Science and higher education develop steadily according to world trends in Republic Kazakhstan. In 2010 Kazakhstan became the first Central-Asian state to join Bologna declaration.
Bologna declaration is not only unification of education period and diplomas, but, first of all, introduction of two new basic concepts: module approach towards education and credits into general-European system of education.
Bologna process is a possibility to overcome the settled local general-education stamps and stereotypes that are often justified by reasonings on national identity. At the same time, it is a door for Kazakhstan to exit national creek into the wide bed of international educational competition.
While entering Bologna process, we shall have to prove ideas on «indisputable advantages of our educational system» and the fact that «our graduates are wanted all over the world» to our international partners who are often and reasonably assured of the opposite. It points us to the necessity to improve programme contents systematically, develop new forms and methods, master modern technologies of transiting knowledge. These measure need to be carried out not «on paper» of «for the report», but in order to stay competitive and hold our students from going to a different (European) university. The fight for consumer’s preferences and competition are always healthy for business, and they prove to be most positive in terms of European integration.
Basic points of Bologna declaration (1999) can be broken down to five-six key positions, definition of which has been deepened and developed during the following years at forums of Salamanca, Prague, Berlin. In lapidary expression these Bologna agreements can be summed up as:
- Levels of education.
- Accumulative system of evaluating knowledge.
- Unification of quality standards and increase in mobility.
- Mutual acknowledge of national degrees by all countries-participants of the process.
- Provision of the best employment to graduates according to the mastered profession and increase in attractiveness of Kazakhstan educational system.
Nowadays almost all economically-developed countries carry out a transition or have already transferred to realizing module programmes that are based upon competences. This approach is also significant for Kazakhstan, and its introduction can provide for producing qualified labour that is necessary for establishing a competitive economy.
The suggested approach towards module education differs from the traditional block-module method, used in Kazakhstan institutions of education, as complex mastering of skills and knowledge in terms of forming a certain competence that provides for carrying out a specific professional function that corresponds to demands of labour market, takes place within one module. It is important that development and realization of module programmes, based upon competences, implies presence of continuous feedback between requirements of employers and skills and knowledge of employees, as it defines training quality of the latter.
An important feature of module approach, based on competences, lays in flexibility of training programmes, because:
- They provide for individualization of training for each student according to his level of skills, knowledge, and previous education (or professional experience) via combining various modules.
- It is possible to use same modules in different educational programmes (such as safety technique, efficient communication, etc).
Other advantages of module programmes, based on competences are:
- As requirements of labour market alter, necessary changes can be quickly introduced into modules, or new separate modules of a programme can be replaced.
- Different training courses can be formed of various modules depending on demands of students and their initial level (in other words, skills, knowledge, and experience, received from the graduation or professional activity).
It is important to outline that implementation of module approach towards forming programmes allows an institution to be in possession of an intellectual resource, this fact excludes the dependence of module realization on presence or absence of a tutor as methodic and materials can be mastered by a different specialist.
Module programmes, based on competences, influence only professional components of an educational progamme and do not refer to general disciplines that are taught via traditional methods.
A central concept of this approach is the idea of competence that is defined as an ability to implement knowledge, skills, relations, and experience in everyday and new professional situations.
Thus, key aspect of a competence is an ability to carry out a certain activity, usual or new, according to organic integrity of skills, knowledge, experience, relations, etc.
Three basic competence types are outlined:
- Technical/professional competences that refer to the area of professional activity.
- «Mobile» competences that refer to social, communicative, methodical, or other competences that are required for an efficient professional activity in terms of different professions and fields of activity.
- New basic (key) competences/skills that complement traditional key competences.
According to institutions of education that have taken module programmes into realization, their advantages are obvious and consist of:
- Ability to formulate goals and objectives of education clearly.
- Increase in training efficiency.
- Simplification of education process management.
- Broadening target groups of trainees.
- Increase in efficiency of personal activity and responsibility of trainees and tutors.
- Real individualization of training process.
- Increase in level of interaction between students and tutors/masters of productive training.
- Real preparation of students for their future professional activity.
- Increase in trust of social partners.
- Increase in flexibility of training programmes.
- Formation of productive culture within an institution.
- Formation of standard, objective, independent conditions of evaluating quality of mastering training programmes.
Thus, educational programme, structures into modules, must be clear and available for all users, and, first of all, students. A complete set of methodical documents should be developed for each module. They should include: TMC (training-methodical complex) of a module, TMC of separate disciplines, TMT (training-methodical textbook), methodical guide for students and methodical recommendations for tutors. Module approach in complex with innovative technologies must provide an efficient solution of strategic problem of applied professional training – formation of professionals who are ready for active and creative operation.
The work was submitted to International Scientific Conference «Development of scientific potential of higher education», UAE (Dubai), March, 4–11, 2014. came to the editorial office оn 27.01.2014.