The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan reported that the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Almaty, Yevgeny Bobrov, no longer works in the country. Earlier, the diplomat announced a “recession” in the study of the Russian language in Kazakhstan. This was reported by the Kazakh service of Radio Liberty (Radio Azattyk).
According to the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Aibek Smadiyarov, Bobrov completed his diplomatic mission on August 26 and left the country.
At the same time, the representative of the Kazakhstani Foreign Ministry did not specify whether Bobrov himself resigned or whether he stopped his work at the request of the department, and whether his departure was connected with statements about a “recession” in the study of the Russian language in Kazakhstan.
Commenting on the words of the Consul General of the Russian Federation that Russian-language schools and classes have been reduced in Kazakhstan lately, Smadiyarov noted that “perhaps this person was not aware of all the information that is observed in the country.”
“I have on hand the data of the Ministry of Education about which schools teach in which language: out of 7711 public schools, 3957 schools teach only in Kazakh, 1203 in Russian, and 2551 schools in Kazakh and Russian At the same time, there are no plans for a complete transition of all schools in the country exclusively to the Kazakh language of instruction,” the diplomat stressed.
Yevgeny Bobrov, in an interview with the TASS agency, lamented that in recent years there has been a “decline in the level of use and study of the Russian language” in Kazakhstan.
“On the one hand, it is observed due to the reduction of the Russian population to 15%, on the other hand, the Ministry of Education of the country is changing the training program “based on the Kazakh language,” the Russian diplomat noted.
In addition to the reduction of Russian-language schools and classes in Kazakhstan, according to Bobrov, there is “certain concern” associated with the exclusion of the subject “Russian” from the program for first grade students with the Kazakh language of instruction.
In 2022, Kazakhstan canceled the study of three languages at once for first graders from the new academic year, among them Russian and English. Askhat Aimagambetov, Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, from the first grade, children will only learn Kazakh, because in order to learn Russian and English, they first need to learn to read and write in their native language. He added that it is difficult for first-graders to learn three languages at once.
“From the second grade, the study of the Russian language will begin as a separate discipline, and from the third grade, English will be studied for all schools,” Aimagambetov said.
At the same time, the authorities of Kazakhstan denied the information that within 6-7 years the country intends to cancel classes in Russian. “Both in the classes with the Kazakh language of instruction, and in the classes with the Russian language of instruction, the Russian language continues to be studied in the same mode, there are no other plans,” said Sholpan Karinova, First Vice Minister of Education of the country.