At the beginning of the twentieth century, the number of Kazakhs had reached three and a half million. There was a demographic growth, but the literacy rate of the population remained stable. Whatever you teach for the Kazakh children, who are capable and eager to learn, they will still continue to absorb it. Recognizing this situation, the national and foreign scholars (intellectuals who were forcibly deported because of the policy of tsarist Russia, the missionaries who were genuinely committed to the policy of Kazakh baptism) started to open the schools in this steppe.
History of the first schools in Kazakhstan
Thus, a special population census was conducted in 1911, when some work was done on this side. According to it, there are 350 Russian-Kazakh schools for the Kazakh children. 6756 children study there. Even more amazing fact is that two hundred and eighty-nine of the students were Kazakh girls. In short, with the exception of Russian-Kazakh schools in the former Syrdarya and Zhetisu regions, there is a trend of equal education for all, regardless of gender.
Just like today, the treasury allocated a lot of money for the education. However, the tsarist government released only a small amount of money to its colonial country, the Kazakhs. If the average per capital budget for the education in Russia is 56 kopeck per year, in Kazakhstan it is only 14-36 kopeck. Accordingly, “Simple, cheap schools for the Russian children” were organized for the Kazakh children. This period of study was a two-year rural and a four-year two-class school. That is a great achievement. In order to meet the needs of students, such a well-known Kazakh educator as Ibrai Altynsarin has contributed to the continuous development of the Russian-Kazakh school, the improvement of curricula, development of the first textbooks and training for teachers in schools.
The first literate book in Kazakh or “Kiragat”
The “Textbook” by Alash activist Mirjaqip Dulatuli is the first book on Kazakh children's literacy. Apparently, the book “Kiragat” is read for the second year in primary school. The textbook was published in 1924 in Orenburg.
Mirjaqip deeply understands and further develops the ideas of his first teacher Ibrai Altynsarin related to the education. Just like Akhmet Baitursynov, a great Kazakh scientist, he pays attention to the scientific approach to the educational issues. For example, the child pays special attention to the new methods of teaching, the acquisition of knowledge by students through new programs, teaching in accordance with scientific and didactic principles. He makes this clear in his article “For Teachers” and in his foreword to the book “Giragat”:
“...Teaching children is a science itself. Science is the pedagogy... The first thing in the school curriculum is reading, narration... A teacher who does not understand the purpose of reading cannot give the expected benefits... How to teach young children to think about what they read, to feel its meaning and qualities? It is necessary to accustom the child to think about what he reads, to memorize it in an orderly and complete way after reading. An effective, strong and digestible education in primary school is based on the fact that textbooks are written in the native language, life of the nation and nature, in accordance with the noble purpose of teaching and learning. After graduating from the primary school, such children do not have the spirit of the nation, no matter where they go to school and where they go further. No matter what kind of hardships they face in life, their nation will remain the same. The purpose of education is not only to teach dry knowledge, but also to combine good education with knowledge... “
The first schools or libraries in the Kazakh land
When we talk about the first libraries in Kazakhstan, opened before the October Revolution, of course, we have to mention the library opened in 1883 in Semey. Abai Kunanbayuly, the main Kazakh poet, the founder of the nation's written literature, the thinker and educator, had been a student of the Semey`s library for many years. Later, the libraries (then called “Folk schools” in the country) were opened in the late XIX century in the cities, Kereku and Karkaraly, Zaisan and Oskemen, and in 1906, in Vernyi (currently Almaty). Of course, they had very few books. But in terms of the educational process of the population at that time – it was enough. And in each school, there was only literature that did not stumble under tsarist censorship. There was no room for other “Excesses”. The books were given to the students for a fee. According to the data, at that time there were only 237 thousand books in all libraries of Kazakhstan. It is an interesting fact about the first libraries in the Kazakh land. From the 1956-1957 academic year, a library department was opened at the Kazakh Pedagogical Women's Institute. This was a great event in the cultural life of the republic.
The first Kazakh national alphabet
As we have just noticed, N.I. Ilminskiy (“Apart from adapting the Russian alphabet to the Tatar sounds, we had to change gradually and fix the spelling. In the first edition of the alphabet, I wrote the word water as the “Su”, village like “Aul”, bear as the “Aiy”. From now onwards, we will write them as the “Syu”, “Auyl”, “Aiyu”), V.V. Katarinskiy (“Grammar of the Kyrgyz language. Phonetics, etymology and syntax”), A.E. Alektorov (“Russian-Kazakh alphabet. Stage of wisdom”) began to publish Kazakh alphabets and textbooks based on the Russian graphics, under the pretext that “Sympathizers of the nation” were “Unfavorable to the Arabic script” and “Incapable of transmitting the sound system of Kazakh and other Turkic languages”.
Akhmet Baitursynov dedicated his whole life to cleaning the Kazakh written language from lexical clutter and syntactic influence of other languages. Because, he realized that science and culture could flourish, when writing was normalized and flourished only. In this way, the scientist corrects the disadvantages of the Arabic script for the Kazakh language, as well as he creates a synharmonic national alphabet in accordance with the phonetic features of our language.
The alphabet consisted of 24 letters. Because only the original sounds of the Kazakh language were selected, and the introductory sounds were not included there. The twenty-four fonts were divided into voiced, unvoiced, and semi-voiced sounds.