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   Mongolia
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The availability of dormitories dropped constantly until the 1995-1996 academic year, but it tended to increase from the 1996-1997 academic year.

Decline of living standards

As living standards decreased in the first years of the transition, the families with low income began to give importance to the everyday problems of food, clothes, etc. rather than education. On the other hand, the increased amount of direct and indirect expenses of families concerning children’s education often made it difficult for poor families to enroll children to school.

In the early 1990’s primary and secondary school enrolment of the children from the 20% of the poorest families was 25% less than the next 20% of families in a five-category ranking.

Lack of interest in learning

According to the reasons for pupils’ dropouts in the first years of transition, social and economic difficulties were not the only reason; the school environment and way of teaching also played a role.

The statistics for dropouts in 1991-1992 show that 15.2% of the total dropouts went to work in animal husbandry, 12.8% of them left because of lack of funds indicate that, 66.8% gave no reason, left school and 5.11% went to work. The no reason may be because of the school environment and the way of teaching.

Another survey on the reasons for dropouts shows that 31.5% of dropouts left their school because of the lack of interest in learning, which is the second main reason for dropouts.

     

Location

     
 

Country

side

‘Sum’

center

‘Aimag’

center

Ulaan-

Baatar

Sum

(%)

Sum

(figure)

To help parents

45.3

23.5

33.3

0.0

38.9

42

Teaching quality is bad

1.3

5.9

16.7

0.0

3.7

4

Cannot afford food, clothes, and lesson materials

9.3

11.8

16.7

0.0

10.2

11

Lack of interest in learning

28.0

47.1

8.3

100.0

31.5

34

Health problem

16.0

11.8

25.0

0.0

15.7

17

Total (%)

99.9

100.1

100

100

100

 

Total (cases)

75

17

12

4

 

108

In the first years of transition some changes were made in basic education organzation and structure to make a total of 11 years, for one year 3rd grade pupils entered the 5th grade, skipping the 4th : another decision who to carry on all the 1-4th grade lessons in Cyrillic script, which was for a time in traditional Mongolian script. All these changes had negative influences on teaching quality and may have become reasons for the lack of pupils’ interest in learning.

Net and gross intake rate of 1st grade enrolment

In 1990, the gross intake rate of 1st grade was 98.9%; the net rate was 79.8%. The net intake rate index of 1st grade enrolment shows that in our country 20% or 1/5 of 100 children of school age are not enrolling in school.

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Gross intake rate of 1st grade enrolment

98.9

83.4

87.6

99.5

106.6

107.5

108.8

105.1

111

Net intake rate of 1st grade enrolment

79.8

70.4

73.8

82.6

89.4

85.0

87.2

83.9

83.3

In many ‘sums’, dormitories ceased altogether and in many sums, the ones that are working cannot meet even the minimum needs. Because of this reason, parents, who consider their children too young, refuse to send them to school at their enrolling age and there is a tendency to send their children to school at the age of 9-11.

Measures have been taken by the Government to reduce dropouts by improving conditions that encourage enrolment.

Due to the decreased direct and indirect family expenditures concerning children’s education, children from families with lower income, especially with a lot of children, have limited possibilities to afford textbooks and other materials. The traditional system of distributing secondary school textbooks, which were sold, was changed into free distribution of all textbooks to schools giving all pupils an opportunity to use them free of charge.

The Government has dropped the meat allocating policy to the families whose children live in dormitories, and is now paying for the pupils’ expenses who live in dormitories.

Before, the government gave public primary, secondary and full secondary education free, and the parents were required to enroll their children. Now that there is a sizeable non-enrolment, the schools themselves must assure that children in their area enroll. To motivate the schools, government finance is on the basic of number of children enrolled in each school, us well as indicators as to the quality of teaching in the school.

This system of secondary school financing, according to the variable expenditure per pupil, (financing through enrolments) is giving teachers motivation not to let pupils drop out of schools, by increasing the enrolment number, and by enlarging school activities to better their teaching quality.

On the other hand, some families in the first years of transition felt that the privatized herds were enough to sustain the family and that education wasn't’ needed. This seems to be changing and these families are now realizing the value of education.

Dropouts have decreased 3.5 times, becoming only 2.5% of all learners in 1998, and primary school gross enrolment rate reached 103% and net rate 94%, showing a positive impact of educational reforms and renewal indicate 1990s.

