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Kazachstan: an impressive educational project

In 2017 all eyes will be on Kazakhstan as from June 10 to September 10 the country will host “World Expo 2017" in the capital Astana. Cito has been active since 2012 in this country on the border of Europe and Asia, assisting in the process of renewing the educational system.

Renewing the educational system

Late October 2016 a group of key experts and project managers from Cito visited Astana. Cito has worked since 2012 with the organization of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) to develop a new system of secondary education in 20 locations in this vast country - it’s as big as the whole of Western Europe.

Teaching is founded on leading educational principles, and that includes good and fair testing too. Did you know that:
  • pupils in these schools follow trilingual education in Kazakh, Russian and English languages?
  • pupils follow a K12-plus programme with a focus on natural sciences and mathematics?
  • pupils are taught by national and international teachers?

We were pleased to read about the Anne Frank exhibition at the NIS schools, although it is a very small part of the great renewal process in which the NIS schools have the lead.

Our contribution

The complete education system in Kazakhstan is 'under construction'. And Cito is helping. We have not only developed a new selection test system in cooperation with NIS, but we are also currently working for NIS to develop and implement comprehensive student monitoring systems for mathematics and language learning.

Our expertise and experience with monitoring systems in the Dutch education system is proving to be very useful in the Kazakh context. In cooperation with local experts we are building new monitoring systems that are optimally suited to the local situation.

Cito also has been involved in the professional development of teachers in Kazakhstan. In 2014 and 2015 during a number of 'Train-the-trainer' programmes, we trained teachers so that they can transfer their acquired knowledge to their colleagues in the schools.






Expo 2017 in Astana

The main theme of Expo 2017 is "Energy of the Future" a subject that is drawing much attention. The Netherlands is,the largest foreign investor in Kazakhstan. Dutch enterprises and institutions invest more per year - in 2013 a total of 49 billion dollars - than larger countries like Germany, the UK, China or Russia.

Given the large contribution of Dutch investors and Dutch companies in Kazakhstan, it is not surprising that there will be a separate "Holland Pavilion”. Cito will be there too and at present we are exploring the opportunities for participating in the Dutch pavilion and programmes. Expo 2017 will create new opportunities for Dutch investors, including in education and testing.


Nico van Dieteren