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The Challenge of Rural School Development

The Challenge of Rural School Development

Rural schools play an important role in the education of children living in rural areas. However, there are serious problems hindering their development and the provision of quality education.

STEM Academia is often faced with equipping rural schools in its work. And today we will look at the main problems of their development, as opposed to urban ones.

1. Small number of pupils. In Kazakhstan, rural schools account for about 75% of the total number of schools. Half of this number are understaffed, which creates problems with organization of the educational process. Teachers have to teach in several villages. Not everyone agrees to such work.

2. Lack of qualified personnel. Many teachers prefer to work in urban schools, as salaries there are higher and working conditions are better. As a result, rural schools hire teachers with insufficient qualification, which negatively affects the quality of education. It is not uncommon for teachers to teach subjects outside their specialization.

3. Lack of funding. Underfunding of rural schools leads to lack of educational materials, outdated equipment and worn-out infrastructure. In Kazakhstan, there are schools commissioned in 1900. The condition of these schools, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. Lack of running water, heating problems, dilapidated building structures – all these are the results of limited funding.

4. Lack of modern technologies. Rural schools lack working computers. There are up to 5 pupils per one computer. Due to limited funding, schools cannot afford this amount of equipment. Also, many schools are not equipped or understaffed with specialized physics, biology and chemistry rooms. And about a half of schools do not have access to quality Internet.

5. Population migration. Many rural areas of Kazakhstan face population outflow to big cities in search of better living and working conditions. This leads to a decrease in the number of students in rural schools and triggers the above mechanisms.

Solving these problems requires a comprehensive approach from the state, public organizations and educational institutions. Increased funding will make it possible to equip schools with modern equipment and solve infrastructural problems. And the development of state programs to support rural schools will make it possible to attract qualified personnel. Together, this will improve the quality of education for rural children and will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the country as a whole.

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