Laying the best foundation for our children’s future with quality education
Teachers and students alike have shown extreme resilience in the face of a global pandemic this year. Despite many having to shut their premises for up to 6 months, schools and education centres readjusted to new ways of learning almost overnight.
I must take this opportunity to recognise the outstanding support that teachers have continued to give their students during this time — not just so that all children, and particularly the most vulnerable, could continue to receive an education — but the mental and emotional support they have provided to so many.
At the Saby Foundation, we believe that the best resource we can ever give our children is a high quality education. Education improves the overall wellbeing of societies, the standard of living, GDP, employment opportunities and more. However, the pandemic has caused education gaps to widen, and will be a challenge for years to come. The sector must now come together to figure out how to close this most effectively, and give our children the best possible chances in life.
For a start, it strange to me that our world, our technologies and our issues look very different today than they did 100 years ago — but even in the most developed countries, the classroom does not. We are still teaching the same subjects, in the same buildings, with the same class sizes and similar evaluation systems. Last month, the Saby Foundation opened the doors of the “Shokan School” in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with a new and different approach to education. The vision of the Shokan School is to maximise children’s potential and personal development, by boosting their analytical and innovative thinking. Kazakhstan’s young and diverse population has extraordinary potential, but with a below-average standard of education, their talent is largely untapped. The Shokan School is one of our 8 core programmes for children in Kazakhstan, to promote and enhance the welfare of our youth, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.
Our highly experienced teachers at the Shokan School cover 45 classes and 25 varied subjects — including some extremely unique yet relevant options for the modern world, including robotics, culinary classes, and theatre studies. The equipment, facilities and buildings are designed to inspire the pupils and leverage their potential across the arts, technology, sciences and more: for example, Shokan School has several art studios, a Google programming office, a concert hall and a recreation zone. The education that Shokan School pupils receive will benefit them in all aspects of their lives: not just their future careers. Furthermore, the unique evaluation structure at the Shokan School is tailored to highlight the children’s growth improvement, and reveal their hidden talents. With guidance from the teachers, this will help the Shokan School students to make informed choices about their education and future opportunities.
One of the greatest gifts our children can inherit from us is an education: with that, children will learn how to think for themselves, solve the most pressing challenges of our time, and re-invent the world.