Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools
The Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools are a network of schools for exceptional students of age 5 to 18 throughout Kazakhstan. The schools are named after Nursultan Nazarbayev, former president of Kazakhstan, who has promoted the idea as a means of developing the intellectual life of the country
Schooling is mandatory in Kazakhstan and this reflects in a national literacy rate of over 99%. The 5 grades of primary school begin at age 6. Two groups of children attend morning and afternoon shifts respectively per school, in order to share facilities. The ministry of education prescribes the curriculum, and this applies to both private and public schools.
Students continue with their education program at lower secondary school for 4 years through to grade 9. A general academic curriculum includes Russian or Kazach depending on location, plus biology, chemistry, history, mathematics, physics, and a foreign language.
There are three options for the concluding 3 years at secondary school. These include general education at a lyceum or gymnasium, vocational education at a professional lyceum or vocational school, and professional education at a professional college. Education costs continue to be largely funded by the state.