Regional authorities policy and priorities
National minorities’ languages education.According to the official site, 114 schools, which train the native languages (72- the Kazakh language, 22- Tatar, 9- Nogay, 5- Kalmyk, 3- German) and five preschool establishments work in the region. About 9 thousand pupils learn native languages. (http://www.adm.astranet.ru/doc/13.htm ).
The basic educational problems result from the lack of teaching staff and the low qualification. In Astrakhan region, there are just 126 teachers with the necessary qualification and only 71 of them have higher education. Within the framework of the agreements, signed by Astrakhan region, Tatarstan and Kazakhstan, Kazan and Atyrau universities have trained 20 teachers of the Tatar and Kazakh languages. (http://www.adm.astranet.ru/doc/32.htm).
Training of teachers for the national schools is being carried out in the college N1, which trains Turk language teachers –viz. Nogay, Tatar, and Kazakh. The college trains tutors for teaching the German language as native one. Owing to improving the material and technical basis, supplying the methods and educational literature, the quality of teaching has become much better.
There is a problem of providing the schools with textbooks. Only classes taught in the Kalmyk language are completely supplied with the educational literature. There published the Kazakh textbook for the 1st grade of a Russian school and the Kazakh textbooks for the 2nd and 3d grades were worked out. (http://www.adm.astranet.ru/doc/32.htm ) However, it became clear that the textbooks needed the serious revision.
For the last 5 years, the number of schools where the native languages are taught was considerably reduced. The lack of motivation and great deal of mixed marriages cause native languages being unused as a communicative tool even within a family.
The native language-training program approved by the ethnic communities’ representatives proposes to create the regional ethnic atlas, which will help to improve the way of native languages training. Besides, carrying out educational seminars with invitation of the specialists – native languages – speakers and international experts in national education was planned. (http://www.volga-astrakhan.ru/index.php3?act=article&a=3823 ).