On the issue of educating repatriated children in the Republic of Kazakhstan

The article is devoted to the study of the peculiarities of teaching children-oralmans in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The authors of the article indicate not only the creation of favorable conditions for the development of the oralmans family as the main motivation for moving to their historical homeland, but also as the abilities of their children in their native cultural environment and further social advancement. The main issues of social adaptation of children-oralmans are revealed. Marked by critical and key learning points oralman children languages. The article reveals the essential concept of «oralman». Experimental results are also presented, which indicate that the second generations of repatriates often use Russian or other languages. The authors focus on the domestic education, which until now was based on the fundamental knowledge in one language, Kazakh or Russian. In conclusion, the authors concluded that the most difficult in the social adaptation of children-oralmans is their inclusion in the education system of Kazakhstan. All states receiving migrants, within the framework of integration programs, first of all attach special importance to language adaptation. That is why, covering the issues of education of children-repatriates, in this article the authors have made a special emphasis on language education.

The concept of «oralman» entered the scientific, legal, regulatory and real practice with the attainment of independence by Kazakhstan. Oralmans - ethnic Kazakhs residing permanently at the time of acquisition of sovereignty by the Republic of Kazakhstan beyond its limits, and their children Kazakh nationality, who were born and permanently residing after the acquisition of sovereignty by the Republic of Kazakhstan abroad, arrived (arrived) in the Republic of Kazakhstan for permanent residence in their historical homeland and received (received) the corresponding status in the order established by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «On migration of population» [1]. Since 1991 more than a million ethnic Kazakhs returned to their homeland and received the status of repatriates, most of them arrived from Uzbekistan and people from China, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Russia. The special Decree of the Government of Kazakhstan identified the regions of settlement of oralmans, which do not include cities of Astana and Almaty. The leading number of oralmans settled in South Kazakhstan, Almaty, Mangistau, Zhambyl oblasts.

Migration policy and the policy on oralmans within it is part of the state foreign and domestic policy of Kazakhstan. Regulation of migration processes is carried out not only by state bodies, but also by nongovernmental organizations, in particular the world Association of Kazakhs, Public Association of oralmans, Kazakhstan Union of oralmans.

Holders of oralman status take the opportunities of all social benefits provided for in the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «On migration of the population». In several cities the centers for adaptation and integration, which provide legal advice, teach the state language and at will Russian, provide vocational training, retraining and advanced training.

Families of oralmans as the main motivation for moving to their historical homeland indicate the creation of favorable conditions for developing their children's abilities in their native cultural environment and further social advancement.

It should also be noted that the concept «oralman» is not to everyone's taste and in the most part by the repatriates. Especially most of them get a formal civil status, at the same time, they still have not acquired real (normal) socio-economic, socio-cultural and moral-psychological situation inherent to «indigenous» citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Hence, they are not only objectively but also subjectively consider themselves to be largely neglected, and even in your own name. In this regard, such self-designation as «Agayin» (brothers and relatives), «countryman» (otandastar) are considered not successful, because nationals can be members of other ethnic groups. Most importantly, the last two expressions does not have characteristics of strictly scientific term applied simultaneously and in the same sense in many scientific disciplines, whereas the term «oralman» possesses these qualities and is quite a good and accurate concept mostadequately Express the socio-economic, civil and proper ethnic status Kazakh returnees to their historical homeland.

Oralmans — ethnic Kazakhs residing permanently at the time of acquisition of sovereignty by the Republic of Kazakhstan beyond its limits, and their children Kazakh nationality, who were born and permanently residing after the acquisition of sovereignty by the Republic of Kazakhstan abroad, arrived (arrived) in the Republic of Kazakhstan for permanent residence in their historical homeland and received (received) the corresponding status in the order established by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «On migration of popu- lation» (with changes and additions as 11.07.2016).

In connection with the need for equal access to quality education of children-oralman and identifying the range of problems they faced in school were sociological survey, which were attended by teachers from three regions of Kazakhstan: Zhambyl, South Kazakhstan and East Kazakhstan region.

The most difficult in the problem of social adaptation children- oralman, that is their inclusion in the education system of Kazakhstan. We note the teaching of languages is an important and key moment here.

The Government of Kazakhstan considers the education as one of the channels and tools to «equalize» the promotion and taking into account the «unequal» start of oralmans in the socio-economic space.

