Education and youth
In terms of securing the future, the state attaches great importance to education, successes can be seen, but not yet resounding. Given the size of the country and the task, this does not seem surprising; The still comparatively poor pay of teachers and the widespread corruption represent an unresolved old and the increasingly unequal educational opportunities a new structural obstacle. In PISA 2009, the students of Kazakhstan only achieved 59th out of 65 in reading, arithmetic and science if there has been an improvement in the meantime, experts still see a lot of room for improvement, especially in reducing the extreme regional differences in the level of knowledge of the students. During the corona pandemic, lessons are largely held online, which also poses particular challenges for mothers in Kazakhstan. In the fall of 2020 has also been reported of young people in the cotton harvest worked, instead of following the online Unterrricht.
According to historyaah, the school takes in Kazakhstan recently 12 years. The currently approx. 2.5 million students learn three languages (Kazakh, Russian, English), there are also schools with a special language offer, e.g. German, and lessons for members of the national minorities in various other languages.
After finishing school, the young people have the option of state vocational training in so-called colleges and lycees or, after passing the entrance examination, a university course. Vocational training is still being developed, it is based on the German example and is supported by Germany and the EU. There are a total of 122 universities (as of 2017/18), 55 of which are private. There are currently almost 500 thousand students studying there. A reform = internationalization of higher education is in progress, but is marked by under-funding by the state. Those affected complain. Above all, high costs for a low level of training, isolated reports about the viability of qualifications, etc. suggest a possibly larger problem. The most important universities in the country are the Eurasian Gumilev University in Nur-Sultan, and above all the new elite forge, the Nazarbaev University, which was founded in 2009 and where many foreign lecturers teach – which can also lead to political conflicts. Almaty has the highest density of universities in the country, with Al Farabi University leading the way as a full university with scientific, technical and humanities faculties. There are also technical, economic, medical and artistic universities, as well as a Kazakh-British Technical University and the German-Kazakh University with four faculties. Those who can afford it strive to study abroad despite all efforts by the state to improve the level of education. The German language and Germany as the target country are definitely attractive. The same is apparently the other way around for Almaty as a magnet for foreign students.
The members of the post-Soviet generation in Kazakhstan were seen as education and advancement-oriented digital natives who are conservative in their values, not very interested in politics and skeptical of state authorities. The protests during the 2019 presidential elections have shown that there are politically active representatives among them. There are also voices that point to a large number of young people without training or a job.
The reform of the health care system has been and is being promoted with a wide variety of programs and impressive results have also been shown. But even in the big cities, health care is not yet guaranteed.
According to the WHO, only 4.4% of GDP was spent on the health sector in 2014. An overview shows that the state of health of the citizens of Kazakhstan leaves a lot to be desired. The relatively high TB rate of the 1990’s has improved, but is still comparatively high.
Only a basic security at a low level is free of charge, the necessary additional payment for many examinations, plus the often requested “unofficial” payments exclude a considerable part of the population, especially pensioners, from medical care. Those who can pay a lot are treated well and at the highest level. The supply is also very uneven, as everywhere in the cities better than in the countryside, but some areas of Kazakhstan are also much worse supplied than others. This can even be seen in a multi-year difference, for example, in the life expectancy of the population: in 2010 it was 66.3 years in the North Kazakhstan region and 73.2 years in the city of Astana. For a wealthy foreign clientele of medical tourists In contrast, Kazakhstan has even become a center of attraction.
The pay of medical workers employed in the public sector is very low, which has an impact on the reputations of the healthcare professionals and sometimes also on engagement.
Kazakhstan is on the drug transport route from Afghanistan to Russia (and Western Europe). This not only has an impact on the crime rate. The number of drug addicts was officially around 50,000 in 2011, but one must assume that the number of unreported cases is very high. The development in HIV / AIDS is corresponding. According to official information, there are around 24,400 infected people in Kazakhstan (December 31, 2015), the majority of them men, but the number of newly infected women is showing a sharp increase. Alcoholism is widespread, as well, despite – legal restrictions – that smoking, in which women are increasingly catching up with men, with corresponding consequences for their health. (Morbid) obesity is also becoming a growing health problem among urban populations.