09 January 2014

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first Kazakh school.

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first Kazakh school.
150 years ago, on January 8, 1864, the first school for the Kazakh children was opened in Thurgay (Orenburg Fortress).

Ybyray Altynsarin expressed his pleasure about this event in the letter to a friend N.I Ilminskiy, reports

In the history of Kazakh pedagogy, Ybyray Altynsarin is known not only as a poet and writer, but also as the first teacher who opened the first school in the Kazakh steppe In the letter to Ilminskiy he wrote: “You were right, that the Kazakh people are wise, intelligent, capable, but uneducated. Moreover, the government officials do not try to give education to the people. Instead of erecting the schools in fortresses, it seems better for them to paint the roof or whitewash a white wall".

In 1860 the regional board instructed him to open a primary school for the Kazakh children in Orenburg government (Turgay) and appointed him as a teacher of Russian language. It was no easy to open a school in an outlandish town: there was no money and no support from the local authorities. However, the difficulties have not stopped Altynsarin.

Inspired by the educational ideas, he traveled to the villages and explained the importance of secular public education. He gathered the means from the Kazakh people and then he began to build the school, which was built on January 8m 1964. The boarding school was established as a part of the school.

Y. Altynsarin considered the sacred duty of an educated man to give the knowledge to children. “I think that the highest ideal is to educate the Kazakh youth in classical gymnasiums, agricultural academies, to serve your people and the ability to present innovations in a real life” – he wrote.

The education and training of children were the most important concepts in the teaching activities of Altynsarin. He used the experience of world famous teachers Y.A Komenskiy, K.D Ushinsky and L.N Tolstoy.


What item of Kazakhs’ material culture do you have at your home?