In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Mongolia received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Education in Mongolia
The new education laws, policies and planning, as well as the increase in financing for the sector demonstrate that education is considered a priority sector for the government of Mongolia. According to UIS, Mongolia’s spending on education was 12.15% in 2011 as share of total government spending, and 5.5% of GDP.
The main objectives of Mongolia’s education sector master plan include:
- Improve gross enrollment rate for preschool education by:
- Increasing kindergarten capacity in areas in need and constructing new kindergartens.
- Reviewing cost implications for poor families related to attending pre-schools and taking appropriate action to ensure equity of access.
- Introducing well organized, family-based kindergarten services in rural and remote areas that meet nomadic life-style requirements.
- Improving access to kindergartens for poor, disabled, migrant children, and children with special educational needs.
- Improving access for “out-of-preschool” children.
- Implementing policies and programs to ensure school readiness.
- Develop preschool education services that meet the needs of child development by:
- Improving the health environment in kindergartens including food, water supply, and sanitary conditions.
- Developing and implementing minimum acceptable standards for kindergarten buildings, facilities and the learning and teaching environment.
- Improving the professional capacity of kindergarten staff.
- Establishing minimum standards for the provision of relevant and appropriate toys, games, reading and counting materials, and training manuals.
- Developing policies and regulations aimed at providing incentives for private sector and community investment in setting up preschool.
- Improving coordination between government ministries involved in the education sector.
- Improving cooperation between the private sector, individuals, NGOs and preschools in order to improve access and quality of preschool services.
Primary and secondary education
- Improve access to quality education by:
- Eliminating differences in access and quality of educational services.
- Developing and implementing policies aimed at improving access for children whose rights are violated (i.e. out-of-school children, children without textbooks or uniforms).
- Improving the quality and efficiency of programs for vulnerable children.
- Developing and implementing norms and standards for school facilities and equipment.
- Reviewing and upgrading pre- and in-service teacher training delivery systems.
- Reforming the student assessment system.
- Strengthening school and system accountability.
- Improving the legislative and regulatory environment for supporting school activities, and enforcing the implementation of these policies.
- Implementing planning and management based on a new and effective education management information system.
- Specifying school, parent and community responsibilities in the delivery of education and in school management.
- Actively involving all interested stakeholders in the education development process, improving coordination between them, and encouraging public-private partnerships in the education sector.
Non-formal and adult education
- Improve access to quality non-formal and adult education.
- Improve teaching and learning conditions at all levels and increase resources.
- Improve non-formal education policies and strategies and establish management information and sustainable financing systems.
Technical and vocational education and training
- Increase the number of students covered by the vocational education and training sub-sector.
- Improve the training quality and ensure the human resources meet the demands of the labor market.
- Review and upgrade the management of vocational education and training.
- Improve the regulatory mechanism for higher education enrollment.
- Create an effective and transparent higher education quality assurance system.
- Provide an effective management and financing system for higher education.
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The 2012-2015 GPE grant to Mongolia of US$10 million was a “graduation grant” and co-financed Mongolia’s early childhood education project.
This project had a strategic focus on increasing access to early childhood education, primarily by constructing kindergartens in urban areas and creating alternative pre-schools (mobile kindergartens) in rural areas. The project also supported the rollout of mobile kindergartens for the children of nomadic herders in the summer.
The Mongolia’s early childhood education project was restructured three times. The latest restructuring was carried out in early 2015 to reallocate the grant proceeds, amend the project description in the financing agreement, and adjust the results framework indicators and targets.
Mongolia’s early childhood education project had three components:
- Increasing kindergarten capacity in urban and rural areas by:
- Building new kindergarten facilities in overcrowded urban and rural areas.
- Supplying furniture, equipment, indoor and outdoor /playground/ toys, and teaching materials.
- Creating alternative preschool classes in rural areas by:
- Supplying and distributing mobile ger-kindergartens to rural areas with large populations of children of nomadic herders where pre-school enrollment rate is especially low compared to the national average.
- Developing and printing visual aids and children’s workbooks in accordance with the alternative preschool curriculum.
- Grant management and monitoring and evaluation by:
- Supporting the project implementation unit, including safeguards, procurement and financial management.
- Monitoring and evaluation of the progress and outcomes of the project.
GPE has also provided the National Civil Society Coalition of Mongolia (AFE Mongolia) with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.
Education sector progress
The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Mongolia, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.
Primary completion rate
Lower secondary completion rate
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age
Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age
Pre-primary gross enrollment rate
Gender parity index for out-of-school rate
Public expenditure on education as share of GDP
Students/trained teacher ratio
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.