Measures are being taken by the government to reduce and prevent dropouts. Activities to make literate and reeducate children and youth who dropped out their school before and who do not have opportunities to be educated through the formal education system because of their age and physical and psychological peculiarities, are being carried out in cooperation with secondary schools, non-governmental organizations, international cooperation agencies, individuals and public, and through the non-formal education system.

There is are legal basis for the Government to pay for all the expenses from the state budget by the organization of evening, correspondence and non-formal training for the children and youth, who dropped out and who want to increase their education level in secondary schools.

Enrolment of disabled children

Until the 1990s the issue of giving education for handicapped people had been done in specialized on segregated training in a special education system.

The number of schools in Mongolia for handicapped children, which were 14 in 1990, has decreased to 5 due to economic and financial problems.

The annual expense of one special school with 420 pupils was about the same of 3 ordinary secondary schools (with 1-10 grade) with each 1200 pupils; this suggests that such education was very costly.

Under the term ‘handicapped’ all the children with slight physical and mental disability, with slow understanding and with low mental ability were included and there was an opinion among the people to train them only in special education schools and a negative attitude towards them from ordinary school teachers and pupils.

According to the constitution of Mongolia, disabled people have equal rights to participate political, economic, social, cultural, and family life, the same as other citizens.

Because Mongolia has chosen to develop a humanitarian and democratic society, which gives importance to people’s rights and freedom, our government is following the policy to refuse the notion that disabled people should live on social welfare. Respecting their physical and social problems, they showed enjoy equal rights other citizens, be responsible like others, and be the members of the society with full rights.

In order to provide handicapped children with the right to get education, the government is implementing the policy to train them integrated in ordinary secondary schools. The project, ‘Education with special needs’, to train handicapped children integrated in Mongolian scholars, had the support of DANIDA and gained much experience.

While in 1992, 1.41% of all secondary school pupils between 8-11 were handicapped children; the percentage reached 6.32% in 1998.

It is not possible to show the percentage of disabled children because the statistical information on disabled people from the National Statistics Board only includes social welfare data. By the 1997 statistics, 8% or 34000 of all children of school-age is are handicapped, 37% of which are outside school, 5.8% of them in special schools (0.2% of them in vocational schools), and 50% are enrolled to ordinary secondary schools.

Quality and benefit of primary education

Curriculum, syllabus and methodology

During the previous system, the education system was ideological due to the special need to establish socialism and communism, and it was directed to dispense knowledge. In connection with the objective, this curriculum was highly academic.and operated within a tight syllabus set by the administration.

In accordance with the teaching goals teachers were considered as the active component of teaching and pupils were passive subjects. Teaching method was essentially teacher-centered.

In the transition to a humanitarian and democratic society, activities are being carried out to separate curriculum at all education levels from any party’s ideology, to supply schools and teachers with opportunities to provide flexible teaching activities, which suit the learners needs, new national curriculum and evaluation standards are designed to make schools and teachers independent, and to change teaching objectives, curriculum, syllabus and methodology so that knowledge gained will be helpful in students.

The Ministry of Education defines primary and secondary education policy and curriculum that will be followed throughout the country and outlines the syllabus, the duration of teaching and the total hours of each subject. The curriculum is divided into ‘core’ and ‘optional’. The core curriculum should be followed in all schools and the optional parts can be developed in each school. Teachers can consider learners interests and the community needs and up to 30% of the curriculum can be developed in individual schools or schools in a region. Methodological prescriptions are not provided and abolishing initial control has changed the tendency to focus on lessons when designing syllabus, with the focus on developing children, and or to with consideration of both learners’ needs and teachers’ interests.

Before the transition the result and success of teaching were evaluated by what was memorized, now there is evaluation of how information is used in practical activities, and whether learners approach an activity with their own individual attitude. In other words, we are changing the evaluation system, with success of teaching judged not only by the knowledge but also by the combination of ability and skills. Evaluation is done by teachers and schools during the teaching process, but the final evaluation by level (for passage

from primary to secondary, from secondary to upper secondary education examinations) is organized by professional examinations, with the participant of parents, schools and teachers.

According to the newly adopted national curriculum standards, the purpose of the primary education curriculum is to give learner’s below-mentioned knowledge, ability, and skills:

Teaching staff

Qualification of teachers

In our country primary school teachers are prepared in universities, higher schools and colleges. The professionals who graduated from universities and colleges with a teacher’s diploma have the rights to teach. While the percentage of trained teachers of the total was 95.9% in 1991, it reached 96.8% in 1998. The advantage of our education system at all levels is that even during the previous system, most of the teachers were professionally prepared. This achievement has been maintained during the transition period to the market economy. The colleges and universities that prepare teachers if anything have expanded in recent years and a number of private colleges and universities, established during the last few years, are training teachers. In 1998, the difference between the city and countryside in terms of quantified professional teachers disappeared.

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Total number of primary school teachers

5672

6165

6292

6662

7064

7562

7679

7750

Number of qualified primary school teachers

5396

5962

5882

6345

6811

7168

7502

7499

Percentage of qualified teachers among the total number of teachers

95,1

96,7

93,5

95,2

96,4

94,8

97,7

96,8

 

In 1998, 41.8% of all teachers were primary school teachers of grades one to four and 21.4% of these had master’s or bachelor’s degree, 72.5% had diploma, and 6.1% had a upper-secondary education (but no teacher training). (Chart 27)

Teachers’ experience

In terms of experience in 1998, about the same number of teachers had served more than ten years at those who had served less. In other words, the average of service was about ten years. (Chart 28) not available

Gender of teachers

According to the primary school teachers’ gender, 17.3% of them were male, 82.7% were female in 1990, but it dropped down to7.6% for male teachers and increased up to 92.4% for female teachers in 1998. (Chart 29)

This change is connected with the decrease of living standards and the unsatisfying salary of teachers, this has encouraged male teachers, many of whom have more family responsibilities, to change their jobs into ones with high salary.

Until 1995, the fixed salary of primary school teachers was lower than other teachers, but this was changed by government order and it became the same as other teachers. Furthermore, the minimum salary of teachers is confirmed by the government and teachers get additional pay for other related activities (consultancy, exams, notebook checking, etc.) and for additional professional degrees. Also schools have rights to increase teachers salaries according to their teaching load. Teachers’ salaries (and government workers) is being increased as to the state budget increases, but it is not still sufficient for many teachers to run their life normally. The lower salary of teachers compared with the other professionals is making it difficult to attract an equal number of male and female teachers, especially at the primary level.

38.5% of high school pupils are boys and 61.5% are girls, but the proportion becomes 30:70 in higher education institutions. For the colleges and universities that train primary school teachers, this ratio is even more dramatic, 10:90. In other words, in the near future our country may have focus more on boys’ education.

Teacher-pupil ratio

The number of learners per primary school teacher, which was 28.9 in 1990, increased up to 32.4 in 1998. It is greater than the average (24-25 in 1990) of the countries that belong to upper and middle levels according to their indicators of human development, and smaller than the average of lower level countries (45 in 1990). The teacher-pupil ratio shows possible increased efficiency, but on the other hand, it has poor influence on teaching quality. (Chart 30)

Number of pupils per class in primary schools

The number of pupils per class in primary schools in the last 3 years indicates that both country totals for the country and the number in the city and rural areas have increased. However, the increase in urban areas has been fueled by increased migration to the cities because of the difference in development between the city and countryside. This migration is expected to grow in the next several years. It is an issue that requires development policy attention. Generally, the number of pupils per class in primary schools is not serious, but the decreased number of pupils per class in high schools, which is below the country average, provokes the issue of school buildings and location. (Chart 31)

Promotion, repetition and dropouts

For the last 8 years 0.7-0.9% of all learners are repeaters. Among the primary school repetition the greatest proportion is at the first grade.

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Percentage of repetition in primary schools

0.9

0.2

0.3

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.9

Percentage of 1st grade repetition among the total repetition

 

24.906

54.392

54.855

52

51.446

51.185

42.443

44.171

40.112

In 1998, 94.3% of all primary school pupils were promoted to the next level, 0.9% repeated and 4.7% dropped out. If we look at primary school promotion, repetition and dropouts in grades, 1.4% of 1st grade pupils repeated, 6.2% dropped out, which are comparatively higher than other grades, and 92.5% were promoted successfully, which is comparatively lower than other grades. (Chart 32)

