public and free with ten years of compulsory
schooling from the seventh year of students. Six-year-olds can start school if
they pass an entrance exam. The primary school is four years old and is followed
by a superstructure with two levels that lasts resp. four and three years. The
last level has both general and business-oriented lines. Further education takes
place at the country's two universities, a technical college, several
polytechnic institutes and other higher education institutions.
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Primary school teaching is based on the children attending kindergarten for
at least a year, but since many kindergartens have been privatized since 1993
and are no longer free, a large proportion of children now lack this background
at the start of school.
OFFICIAL NAME: Kazak Republikasy
CAPITAL CITY: Astana
POPULATION: 15,200,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 2,700,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, German, Uzbek, Tatar, other
RELIGION: Muslims 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestants 2%, others 7%
CURRENCY CODE: KZT
ENGLISH NAME: Kazakhstan
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Kazakhs 46%, Russians 35%, Ukrainians 5%, Germans 3%, Uzbeks 2%, Tatars 2%,
GDP PER residents: 1972 $ (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 60 years, women 71 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.774
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 79
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .kz
Kazakhstan, republic of Central Asia, former Soviet republic and since 1991
independent state. The country is the size of Western Europe, but extremely
sparsely populated. Kazakhstan holds very large natural resources and was deeply
integrated into the economy of the Soviet Union. The country has a long, open
border with Russia, a large Russian minority and still a close relationship with
its great neighbor. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, several
reforms and structural changes had taken place in Kazakhstan. The country is
profiting well from oil exploration in the Caspian Sea, but corruption is
widespread and declining living standards and non-payment of wages and pensions
have led to social unrest.
Kazakhstan - literature
Kazakh poetry is rooted in ancient oral traditions. Shepherd songs, heroic tales and tolgau (lyrical
meditations) were performed by akyner ('bards'), who met for great
singing contests. One of the most famous is Buhkhar-sjyrau Kalkamanov
The incorporation into the Russian Empire led to division. Akynes such as
Dulat Babatayev (1802-71), Murat Monkeev (1843-1906) and others expressed their
opposition by singing the inherited values and Islam.
Others followed the liberal currents of Russian literature, such as Shernyas
Sharylgasov (1817-81) and Sujumbaj Aronov (1827-96). Abaj Kunanbayev (1845-1904)
is called "the father of Kazakh literature". Abaj mastered Persian, Arabic and
Russian and translated a number of Russian classics into Kazakh. His
innovative poetry paved the way for a modern literary language and a
psychologically differentiated narrative style. In 1908, Spandijar Kubeev
published The Bridal Purchase - the first novel in Kazakhstan.
The first theatrical performance took place in 1917 on a primitive stage in a
yurt. Here, Enlik-Kebek, a Kazakh Romeo and Juliet legend, was
performed in Mukhtar Auezov's (1897-1956) dramatization. Auezov asserted himself
as a translator of Shakespeare and also created a number of Soviet-era
masterpieces, including the poem Abaj's Vej (1942-56).
In 1968, Olsjas Sulemejnov (b. 1936) caused a stir with her disrespectful
interpretation of the Igor poem. From the mid-1980's, he became a
mouthpiece for the new, national environmental awareness. A painful exploration
of the white spots of history and culture took its beginning.