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 education sector in Mongolia achieved significant outcomes over the past years in modifying pre-primary, primary and secondary education curricula and vocational education and training, higher education and program content; revising student textbooks and learning materials, and establishing a favorable learning environment. Positive changes were also made in the supply of qualified teachers and the capacity of kindergarten and school buildings.
But despite these significant outcomes, the sector still faces challenges such as:
- Enhancing the quality of education services
- Eliminating the urban-rural gap
- Establishing a child-friendly and accessible learning environment
- Strengthening cross-sector linkages and building partnerships with all stakeholders
- Improving governance and management of the education system.
To address these challenges, the country adopted the Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (2021-2030) in October 2020, to provide all citizens with equal access to education services, ensure vertical and horizontal links in education policies, disseminate smart and digital technology at all levels of education, and promote green development in the learning environment and materials.
Designed in conformity with Mongolia’s long-term development policy document - Vision 2050, and relevant laws, policies and regulations, the end goal of Mongolia’s education sector plan is “To ensure the holistic development of Mongolian citizens with competencies to thrive in the digital technology era as active participants in a knowledge-based society which enables life-long learning through quality, open, inclusive and flexible education services”.
The plan identifies policy priorities for each sub-sector to:
- Enhance quality and relevance of education system and services
- Increase equal access and inclusiveness in the services
- Improve the efficiency of education governance, management and administration.
With its focus on holistic human development, the plan is based on the following overarching principles:
- Provide equal opportunity to all citizens to access education services
- Strengthen and support shared responsibility and accountability among stakeholders
- Strengthen sustainable and professional management
- Ensure vertical and horizontal linkages of education policies
- Utilize smart and digital technology at all education levels
- Promote green development in learning environment and materials.
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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.