Repetition in primary schools, especially in 1st grade, may bring negative consequences. Making newly enrolled children repeat because of their learning has not only a strong effect on children’s psychology, but also makes them lose confidence, decreases their interest in learning and leads them towards dropouts. Repetition might be one reason for primary school dropouts. For the last few years, most part of primary school dropouts have been children who are dropped behind. The current method of evaluating pupils’ knowledge, ability and skills has been used since 1998, following the reform in the teaching system from the Ministry of Education. By this new evaluation approach using grades to discourage pupils is a voided; grade should not be used for discrimination or punishment. It is encouraged to evaluate pupils flexibly, with lots of variations, and teachers are given possibilities to evaluate primary school pupils with oral, informal assessments and to evaluate them by their development, rather than traditional grades based only on testsd. Also it is advised to try not to make primary school pupils repeat. Even though the evaluation system in primary schools may be developed to help keep children interested in learning by being flexible to their age and peculiarity, the dropping behind will still exist if the teaching methodology is not improved. It is necessary to improve the evaluation system so that teacher does not push out the pupils, who are not doing well, using formal evaluation approaches.

Success and quality of teaching

In our country, primary (4th grade), secondary (8th grade) and complete-secondary (10th grade) education examinations are given to pupils who are going to finish each level. Primary education examinations are given in Mongolian language and mathematics. According to the examinations given to the 4th grade pupils in 1998-1999 academic year, the pass rate was 89.3%, with 54.8% rated as outstanding the pass rate of Mongolian language was 93.0%, with 61.0% rated as outstanding.

An ‘Evaluation of public education" exercise, the evaluation of teaching quality was studied to find out how school and family environs affected teaching quality. In the frame of this activity, examinations on Mongolian language, mathematics and life skills were given to pupils of 123 schools that were chosen from 5 regions.

Reading and writing skills

/Mongolian language/

Mathematics

Life skills

93.8%

71.2%

90.6%

Compared with the 1998-1999 primary education examinations, the pass rate of pupils involved in the ‘Evaluation of teaching success’ examination was the same in Mongolian language, but the pass rate of mathematics was 18.9% lower.

In this study, achievement in mathematics appeared to be declining, suggesting that mathematics learning should be reformed, stressing the applied.

Monitoring Learning Achievement project

Objective

The main aim of the project is to strengthen the national capacity in the monitoring of the quality of basic education.

Sample design

The assessment covered a sample of 6 from 22 provinces, 94 from 660 primary and secondary schools and 2545 from 56400 pupils of 4th grade.

Content

Tentative results

Test results by geographical distribution

 

School location

pupil

total

Mongolian language

50 and over

Mongolian language

80 and over

Average score

StdDev

A URBAN

529

522

98.7%

280

52.9%

30.2

79.5%

4.1

B SEMI-URBAN

815

782

96.0%

394

48.3%

29.5

77.6%

6.2

C RURAL

1201

1084

90.3%

322

26.8%

26.5

69.7%

5.9

 

School location

Pupil

Total

Math

50 and over

Math

80 and over

Average score

StdDev

A URBAN

529

472

89.2%

169

31.9%

24.5

69.9%

5.6

B SEMI-URBAN

815

636

78.0%

131

16.1%

21.8

62.1%

5.9

C RURAL

1201

703

58.5%

97

8.1%

19.0

54.2%

5.8

 

School location

Pupil

Total

Life skills

50 and over

Life skills

80 and over

Average score

StdDev

A URBAN

529

526

99.4%

195

36.9%

44.9

76.0%

6.4

B SEMI-URBAN

815

780

95.7%

280

34.4%

43.4

73.5%

7.5

C RURAL

1201

999

83.2%

135

11.2%

37.8

64.0%

8.4

Result of mathematics test

 

Province ID

 

Province name

pupil

total

 

Math

50 and over

 

Math

80 and over

Average

score

 

StdDev

1

ARKHANGAI

267

130

48.7%

9

3.4%

17.5

49.9%

5.8

8

DUNDGOVI

261

167

64.0%

42

16.1%

20.6

58.9%

6.1

13

SELENGE

373

259

69.4%

59

15.8%

20.5

58.7%

6.2

16

KHOVD

262

179

68.3%

42

16.0%

21.2

60.6%

6.3

18

KHENTII

347

236

68.0%

35

10.1%

20.0

57.0%

5.6

20

ULAANBAATAR

1035

840

81.2%

210

20.3%

22.5

64.2%

6.0

MONGOLIA

2545

1811

71.2%

397

15.6%

20.4

58.2%

6.0


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