Educational in the Republic of Kazakhstan is carried out in three languages, including Kazakh (according to the Law «On languages», Kazakh language has a status of national language), Russian and English. Before going to school children attend Kindergartens until they are six or seven. Compulsory education begins in our country at the age of seven when children go to primary school. The secondary stage starts from the 5th grade when children study a lot of new subjects such as literature history, natural sciences and others. Examinations are taken at the end of the 9th and the 11th grades. Some children may leave school after the 9th grade and continue their education at vocational or technical schools or colleges. Besides secondary schools there are other types of schools in Kazakhstan. There are specialized secondary schools with intensive study of a certain subject, for example, foreign languages, literature, math, physics and etc. There are also specialized art, music, ballet and sport schools for gifted children and special schools for handicapped children. Secondary education in our country is free of charge.
In 1990 the first private school appeared in Almaty. Today there are more than 200 private secondary and high schools. To be admitted to the higher educational institution one has to pass a series of oral and written tests. Marks in the certificate of secondary education are also taken into account. Entering higher institutions is quite competitive. The system of higher education prepares highly — skilled experts on economy, transport, communication, agriculture, different branches of industry, medicine, sciences and etc.
In 1992 Kazakhstan system of higher education adopted the western model a 4 years course of studies with getting the Bachelor degree after graduation and a 2-year course of study with getting the master’s degree after graduation. Education in Kazakhstan has until recently been free on all levels. Students with good marks were rewarded with stipend. All institutions of higher learning were subsidized by the government. Now the country is changing to a market place economy, the system of education is also bound to undergo profound changes. For the last years the number of non — government higher education institutions has increased twice. Today young people in the Republic of Kazakhstan have the opportunity to choose and acquire various types of education and build their lives according to their ambitions.