Kazakhstan on its way to the society of knowledge

Sept 06. Kazpravda

By Laura Tusupbekova, Vladimir Kuryatov

Kazakhstan on its way to the society of knowledgeYesterday President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the Nazarbayev University and delivered an interactive lecture which was broadcast not only in Kazakhstan but also in Asia, Europe and America.

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An interactive lecture is a new tradition in Kazakhstan’s education system. Modern digital technologies made it available in real time for audience (about a million of students and teachers), regardless of the distance. Prior to the lecture, President Nursultan Nazarbayev shared in the opening ceremony of a new TV channel Bilim, created in the frames of the national program for digital TV broadcasting.

In his interactive lecture “Kazakhstan on its way to the society of knowledge”, Nursultan Nazarbayev shared his views and ideas on the goals, to be achieved in the area of education, science, economy and politics in order to keep pace in successful development of the country.

– Within 20 years of sustainable development, Kazakhstan has achieved its primary historical goal. For the first time in centuries-old history of our people, the state of absolute international legitimacy was established on the Kazakh land. I must say that the recognized state sovereignty is a huge and expensive resource of any nation, – he said.

The President said that our country was moving towards the post-industrial world, ruled by the three principles “education – science – innovation”. The international organizations under the United Nations, major European leaders, many well-known economists and politicians officially adopted the concept of the Third Industrial Revolution.

– In near future, the Internet technologies and renewable sources will merge together to create a new infrastructure for the Third industrial revolution. “Energy Internet” will enable millions of people to use clean energy in their homes, offices and factories, and to exchange it easily, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He paid special attention to the modernization of the national education system, learning and development of high technologies.

– There is another enduring value – desire for knowledge, – he said. International experts forecast a severe shortage of qualified personnel. According to it the global labor market will badly need additional 40 million specialists with higher education and 45 million workers with vocational education by 2020. At present engineers, physicians, chemists, biologists, and other representatives of “exact” and “natural sciences” are in demand, – he said.

According to him, such countries as Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia succeed due to their ideas and technologies, perseverance and hard work.

– Your knowledge is the result of your work. The more you work and study the more knowledge you will gain. We consider knowledge as an economic resource of the state, a factor of production. We consistently upgrade the national education system, bringing it closer to international standards, – Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed.

He also outlined the need for further development of the intellectual and innovative potential of the Nazarbayev University.

– Nazarbayev University must become the intellectual innovation cluster. The Government has been instructed to consider the issue of creating under it of a special economic zone, taking into account the international experience. The work to establish a high-tech industrial area should be speeded up. The national companies “Kazatomprom” and “Kazkosmos” are already constructing scientific research centers on solar energy and space technologies near the university. The Government and “Samruk-Kazyna” are to develop specific plans for further creation and placing high-tech industries and industrial research institutions of the national companies around the university. Foreign companies, working in Kazakhstan, should also join this project, – the President said.

In conclusion, he urged the young people of the country to actively develop their abilities and talents, play sports, learn foreign languages, read and study Kazakh and world literature.

After the lecture the President answered the questions of students from the NU and other RK and overseas universities in the online teleconference.

On the threshold of the Third industrial revolution

Answering the questions, Nursultan Nazarbayev recalled that during all the years of independence Kazakhstan has been steadily constructing the economy able to respond adequately to new challenges. In the early years of sovereignty we struggled with the crisis. Then there was the time of recovery of industry. In order to keep the growing rates in economy the country adopted the State program of accelerated industrial-innovative development.

Our country, as it was noted, is rich in mineral resources and our task is to make them work for the good of the country. It is necessary to introduce new technologies and innovations. This is the preparation for a new post-industrial era.

At present we build a new economy and introduce innovative technologies. And we badly need specialists, who will improve their skills every year. The confirmation of proficiency is the first step to a normal job with a good salary, – Nursultan Nazarbayev went on.

We take into account experience of the Asian “tigers” and today Kazakhstan has practically the same size of the GDP per capita as Malaysia and Turkey. But we need to develop technologies and innovations.

As for the future, Asia has a chance to get ahead. Today, the East is gaining momentum. This is proved by the progress of China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and India. Yet Western countries still continue to lead due to the introduction of advanced technologies. Therefore, the President said, we need to work in this direction.

According to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the NU is the only university of its kind in Kazakhstan. Its mission is, first, to combine education and science. Second, the scientific ideas are to be introduced into commerce. All the universities of the country are to start working, following the example of the Nazarbayev University. Third and most important task is to prepare qualified specialists.

– We prepare the elite of the country, which will lead Kazakhstan to the future, – Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

Answering the question of what to be done in the country to grow a new generation of future sport champions, the President said that for the first time in its history Kazakhstan was 12th in the team rank at the Olympic Games and it was a great achievement. During the years of independence our athletes took part in 5 Olympiads and won 58 medals, including 17 gold medals. But the latest XXX Olympiad was a real progress, – he said.

The state is doing everything for the development of mass and professional sport and “appearance” of new champions : 33 000 sport facilities were constructed, 16 children’s sport schools, 11 special schools and 17 Olympic training centers are working in the country, stadiums, tennis centers and athletic arenas are constructed and repaired.

In near future it is planned to open a chess Centre and a chess academy.

Crisis: a challenge or a chance?

Answering the question of the processes to drastically change the architecture of the global world, mentioned by the President at the recent anti-nuclear forum in Astana the head of state pointed that the third industrial revolution was coming, and we witnessed it. In the near future will see significant scientific discoveries, particularly in energy, when secondary renewable sources will compete in price with the prices for oil and gas, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Besides, the time of new technologies and discoveries of new materials “composites”, is “near at hand”. Soon, solar panels will be used in every house, in healthcare and there will be absolutely unique things when mono-particles, introduced into the human body, make a diagnosis of the disease.

Recently a donor heart transplant operation was performed by Yuri Pya at the National scientific cardiac centers, who asked the President during the live TV program to support Kazakh scientists in joining an international project on creation of an artificial heart. By the way, the National scientific cardio-center has experience in this area: they have already successfully implanted 50 artificial left ventricles.

At present heart surgeries can be performed in nine Kazakhstan regions and it is a real breakthrough and achievement. There was the time when we even could not dream of it. We entered the list of top 20 countries where such operations are conducted.

The lecture and online conference lasted 2.5 hours and during this time the President gave detailed and comprehensive answers.

Summing up the interactive meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked the participants for their interest and questions and advised the younger generation to use all the opportunities, provided by the state to gain knowledge, experience and skills.

After the lecture an opening ceremony of the NU Graduate School of Education was held.