Ibrai Altynsarin on the Internet

Ibrai (Ibrahim) Altynsarin (1841-1889)

Ibrai Altynsarin is an outstanding educator, public figure, pedagogue-innovator, ethnographer, poet and prose writer, one of the founders of Kazakh written literature and literary language, the creator of the Kazakh alphabet based on Russian graphics.

I.Altynsarin was a fiery fighter for the progressive development of the Kazakh people. He laid the foundations for general and professional education in the province, opening primary schools, crafts and women's schools.

Ibrahim Altynsarin was born on October 20 (November 1) in 1841 in the Kipchak tribe of the Middle Zhuz (now Zatobolsky district, Kustanai region). His father Altynsary died in the attack on his village by the detachment of Kenesary Kasymov in 1844. Young Ibrahim was brought up from his grandfather Balgoji Dzhanburchin - one of the largest steppe feudal lords, an intelligent and cautious man, respected by the authorities.

         In 1844, the tsarist government decided to open a special school in Orenburg for the training of Kazakh children at the Frontier Commission, the purpose of which was to prepare scribes and translators.

        When he was in Orenburg on March 5, 1846, Balgozha Dzhanburchin asked the chairman of the Orenburg Border Commission, Major-General MVLadyzhensky, about the appointment of grandson Ibrahim as a candidate for the opening of a school.

        The school accepted children aged 8-12 years. Ibrahim was 9 years old. Through the sultan-ruler of the Eastern part, his grandfather Balgozha obtained funds from the Frontier Commission for travel expenses. Not earlier than July 21-23, 1850, with a large crowd of people, having preliminarily arranged that and blessing his beloved grandson and successor Ibrahim, Balgozh, accompanied by his faithful assistant Jetibai Utemisov (he saved Ibrahim in the cradle of death during the attack of the Kenesary's detachment) sent him in a long way to Orenburg.

        Along with him went another 10 boys: Jumagul Zhanbaev, Momyn Baidosov, Zhakyp Amangeldiev, Yedige Aytukin, Zhalmuhammed Baydzhanov, Nurum Munsyzbayev, Segizbay Aksaratov, Kuldzhan Karzhasov, Kudabai Kopbergenov, Shamurat Kucherbayev.

In the school pupils were taught Russian, Arabic, Tatar and Persian languages (among other subjects). The Kazakh boy who graduated from this school, as a rule, owned the mentioned languages and the laws of the Mohammedan dogma (the Koran and its interpretation).

For the entire period of his stay at the school, Altynsarin studied only "excellent", for which he repeatedly received gratitude. After graduating from school with a gold medal, I.Altynsarin received a certificate indicating the passed subjects and grades on them.

Altynsarin often visited the house of the chairman of the Orenburg Frontier Commission, an actual state counselor, a well-known orientalist V. Grigoriev. An inquisitive young man took frequent lessons from him, used his rich library. Reading books expanded Altynsarin's knowledge, raised interest in him and love for advanced science and culture.

         About three years after graduation from 1857 to 1859, I. Altynsarin worked as a clerk at his grandfather Balgoji Dzhanburchin, the head of the Uzun tribe of the Kipchak tribe, the army sergeant of the Orenburg commission, and then - from August 1, 1859 in the Orenburg region board as a junior interpreter. However, the talented young man considered the goal of his life not to pursue a career and ranks, but enlightenment of his native people.

In 1860, the regional government commissioned him to open an elementary school for Kazakh children in the Orenburg fortress (Turgai), in which he was appointed a teacher of the Russian language.

It was not easy to open a school in a remote town: there was no money, no school premises, and no teaching aids. To this important matter, the regional government and local authorities were coldly treated. Difficulties, however, did not stop Altynsarin. 

Encouraged by enlightening ideas, he traveled around the aul, explaining to the population the importance of secular education, and everywhere found popular support among the people. Gathering funds from the local population, he built a school building, wrote out textbooks.       

        January 8, 1864 the grand opening of the school took place, which was attended by a lot of people. At the school, a boarding school was established, in which 16 pupils, who were kept in full board at the expense of the population, lived.

 Altynsarin with great energy fought for the rapprochement and friendship of the Kazakh and Russian peoples, devoting this noble cause to his whole life. He stood for the involvement of Kazakhstan in the economic and cultural development of Russia.

In 1879, Altynsarin was appointed to the position of school inspector of the Turgai region. Turgay region at that time was divided into four districts: Iletsky, Irgiz, Turgai and Nikolaevsky (Kustanai). The Turgai region covered the entire territory of the present Kustanai, most of the present Turgai, Aktobe regions of the KazSSR and the Orenburg region of the RSFSR. Altynsarin directly supervised the cause of public education in the city of Troitsk, which at that time was part of the Orenburg province.