Mongolia officially launches the Education Policy Review Report in Ulaanbaatar
Mongolia is a unique country that has distinctive ancient culture of nomadic herding and is one of very few countries today where pastoralism is a dominant identity. At the same time, Mongolia is facing unique social, economic and environmental challenges related to a dispersed population living across a vast territory. On 17 September 2020, the final Education Policy Review (EPR) Report in Mongolia was officially launched in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, offering timely recommendations to reform the education system to align socio-economic needs of the country. On behalf of UNESCO, Mr. Tapan Mishra, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, presented both the English and Mongolian volumes of the Report to Ms. Tsedevsuren Lkhagva, Mongolian Minister of Education and Science (MoES).
Hon. Tsedevsuren Lkhagva, Mongolian Minister of Education and Science, expressed her sincere appreciation to UNESCO for partnering with MoES so as to assess the country’s strengths and weaknesses related to education system and practices. The Minister reiterated that Mongolia is deeply committed to reforming and strengthening the education system in alignment with SDG 4 localization and the Education Vision 2050.
The Minister reminded launch participants of the critical role of education as a driver of sustainable development. She stressed the importance of this report that had significantly contributed to the preparation of Mongolia’s Education Medium Term Development Plan (ESMTDP) 2021-2030. She pledged Mongolia Government’s commitment to implementing the policy recommendations for the critical education sector development and reform, and highlighted the policy recommendations in lifelong learning in the report as one of the key areas to support Mongolia’s achievement of SDG 4 targets. The Minister also reaffirmed Mongolia Government’s commitment to promote quality and equity education for all, through addressing the gaps and challenges identified in the EPR report.
Mr. Tapan Mishra, the UN Resident Coordinator, commended the in-depth review of the education sector, leading to clear policy recommendations for implementation by the Ministry of Education and Science. He applauded UNESCO’s technical support and commitment to strengthen the education system in Mongolia, which will ultimately contribute to a holistic, equitable, inclusive and quality education development of Mongolia, and to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 in Mongolia. Mr. Mishra assured the Minister of the Mongolia UN Country Team’s strong commitment to work with MoES to advance Education Reform Agenda in Mongolia.
Dr. Marielza Oliveira, Director of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, emphasized the critical role of Education for socioeconomic development and thus policy planning’s importance in this area underpinned by solid evidence. She highlighted that the Mongolia Education Policy Review was a part of the ongoing policy review that UNESCO is conducting in Member States. The review in Mongolia focused on the critical elements that shape education as a fundamental human right. The Director acknowledged that the policy recommendations highlight in the Report have been incorporated in Mongolia’s Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan 2021-2030 (ESMTDP) and Education Vision 2050. She reiterated UNESCO’s continuous support towards strengthening the institutional capacity of the MoES in key education areas, as well as in equipping education officials with the tools and skills to design a better education strategy and system.
The Education Policy Review was a critical analysis of the Education Sector and an in-depth assessment of the policies and programmes aligned with the development aspirations of the Mongolian Government within the framework of the Education 2050 vision and sustainable development strategy of Mongolia and Mongolia Education Medium Term Development Plan (ESMTDP) 2021-2030.
Consistent with SDG4-Education 2030, this Report adopts a lifelong learning as a guiding principle and it takes a comprehensive, system-wide, approach to education. Both are reflected in the structuring of this Report according to the three thematic priorities. This Report combines national and international knowledge and expertise, and takes into consideration relevant research and analysis, reports, statistics, and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders and development partners during a series of field visits to Mongolia.
A presentation by Mr. Gwang Chol Chang, Chief of Education Policy Section at UNESCO Headquarters, presented the key highlights and findings of the EPR Report. The Report covered four main policy domains: (i) Teacher policy, teaching and learning; (ii) Mainstreaming ICT in Education and Learning; (iii) Promoting Access and Retention of Herder Children; (iv) Addressing systemic issues to ensure lifelong learning for all. The prioritization of recommendations can be found on P177-187 of the main report.
Mr. Keith Holmes, Programme Specialist from UNESCO HQ, highlighted the process of the education policy review process in Mongolia. He thanked all the experts and contributors towards the preparation of the report. Ms. Caroline Dyer, the international consultant of the policy review stressed on key issues of policy domain. And Ms. Nergui Nerendoo, the national consultant of the policy review process shared her perspectives on the policy review. Mr. Hiromichi Miyashita from the Japanese Embassy presented on behalf of the Local Education Group (LEG) in Mongolia on the reflections on the education policy review. Mr. Robert Parua, Programme Specialist from UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office also shared his reflections on the key issues of education policy planning and implementation.
Due to COVID-19, the launch was organized simultaneously in the UN House in Ulaanbaatar and virtually online. More than 40 participants attended the launch, representing the Ministry of Education and Sciences, the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, Mongolia Institute of Education Research (MIER), UNESCO HQ, Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau in Bangkok and Beijing Office, UN agencies, Development Partners and research institutes. The launch was covered widely in national and local media in Mongolia.
UNESCO Education: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education
EPR report: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373687
UNESCO Education Policy Reviews: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-policy-planning/policy-reviews
Education Policy and Planning: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-policy-planning
Main photo credit: ©Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO