Altyngul Taibassarova – COVID-19 response

Altyngul Taibassarova, Kindergarten Teacher
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

It was so lovely to hear from Altyngul Taibassarova. Altyngul lives in Astana, now Nur-Sultan the capital of Kazakhstan. She is currently involved in establishing a new kindergarten ‘Abadan Kindergarten and Family Centre’ which will have three languages of instruction (Kazakh, Russian and English). 

She writes 

Hello, everyone! My name is Altyngul, I’m from Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan). I work for ABADAN Kindergarten. The mission of our kindergarten is to cooperate closely with parents and the community, to take into account the individuality of each child, to play, to observe, to research, to support and to create a favourable environment in order to raise a healthy, self-confident, independent, courageous and tolerant person who loves his homeland. And in our everyday work, we keep this mission as a central idea of everything we do. 

Now it is a very challenging time for the whole World. Unfortunately, COVID-19 affected the work of kindergartens here in Kazakhstan too. At the beginning of the pandemic, all the Early Childhood Settings has been closed due to the legal lockdown. All the teachers had to quickly adapt to a new reality. Many of them introduced online activities that engaged both parents and kids, some needed more time to adapt. After one month of being home, the Government started to weaken quarantine measures and “duty groups” with a limited number of children started working. All the teachers and children (and parents!) were so happy to be back (of course taking all the precautionary measures). 

I divided a group into three subgroups and provided them with different invitations. Each group has worked as a team, each individual in the team had his own role and responsibilities.It is amazing to see how kids interact, solve problems and how creative are they. Here I would like to point out the differentiation. Each child is different and we cannot give the same tasks for everyone. Our early childhood system in Kazakhstan is still mainly structured and the teacher has a lead role, the teacher decides what is the topic and what materials we are going to use each lesson. However, we are on a turning point of some changes! And I’m excited to be part of it. We want the kid to play! We want to hear each child’s voice! 

We are now working on translating the “Learning Stories” book by Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee to the Kazakh language. And I would love each teacher to have his own copy and a deep understanding of this Assessment method. I believe this will enhance our experience and will help us on our way to change. Each teacher will have a chance to observe individual kids, analyze their learning and also build strong positive relationships with parents. 

I wish everyone to stay positive at this uncertain time. Together we can make an impact.

Best regards, Altyngul Taibassarova




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