KUALA LUMPUR: Kazakhstan is well on its way to becoming the top 30 most developed countries under their ‘Third Modernization of Kazakhstan’ model of economic growth ensuring the country's global competitiveness.
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev had set out the agenda to achieve their goal by 2050 through five main priorities consisting of accelerationof technological modernisation of the economy; improved business environment; macroeconomic stability; improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.
"We launched two most important processes of modernisation - the political reform and the modernization of economy. However, they are not enough on their own.
"I am sure that the large-scale reforms that we have started should be complemented with advanced modernisation of our nation’s identity. This won’t just complement political and economic modernisation but provide its core."
The president said the first condition for a successful modernisation process was the preservation of national culture and tradition as without it, modernisation is merely an empty rhetoric.
"However, this does not mean preservation of everything in the national culture. We need to separate those aspects which give us confidence in the future and those that hold us back.
"Without national and cultural roots, modernisation will be left hanging in the air. And I want it to stand firm. History and national traditions must be taken into account," he said recently in his article titled "Course towards the future: modernization of Kazakhstan’s identity."
In order to move forward, a nation must leave behind elements of the past that hinder its development, he said adding that the country had enjoyed 25 years of diplomacy this year.
To get Kazakhs all geared up to face the challenges of the 21st century, each citizen should posses skills of computer literacy, foreign language proficiency and cultural openness.
"What is unique about the future is that a nation’s success will rest on the ability of each person to compete successfully, not on its mineral wealth."
He added that education was fundamental to success and half of the existing professions available now would cease to exist in the upcoming decades as a result of the technological revolution.
"Only highly educated people with the ability to switch careers will be able to live successfully in such conditions."
Nursultan said several concrete projects would take place in the coming years to enable Kazakhstan to adapt to the challenges of the future without losing its great power of tradition.
"It is necessary to start working on a step-by-step transition of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet. And we have been preparing for this with caution since independence.
"By 2025, we will start publishing workflows, periodicals, textbooks and everything else in the Latin alphabet. And we must now start preparing for this transition which has its own strong logic."
He said the change was driven by the specific requirements of the modern technological environment, of communications and science and education in the 21st century.
"The year 2025 is not far off, and the government needs to have a clear timetable for the transition of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet.
"I believe that by the end of 2017 it is necessary, with the help of scientists and the general public, to adopt a single standard version of the new Kazakh alphabet.
"In 2018, we should begin training for teaching the new alphabet and preparing textbooks for secondary schools."
He added that there would be a need to translate the world’s 100 best textbooks on humanities into the Kazakh language to enable youths to easily access them for the 2018/2019 school year.
"It will provide a qualitatively different level of education for hundreds of thousands of our students. It will prepare them to compete at a global level in the sphere of knowledge."
He said this initiative was important as the younger generation would become the main vehicles for the modernisation of the country's collective identity based on the principles of openness, pragmatism, and competitiveness.
"Our future will be created in our classrooms."