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OECD Reviews of School Resources: Kazakhstan 2015

image of OECD Reviews of School Resources: Kazakhstan 2015

The effective use of school resources is a policy priority across OECD countries. The OECD Reviews of School Resources explore how resources can be governed, distributed, utilised and managed to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.

The series considers four types of resources: financial resources, such as public funding of individual schools; human resources, such as teachers, school leaders, education administrators; physical resources, such as location, buildings and equipment, and other resources such as learning time.

This series will offer timely policy advice to both governments and the education community. It will include both country reports and thematic studies.

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Governance of school resource use in Kazakhstan

The Kazakh education system is highly centralised. The governance of school resource use involves extensive central planning, a very detailed system of norms and a strong hierarchy in which different levels of administrative governance are subordinated to higher levels, both in their decision making structure and in the budgeting process. The main players are the President and his Executive Office, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of the National Economy (earlier called Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning), the Ministry of Finance, oblasts, rayons and schools themselves. Education is considered a top priority and ambitious reforms are underway (e.g. establishment of twelfth grade, new school funding model). This is guided through the vision set in strategic documents such as the Development Strategy Kazakhstan 2050 One nation, one destiny and the State Program for Education Development 2011-20. There is an apparent desire and potential to increase resources devoted to education and awareness that spending per student remains markedly lower than the OECD average and that of other neighbouring countries. Long-term central planning allows continuity of education policy while the comprehensive system of norms provides safeguards for schools against discretion by educational authorities. However, insufficient local and school autonomy hinders effectiveness of resource use as the ability to respond to specific local needs, taking into account local conditions and context, is more limited. Also, intergovernmental transfers account little for local needs and involve little equalisation which leads to considerable differences in spending per student across regions, localities and schools.

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