By «unequal» start are understood:

Firstly we consider the differences in the systems and content of education in the countries of the oralmans' outcome. For example oralmans from Mongolia have some similar features - the Kazakh language in Cyrillic, as well as many components of the education system. Today, the world uses three alphabetic systems for the written fixation of the Kazakh language: Cyrillic – in Kazakhstan, Russia and some CIS countries, Latin – in Turkey and Western Europe, ancient Kazakh (based on the Arabic alphabet or so – called «tote zhazu») - in China, Iran and Pakistan. The greatest difficulties are experienced by Kazakhs from China in writing and reading Kazakh texts. At the same time they demonstrate great adaptive opportunities in the economic sphere: private business, trade. Migrants from the countries of the former USSR (Uzbekistan, Russia, Turkmenistan) due to the commonality of the Soviet education system, they have sufficient knowledge (with some exceptions) of Russian language. In the vast majority we should note that Kazakh oralmans teach children, grandchildren, relatives in Kazakh language (in school - 96.6 %, in high school - 82.5 %). Only one tenth teaches the second generation in Russian (11 %). It often takes place in the West Kazakhstan and Karaganda region. In general most oralmans demonstrate a slightly different social and cultural experience accumulated by several generations.

Secondly the features of the cultural background and the form of the educational process are – language, font, specifics and duration of teaching subjects. For example, Kazakh language and literature, the history of Kazakhstan, a foreign language, world history, which are necessary for successful exams/tests and admission to universities in Kazakhstan. However, some of the oralmans come on a quota, but the «gaps» in knowledge from the base of secondary school do not give them the opportunity to fully absorb special subjects in high school.

Thirdly, we note the «cultural shock» from the difference between the «imaginary» ancestors' land and the modern realities of Kazakhstan society. The cultural capital of the older generation of oralmans, accumulated outside of Kazakhstan (since the time of the first repatriates, the second generation has already grown), it forms the cultural capital of their children and it affects cognitive and social assimilation. Oralmans consider themselves culturally self-sufficient, as they are carriers of traditional / native Kazakh culture. They come to the country with an already formed worldview and system of values (material and spiritual) both in relation to the country and people, culture and to departure country and always compare where it is better for them and their children. After moving, they realize that the good Kazakh language is not the only means to survive in the country. Russian-Kazakh bilingualism is developed in Kazakhstan.

Fourth, oralmans are not monolithic communities, as profits from different countries have different levels of socio-economic resources, different systems of social networks for successful «integration» in Kazakhstan's realities. Especially the most organized are considered oralmans from Mongolia and China in terms of preparation for the moving, the organization of assistance through social networks to each other (family members and friends/tribesmen), advice and assistance in the organization of their business, as well as other forms of social interaction. The most prepared for the competitive environment and ambitious are considered oralmans from China, they had passed a good school of political education within the framework of autonomy and the system of competing identities in XUAR (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region in China). In this aspect for example, familiarity with the education system in China will help to build a system of balanced and effective training of young oralmans to the universities in our country. If the first wave of migrants was in a state of euphoria about the prospects of the future in the historical homeland, the subsequent oralmans were already aware of the upcoming difficulties and use «smart» strategies – only a few or even one family member arrives, most often young and the older generation helps them emotionally and morally. In addition, social networks are involved - blood relations and community [2].

Let us present some examples of some statistics: the total numbers of arrivals of working age are 55.6 %, children under 18 years — 39.9 % and pensioners — 4.5 %.

Sixty percent of working age oralmans (60.8 %) have general secondary education, secondary special education slightly over twenty percent (20.5 %), higher education only about nine percent (8.7 %) and ten percent (9.9 %) have no education.

In the context of the age of oralmans, there is such a trend-the older a person is, the more often he uses Kazakh language in everyday life. It goes without saying that the second generations of immigrants often use Russian or other languages are empirically proved. We can make preliminary conclusion that the younger generation, which grew up or were born in Kazakhstan, somewhat adapted to the new language conditions, as young people who are still learning, of course they faster learn languages than older people.

Children of oralmans, in particular girls are a particularly vulnerable group with regard to education. According to the results of the study on oralmans 'children in Shymkent, conducted by the Kazakh national University, the most obvious problem with regard to the access of oralmans' children to secondary education is that in some families there is a ban on the education of fifteen to sixteen-year-old girls.

Thus, the main problems for oralmans in obtaining secondary education are: language barrier; illiteracy of parents (for example, spelling in the Kazakh language); low prestige of education among repatriates; ethnic and cultural difference between oralmans and local Kazakhs. But the most importantly, oralmans risk losing their own language and cultural identity in the process of integration.

In the process of ensuring the adaptation repatriates in Kazakhstan society there are some constraints, among which we want to highlight the educational system. After all, the educational system is one of the main resources of adaptation and integration of oralmans in Kazakhstan society.

The school, which accepted oralmans, should help to remove the «shock of transition» to the new cultural environment for them, to adapt children to the changing conditions of life, education, social environment. Children are vulnerable, dependent, and need adult support not only for physical survival, but also for psychological and social well-being and for successful adaptation in a new environment.

One of the main conditions for the optimal entry of the person into a new social environment is the process of active adjustment of the individual to the conditions of changing environment, i.e. socio- psychological, socio-cultural adaptation. Adaptation as a concept expresses the nature of the relationship between living organisms and the environment. In the context of repatriation the adaptation is complicated by a huge number of factors such as climatic conditions, cultural, social, linguistic, ethnic and religious differences, material and social problems etc. Children of immigrants are in a particularly difficult environment: the child is different from the environment of its new location for its culture; in most cases, he comes from societies underprivileged, marginalized, does not know or unfamiliar with the language of the school system, as well as the psychology that underpins the language.

The greatest problems in the adaptation of children-oralmans associated with language and sociocultural barriers. They prevent the successful involvement of repatriated children in various educational, cultural, recreational and social activities. It is very difficult for oralmans to change their thinking, psychological attitudes, to learn new rules of behavior.

However, the modern school is not fully prepared for the arrival of such children and the creation of favorable conditions for their adaptation. It applies to teachers who have little experience and skills in working with children of repatriates, school administration, which does not always meet the interests of visitors, as well as their peers relating to repatriates with misunderstanding or even hostility, as well as the material component of the educational environment.

The most important problem of adaptive education is the preservation of its ethnic culture through the educational system, as education is one of the most obvious indicators the level of knowledge and the culture of the people. Of course, it is not only it that expands the range of cultural perceptions and helps to overcome prejudices. Sociocultural adaptation is a complex process. Its complexity is explained by the fact that ethnic culture is an experience of ethnic survival. Above mentioned problems are relevant for many regions and represent a new area of pedagogical research. In this regard, there is need to introduce a new model interaction of participants in the educational process, which will operate during the adaptation of children-oralmans.

The process of adaptation takes place at three levels: training-improving the level of mastery of the second language (both oral and written), overcoming the backlog in the mastery of traditional subjects of the school cycle; communication-establishing the process of interpersonal interaction with peers; cultural en- richment-the development of creative abilities of children-oralmans, creating conditions for a positive attitude to him from classmates, the formation of readiness of the children to follow prescribed cultural patterns [3].

It is worth noticing that the problem worries many of us. Therefore, the idea of trilingual education in Kazakhstan was not accepted by all people and not at once. But today trilingual education is not even a trend. This is evidenced by the results of a number of monitoring, the main results of which show a clear picture of the full-scale promotion of this idea. More than ninety (90 %) percent of schoolchildren were expressed their desire to learn English, more than eighty percent (83 %) of teachers noted their readiness and consent were confirmed by more than sixty percent (61 %) of parents. We only note that about two hundred and fifty thousand (243098) Kazakhstan populations took part in one of the monitoring only. Of course, there are problems, but they find their solution. The process is not simple. In short, the model of trilingual education adopted in Kazakhstan involves the study of:

  •  the subject «History of Kazakhstan» in Kazakh language in with non-Kazakh language schools;
  •  the subject «World history» in Russian with non-Russian language in schools;
  •  the subjects «Informatics», «Chemistry», «Physics», «Biology» in English in the 10th and 11th grades in all schools, independently the language of study.

This decision was made on the basis of long-term experience of 33 specialized schools for gifted children, 20 Nazarbayev Intellectual schools (NIS) and Kazakh-Turkish lyceums (Bilim Innovation schools).

Let us explain what schools with non-Kazakh or non-Russian language of instruction mean. In Kazakhstan, there are also schools with Uighur, Uzbek and Tajik languages. Together with the Kazakh and Russian languages they make the list of the first languages, languages of training at school. However, in the context of trilingual education, special attention is paid to Kazakh and Russian as a second language and English as a third language.

Kazakhstani education up to now was based on the fundamental knowledge in one language, Kazakh or Russian. But today, the priorities are shifted in favor of specialists with knowledge of a foreign language, almost ready to undergo foreign training, including language, capable of rapid adaptation to professional activities. However, the reality is that most graduates cannot overcome the language barrier not only in relation to a foreign language, but also in mastering other languages of trilingualism. It has the most direct attitude to children-oralmans. And it is very important to build the learning process. We need balanced programs, the main purpose of which is to master intercultural competence.

The main value is not the assimilation of the amount information in three languages, but the development of students ' intercultural skills would allow them to determine their goals, make decisions and act in both typical and non-standard situations.

The position of the teacher is also changing fundamentally. He finishes being the textbook carrier «ob- jective knowledge», which he tries to convey to the student in the same language. His main task is to motivate students to show initiative and independence in learning three languages.

Certainly the trilingual education contributes to strengthening the applied, practical nature of all education (including subject training) and is a fundamental problem of the whole educational process in the school.

Joining to the general flow of trilingual education, the problems of teaching oralmans are the separate layer of intercultural communication. The basic category is an organic whole «language-culture-personality».

Each language is a reflection of the culture and traditions of the nation that speaks it. Language is closely related to the identity of the people. In connection with the migration policy of our country there is a situation when oralmans return to permanent residence in Kazakhstan, respectively they have to learn a second language, to comprehend the values, norms of other socio-cultural environment, to adapt to the new environment.

In general, the problems related to oralmans are regulated in the Republic of Kazakhstan by the state policy for children, which are separated from demographic and family policy. The key normative act in this regard is The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «On the rights of the child» (2002). In addition, the Concept of repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs to their historical homeland (1998) was adopted. It provides for the rapid integration and adaptation of returnees through language learning.

Migration policy and its framework of policy on immigrants is part of the state internal and external policy of Kazakhstan. Institutional and legal framework for regulating migration of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan and it is possible to imagine around the major institutions responsible for regulation of migration processes in general and processes associated with the phenomenon of repatriates.

According to the Law on Migration oralmans are given certain privileges, compensations, and other types of social assistance:

  1. free adaptation and integration services in the centers of adaptation and integration of repatriates, namely:

 providing information and reference services;

 learning the state language, at the request of Russian language;

 training on the history, culture and traditions of Kazakhstan, fundamentals of law and the opening of a small business;

 conducting various cultural events;

 legal aid;

 the provision of translation services;

 assistance in employment, professional training, retraining and raising of qualification;

 assistance in the provision of guaranteed volume of free medical care;

 help in receiving targeted social assistance;

 assistance in the acquisition of Kazakh citizenship and documentation;

  1. medical assistance in accordance with the legislation of Kazakhstan in the field of health;
  2. places in schools and pre-schools on an equal basis with citizens of the RK, the possibility of obtaining education in accordance with the allocated quota for admission in educational institutions of the technical and vocational, post-secondary and higher education in the amount determined by the Government of the RK;
  3. social protection equally with citizens of the RK;
  4. assistance in employment in accordance with the legislation of the RK.

The information base included the data of statistical reports of the Committee of labor, social protection and migration on the number of repatriates from foreign countries from 1991 to January 1, 2017, the National collection of «Education Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan» 1 October 2015, and also materials of periodicals and Internet resources.

That is why covering the issues of education of repatriated children, in the article we have made a special emphasis on language education.

In conclusion. All countries receiving migrants, within the framework of integration programs, first of all attach special importance to language adaptation. However, each state has its own approach to determining the amount of assistance provided in language learning.



  1. Zakon Respubliki Kazakhstan ot 22 iiulia 2011 hoda No. 477-IV «O mihratsii naseleniia» [The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 22 July 2011 No. 477-IV «On migration»]. adilet.zan.kz. Retrieved from:: http://adilet.zan.kz/rus/docs/Z1100000477 [in Russian].
  2. Shaukenova, Z.K. (2007). Sotsiolohicheskii analiz mezhetnicheskoi situatsii v Kazakhstane [Sociological analysis of interethnic situation in Kazakhstan]. Saiasat – Politics, 7, 44–49 [in Russian].
  3. Abdiraiymova, G.S. (2005). Tsennostnye orientatsii sovremennoi molodezhi (sotsiolohicheskii analiz) [Social interaction of ethnic groups in modern Kazakhstan society]. Almaty: Izdatelstvo «BAUR» [in Russian].
Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy