I am a big believer in the power of education to change lives. Whether it be in helping people get better jobs or for charitable causes, I am always looking to invest in people through education and training wherever possible. I was particularly excited to witness the launch of the Academy, because it will be the first school in Kazakhstan to adopt project-based learning (PBL) – a cause that I care deeply about. This approach to education lets children explore complex, real-world challenges and develop the critical skills to find solutions. In business, it’s vital to find ways to disrupt and improve traditional methods and I believe PBL does that for education.
By adopting PBL, the Academy takes inspiration from Finnish model of education. Since embracing modern, holistic approaches to education, Finland’s education system has been consistently ranked as the best in the world. It was a great honour, therefore, to be joined at the HTA launch ceremony by Finland’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Mikko Kivikoski. Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Education and Science, Bibigul Asylova, was also present to witness the launch of what will be the first school of its kind in Kazakhstan. In recent weeks, I have attended two ceremonies honouring educational projects which represent this message.
The first was the start of construction on a brand-new educational project, the High-Tech Academy at Koktobe City, Kusto Group’s residential complex in Almaty. The school will provide education to 540 children and will be ready in 2020. It will be a symbol of Kusto’s understanding of its social responsibilities.
Our construction projects are about more than bricks and mortar; we want to build communities that will last for generations. The Academy help families to settle in the area. Its focus on the sciences will also give young people the chance to learn valuable, technical skills for their future careers.
I was joined at the ceremony by Bibigul Asylova, Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Education and Science, as well as by Mikko Kivikoski, Finland’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan. The ceremony included the burial of a time capsule in the school grounds. This will be opened in 2044 by future classes of schoolchildren – until then, its contents will remain a secret. This time capsule is a gift, embedded in the foundations of the school, to generations not yet born, a perfect representation of the purpose of education.
The second ceremony took place at ALMA University, where I attended a ceremony to honour the graduation six young people, all scholars from the Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation. We set up the Foundation in 2005 and this year was the 9th ceremony to celebrate the success of our grant recipients. The effect upon me remains as strong as even. Seeing the way educational opportunity can change lives is truly moving. I know my late brother, Yerzhan, who shared my passion for learning, would be proud to see the Foundation’s impact.
I wish all our graduates the very best in their future careers and look forward to the days when graduates of High-Tech Academy join them!