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Kazakh Official Chides State Employees For Not Knowing Kazakh Language

The head of Kazakhstan's agency for the affairs of state service has announced that there are plans to toughen mandatory language tests for state employees.

Alikhan Baymenov said on August 10 that it may be necessary to have such tests on state employees' knowledge of the Kazakh language "not less than once a month."

Baymenov said that, in addition to tests on computers, state workers may have to write essays to ensure that "any person coming to work for the state is able to formulate and elucidate their thoughts [in Kazakh]."

Baymenov said the move is needed as some state employees could not fill out requests for vacation properly.

Kazakh is the state language of Kazakhstan and more than a decade ago President Nursultan Nazarbaev warned the country's inhabitants that they would have to become proficient in the language within 10 years.

Russian, however, continues to be widely used among the population, including state officials.

compiled from agency reports