Going round in circles: increasing status of teacher occupation in Kazakhstan

Oxana Kirichok


Teachers as an essential part of education system contribute crucially to its quality, moreover, the status of teaching profession indicates how the society values the education.  The article provides a critical discourse analysis of the Program for Education Development 2011-2020 with regards to improvement of status of teaching profession in Kazakhstan. The study concentrates on the gaps between the planned and realized outcomes of the Program of Educational Development in Kazakhstan from the point of view of 50 teachers interviewed. The study targeted low qualification of teachers and insufficient oversight of teacher practice as central factors, which lead to low Teacher Status. Focusing on the tension between teachers and policy makers over the teacher status, which remains unchanged, the research revealed the subcourses of law qualification of teachers, identifying low payment, low academic preparation and lack of selectivity of future teachers as subcourses. The article examines the planned and realized outcomes of the initiatives such as launching three level professional training for teachers, issuing vouchers to teachers for their professional development, performance-based payment, increasing enrolment entrance barrier to Pedagogical Universities and teachers’ compulsory attestation once in 5 years, which lead to going round in circles. The implications of the study are in providing new insights on the issue of status of teaching profession and determining the reasons of slow progress in status of teaching profession, which needs further exploration in the global scale.

Key words: teacher, status, Kazakhstan, program, education, educational reforms

© 2022 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia.

Full Text:



Bardach, E. (2009). A practical guide for policy analysis: The eightfold path to more effective problem solving (3rd ed.). CQ Press.

Biesta, G. (2007). Why what works won’t work: evidence-based practice and democratic deficit in education research. Educational Theory, 57(1), 1-22. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.2006.00241.x

Bogdan, R., & Biklen, S.K. (2007). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theories and methods (5th ed.). Pearson A & B.

Codd, J. (1988). The construction and deconstruction of educational policy documents. Journal of Education Policy, 3(3), 235-247. DOI:10.1080/0268093880030303

Cohen, J. (2010). Teachers in the news: a critical analysis of one US newspaper's dis-course on education, 2006–2007. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 31(1), 105-119. DOI:10.1080/01596300903465450

Colbeck, C.L. (1998). Merging in a Seamless Blend. The Journal of Higher Education, 69(6), 647-671. DOI:10.1080/00221546.1998.11780746

Cooper, B.S., Fusarelli, L.D., & Randall, E.V. (2004). Better policies, better schools: Theories and applications. Allyn and Bacon.

Diem, S., Young, M., Welton, A., Mansfield, K., & Lee, P. (2014). The intellectual landscape of critical policy analysis. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(9), 1068-1090. DOI:10.1080/09518398.2014.916007

Dolton, P., Marcenaro, O.D., Vries, R., & She, P. (2018). Global Teacher Status Index survey in 2018. The Varkey Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.varkeyfoun dation.org/ media/4867/gts-index-13-11-2018.pdf

Everton, T., Turner, P., Hargreaves, L., & Pell, T. (2007). Public perceptions of the teaching profession. Research Papers in Education, 22(3), 247-265. DOI:10.1080/02671520701497548

Harris-Van Keuren, C. (2011). Influencing the status of teaching in Central Asia. In I. Silova (Ed.). Globalization on the margins. Education and postsocialist transformations in Central Asia (pp. 173-201). Information Age Publishing.

Hoyle, E. (2001). Teaching prestige, status and esteem. Educational Management and Administration, 29(2), 144.

Information and legal system normative legal acts Republic of Kazakhstan (n.d.). On approval of the Instructions on the organization of advanced training of teaching staff. The order of the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Ka-zakhstan. Retrieved from: http://adilet.zan.kz/rus/docs/V1300008287

Information and legal system normative legal acts Republic of Kazakhstan (n.d.). On approval of the State Program for the Development of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2016 – 2019. Retrieved from: http://adilet.zan.kz/rus/docs/U1600000205

Judge, H.G. (1988). Cross-National Perceptions of Teachers. Comparative Education Review, 32(2), 143-158. DOI:10.1086/446753

Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (2010). State Pro-gram of Education Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020. Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Retrieved from: https://kaznmu.edu.kz/eng/state-program-of-education-development-in-the-republic-of-kazakhstan/

Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (n.d.). Increasing the level of pedagogical skills of teachers in the country. Retrieved from: https://www.nis.edu.kz/ru/edurenew/broadcast-exper/teacher-profdev/

Oberst, M. (2019). Empowering teachers trough the transformation of their professional development programs. Understanding Argentinean Teachers’ Needs & Challenges to Effectively Support them to Meet Students’ Needs. [Master’s Thesis, Education Entrepreneurship Oulu University of Applied Sciences]. Retrieved from: https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/172923/Oberst_Maria%20Camila.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

OECD (2018). Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 Conceptual Framework. Directorate for education and skills, OECD.

Park, H., & Byun, S. (2015). Why Some Countries Attract More High-Ability Young Students to Teaching: Cross-National Comparisons of Students’ Expectation of Becoming a Teacher. Comparative Education Review, 59(3), 523-549. DOI:10.1086/681930

Schoen, L., & Fusarelli, L. D. (2008). Innovation, NCLB, and the Fear Factor: The Challenge of Leading 21st-Century Schools in an Era of Accountability. Educational Policy, 22(1), 181–203. DOI:10.1177/0895904807311291

Taylor, S. (2004) Researching educational policy and change in ‘new times’: using critical discourse analysis. Journal of Education Policy, 19(4), 433-451. DOI:10.1080/0268093042000227483

Teachers passes UNT. (2015, June 18). Caravan Media portal. Retrieved from: https://www.caravan.kz/news/uchitelya-tozhe-nachnut-sdavat-ent-350146/

Thomas, S. (2005). The construction of teacher identities in educational policy documents: A critical discourse analysis. Melbourne Studies in Education, 46(2), 25-44. DOI:10.1080/17508480509556423

Verhoeven, J., Aelterman, A., Rots, I., & Buvens, I. (2006). Public perceptions of teachers’ status in Flanders. Teachers and Teaching, 12(4), 479-500. DOI:10.1080/13450600600644350


  • There are currently no refbacks.