Hey Australia: Kazakhstan is better than you at a whole bunch of things
2024-07-18 06:58:25

Australians are up in arms after a report was published showing the country doing dismally in global education rankings.

Yes, we dropped from 18th to 28th in Year 4 maths and from 12th to 17th for Year 8 maths since 2011. It's not great. But for some reason, all anyone could talk about is that Kazakhstan now surpasses Australia for primary education.

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It was so desperate a shortcoming that even an Australian senator used the report to reference the mockumentary Borat.

"I don't want to denigrate Kazakhstan, or indeed their artistic skills with movies like Borat," Minister for Education Simon Birmingham said, according to the ABC. "I think though Australia should be seeking to be amongst the best in the world and declines like this are unacceptable and that we need to be working hard to turn it around."

Via Giphy

Birmingham's decision to use Sacha Baron Cohen's dated movie character as a slightly xenophobic "hot take," instead of using the opportunity to inspire and motivate, caused Twitter to explode with all the emotions.

Apart from being the back drop for sweeping cultural generalisations via one mankini wearing comedian, Kazakhstan actually beats out Australia and other "world leaders" in more than education.

Considering the hurdles the young country has overcome since its transition away from Soviet rule in 1991, we should definitely stop with the assumption that Borat is their spokesperson.

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They have a pretty ace space program

During the era of Soviet control, Sputnik was launched close to the Kazakh town of Baikonur.

Even today, Kazakhstan is a key launch and landing pad for getting astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Mashable ImageMembers of the media photograph the Soyuz rocket as it launches with Expedition 33/34 crew members, to the International Space Station on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

This position as the launchpad to the ISS will continue until at least 2018, when NASA's new Commercial Crew Program may be ready to launch astronauts.

Australia, meanwhile, has no space agency at all.

Renewable Energy

To cap it off, they have a renewable energy plan that leaves its western counterparts, including Australia, in the dust.

Taking a "diversified" approach to green energy, the nation has an impressive plan for energy use, working towards 50 percent renewable energy by 2050, Inversereported.

In Australia, our politicians still can't bring themselves to acknowledge climate change.

The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, was also chosen by the International Exhibitions Bureau to host Expo 2017, an event bringing global hive minds together to tackle the question "how do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?"

But yeah, something something Borat right?

Via Giphy