Center of Service Learning

One of the important missions of Yesenov University is the formation of a socially responsible university, acting as a driver of the socio-cultural life of the region. The key initiative in this direction is the project ” Service Learning “. In 2018, the Service to Society center was opened for the qualitative implementation of this project. The main goal of the Center is to form an active life position among students to solve real social problems of the Mangystau region through the discipline “Service to Society”. The opening of the center was associated with the special relevance and demand for this work and allowed to create a system of coordination and methodological support for volunteer activities of young people, to form a map of the social needs of the city and the region.

According to the latest data of the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan (с ) according to the main indicators of social support of the population in the Mangystau region, there is an increase in the number of socially vulnerable segments of the population. The number of registered disabled people in the region from 2016 to 2020 increased by 6211 people, the number of children with disabilities – by 2144 people.

The discipline “Service Learning” is based on the educational concept of “Service Learning” and is included in the cycle of basic disciplines of the university’s educational program as a mandatory discipline for all specialties of the university with a volume of 5 credits. The essential difference between the methods of teaching ministry from other methods and programs lies in the structured simultaneous result in both service and training. There are many approaches to the implementation of the educational concept of “Service Learning” in the world, which originates from Stanford University in the USA. In Kazakhstan, this experience was first introduced at AlmaU, among regional universities – at our university. The training includes three main stages: theoretical training (7 weeks); project activity (8 weeks) and reflection. Partnership agreements were signed with the main social protection institutions and NGOs. There are already 25 of them today. During the training, students get acquainted with the basic concepts and definitions of the Sustainable Development Goals initiated by the UN, human rights, inclusivity and democratic values, develop projects. Special emphasis in the training is placed on the study of the moral and ethical values of the traditional Kazakh culture. The concept of the residents of the virtuous city of Al Farabi, the principle of “Adam bol!” of Abai as an ideal form of public relations is included in the training program.

In the practical part of the discipline, students implement their projects at partner sites for 8 weeks. The main directions of student projects: social, environmental, sports and medical, animal welfare, protection of the Caspian seal, digital volunteering, civil defense. Of particular relevance among students are projects that support lonely elderly people, disabled people, children from orphanages, boarding schools and children with disabilities in institutions such as the Mother’s House, the Children’s Village, the Office of psychological and pedagogical correction, the Baby House, the Nursing Home, the Regional Club of disabled sports, etc.

During the 5 years of the Center’s activity, 5711 students have been trained in the discipline “Service to Society”, having implemented about 900 social projects.