Academic Shakhmardan Yessenov Science and Education Foundation completed a two-month competition and selected 20 students of the Yessenov Data Lab (YDL) summer school for young scientists. The study starts in mid-July. Now, in connection with the situation around coronavirus, school organizers have to decide on the training mode: online or offline.
It was originally planned to hold a school in the classrooms of the Al-Farabi KazNU in the same way as it was in previous years in AlmaU. However, the third summer school faced the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, an emergency was declared across the nation, Almaty was quarantined, and the educational process of all universities in the country was transferred to a remote form.
“We have to make a choice between offline and online mode for conducting YDL,” says program coordinator Toktar Yeskendirov. – “Offline training has definitely more advantages. For example, a school student may ask a question as soon as it arises that lecturers only welcome. Offline, it’s also easy to show a teacher who is in doubt to get a comment while doing practical tasks.
In addition, there are difficulties with the organization of the arrival of nonresident students. Indeed, 13 out of 20 winners are located outside of Almaty, and flights between Kazakhstani cities are only being resumed with severe restrictions.
“We have an audience with all required infrastructure for holding a summer school. Young people will be able to study there at a sufficient distance from each other. Naturally, we would like to conduct YDL offline, but it will depend on the situation around coronavirus in the country and the decision of the Foundation,” explained Askar Hikmetov, the Vice-rector for Academic Affairs of the Al-Farabi KazNU.
In the first half of May, the foundation will decide on the training mode at YDL this year. Most likely this will happen after May 11, announced by the President of Kazakhstan as a possible deadline for quarantine cancellation in Almaty. This year 199 students, future scientists, qualified to study at YDL, whose goal in school is to master the skills of working with big data to process information obtained during scientific research. Scholarships for training were won by only 20. The teachers of this year’s school include Kuanysh Abeshev (dean of the School of Engineering Management, AlmaU), Aydos Sarsembayev (assistant professor, IITU) and Darkhan Aymaganov (product analyst, Arbuz.kz). Partner of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation for the school – the Al-Farabi KazNU.
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