According to UNESCO, due to restrictions imposed on the spread of coronavirus, more than 1.5 billion children and adults around the world do not attend schools and universities. More than 160 countries have taken measures throughout their territory, affecting more than 87% of the global student population. Other countries have implemented local closures of schools and educational institutions.  The quarantine associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is the first in the history of Kazakhstan in its scale.

“For our education system, the transition to distance learning is also a very big challenge. For universities, this is a fairly familiar format. Many universities studied using distance technologies. Many universities had a corresponding Internet platform, a special system.

It is very important for us that distance learning is really learning, and that there is attendance, and our students receive the necessary knowledge, said Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aymagambetov at an online briefing in the CCS.

In the modern globalizing world, universities are centers not only for training students and the new generation of young professionals, but also centers for innovative ideas and intellectual thought.

Only yesterday, no one could have imagined that overnight the whole country would be forced to study and work remotely. In this situation, the new University 4.0 model., Which is promoted by Al-Farabi Kazakh National University under the leadership of the rector G.M. Mutanova, showed its relevance and timeliness.  In turn, our university, implementing the University 4.0 model, was in a winning position, which allowed us to switch to distance learning without changing the staffing schedule, moreover, for several years our university has been practicing MOOCs (massive open online courses) and has experience and skills such a job.  The readiness of all services and departments of the university contributed to the rapid transition, especially a lot of work has been done and is being done by programmers who provide security, uninterrupted operation of the Univer system, provide all the instructions for faculty and students in mastering various virtual programs such as Microsoft Teams, “ Zoom ”, Distance courses, YouTube Streaming and other external resources in Kazakh and Russian, Distance Courses_Student Guide in English for teaching using DOT.  They offer lecture, seminar, practical and laboratory formats. Develop types of current and final control. The course is constantly updated. Today, the teaching staff conducts classes on different virtual sites, depending on the specifics of the disciplines. A team of professionals KazNU. Al-Farabi launched two massive open online courses (MOOCs) to help teachers: “Teach remotely!”. MOOCs are intended not only for teachers of KazNU named after al-Farabi, but also to colleagues from other universities in Kazakhstan. We also want to note that the largest global online education platform Coursera approved the application of Al-Farabi Kazakh  National University for joining the Coursera for Campus project during the coronavirus pandemic. In March this year, the Coursera for Campus program was officially launched for 5,000 students. Access to 3800 courses and 400 majors. To study online courses of the best universities in the world with the opportunity to study the course for free and get a certificate, senior students, undergraduates, doctoral students of the university are invited and the first certificates are already available. Together with teachers, students will be able to study the course as additional material, discuss the lectures studied, and jointly find solutions to complex issues. A huge burden and responsibility fell on the shoulders of the teachers in the form of developing new platforms, compiling and downloading tests, projects, cases, essays. Online participation in many webinars. Despite these difficulties, the faculty, the UNESCO Sustainable Development Department of the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Management, are unitedly involved in this process.  In addition to classes, curators spend curator hours with students. According to the schedule, online meetings of the department are held. The pace of the university has become even more dynamic.  A huge amount of work has been done at the university in a short period of time. In order to keep up with the times, we must use these innovations and changes for our own benefit. We urge our students not to be afraid of temporary difficulties. The road will be overpowered by the walking one. We hope that our students will successfully pass the distance session.

Bazarbaeva T.A. – Head of the UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Development


Kozhakhan A. K. – distance learning coordinator of the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Management

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