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Global Strategic Planning Meeting
on Teacher Training in Human Rights Education

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Mongolia - Teacher Training Survey

by Altangerel Choijoo, Department of Social Sciences. The Mongolian State University of Education

1. What are the structures or institutions available in your country to conduct: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

Higher education in Mongolia is provided by universities, colleges, and institutes. Colleges mainly offer undergraduate programs, while universities focus more on research and graduate study. Teacher Training: Mongolian State University of Education is the largest institution of teacher training for all educational and scientific sectors of Mongolia. The University consists of 12 schools and 5 Teacher Training Colleges. Primary school teachers are trained at the Teacher Training colleges. Three of these colleges are located in Arkhangai, Bayan-Ulgii and Dornod provinces. Also, one college runs 4 year bachelor programs for pre-school teaching and methodology.

Secondary school teachers are trained in 12 schools of the University in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, social science, and vocational/technical education. The schools have trained specialists in about 40 professions, such as secondary school teachers, social workers, librarians, music teachers, and so on. Graduating students are awarded a Bachelor's degree in education.

Since the 1990s, private institutions have started offering higher education in Mongolia. There are currently more than 100 private institutions of higher education offering programs, mainly in the fields of economics, management, law, computer science, foreign languages, and teacher training. Most of the institutions prepare teachers, because this field does not require additional costs, such as learning environment, investments, and technical assistance.

2. Which institutions are responsible for ensuring the quality and effectiveness in your country in: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

1. The central education authority in Mongolia is the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (MOECS). The function of MOECS is defined by law as the promotion and dissemination of education, science, and culture. Nearly all publicly financed education is subordinate to or under the supervision of the Ministry. The administrative fields of the Ministry include not only pre-school, primary, secondary, vocational, and higher education and educational research, but also cultural and scientific affairs, and non-formal education. In accordance with the Education Law, the main functions of MOECS are:

2. In Mongolia there are 21 aimags (provincial centers), each of them further divided into a number of soums (rural districts). In every aimag there is an Education and Culture Department within the local government, which serves as the local educational authority. These Departments are responsible for the administration and management of government services relating to formal and non-formal education and in-service teacher training.3. Beginning in 1998 with the establishment of the National Council for Higher Education Accreditation (NCHEA), all higher education institutions are required to undergo accreditation. Only those institutions that have passed the accreditation process are eligible to receive government financial support. 4. Teachers are coached in relation to classroom teaching skills – these areas include:

3. Which institutions are responsible for policies in your country/region of: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

Since Mongolia chose the democratic and market-oriented system in 1990, one of its most important tasks has been the development of a new legal basis for education. To achieve this goal, several new legal acts, such as the State Education Policy, the Education Law, the Higher Education Law, and the Primary and Secondary Education Law were adopted by Parliament in 1995. These laws established policies of democracy and openness in educational administrative structures, decentralized the administration and financing of all public schools, transferred the management of schools to local governments in the aimags (provinces), increased the autonomy of colleges and universities, and enabled the establishment of private educational institutions.The State Education Policy defines education as a priority sector of society, as well as an important source of rapid growth of scientific, technical, economic and social development. In addition, the importance of non-formal continuing education for all was recognized for the first time.

Hence the higher-education sector has been transformed from a single, state-run multipurpose university into a decentralized group of specialized universities all having the freedom to appoint their own instructors, set their own admission and degree policies. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (MOECS) provides guidance and advice for the operation of local public and private educational institutions, as well as financial assistance. It defines policies with regard to education, science, and culture, and it is responsible for the implementation of these policies. In addition, MOECS publishes and approves textbooks and curricula and provides support for the supervision of local educational centers and national universities.

4.  What studies or evaluations have been completed in your country/region for: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

In Mongolia, there have not yet been any overall studies or evaluations conducted on pre-service and in-service teacher training. The subject has only recently been approached by the “Teacher 2005” Project, which is supported by the Open Society Institute in the Mongolian State University of Education. The project concentrates on the 3 main areas of Pre-service teacher education reform, Professional Development of University lecturers, and Curriculum Reform and School-University Partnership. It is also the biggest project in teacher training funded and administered by the Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (MFOS). While other donors such as ADB, DANIDA, UNICEF, and other international NGOs were addressing more policy-oriented issues as well as access and infrastructure, MFOS educational programs had the opportunity to demonstrate concrete examples of new approaches in school management, curricula, effective teaching methods that foster innovation among educators, and critical thinking and problem solving skills of students.

Also, there are some studies or evaluations of Mongolian educational reforms, policy, and some other special issues mentioned below:

Altantsetseg, S. (2002). Financing state higher education in Mongolia: constraints and opportunities. Available at:
Retrieved December 2004.

International Bureau of Education. UNESCO. (March, 2003). Country Dossiers Available at: 
(Mongolia). Retrieved January 2005.

EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports. Available at:
Retrieved January 2005.

Mongolian Educational Structure. Available at:

Mongolian UNDP Organization and the Mongolian Ministry of Health and Social Services (2000) Mongolian Adolescents Needs Assessment Survey. 16-17.

National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (2003). Human Rights and Freedoms in Mongolia Status Report. Available online at:
Retrieved February 2005.

National Centre for Non formal and Distance Education /UNICEF Survey Report 2003. Ulaanbaatar. Report of the National Program on Non-Formal Education: 2000-2004, National Centre for Non-formal and Distance Education (2005). Ulaanbaatar.

Steiner-Khamsi, Stolpe and Amgaabazar (2004). Rural School Development Project: Evaluation Report. p.85. (unpublished).

UNICEF (2004). Mongolia: Fostering Partnerships with Parents. Available at: Retrieved December 2004

UNESCO. The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Mongolia. Available at:

5. What effective practices exist in your country/region for (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

The Mongolian State University of Education (MSUE) is currently revising its Pre-Service Teacher Education program under the project “Teacher 2005”.  The Teacher 2005 project aims at systemic reform of Mongolian pre-service teacher education using the following strategies:

  1. Teaching and Learning through student-centered and active teaching methods, alternative assessment methods, new content, and instructional material.
  2. Partnership through collaborative institutional relationships between and among pre-service education institutions and schools for the purpose of education renewal and reform.
  3. Leadership Roles through the creation and expansion of professional roles of school and university-based educators including:
  4. Professional Preparation and Development through (1) a pre-service teacher education program with a strong curriculum and instructional base, expanded practicum experiences, mentoring and support for pre-service teachers; and (2) in-service training for university-based and school-based educators.
  5. Research, Evaluation, and Dissemination through ongoing reflection, research, evaluation, documentation, and contribution to the professional and academic educational knowledge base.
  6. Internal Systemic Change through the transformation of pre-service teacher education institutions and schools to include changes, such as a common vision of good teaching that is apparent in all course and practicum work, and standards of practice and performance to guide and evaluate course and practicum work

 The main characteristic of the reform project is the symmetrical partnership between schools and teacher training institutions. Each of the participating SPU lecturers works closely with a secondary school teacher over the course of three years. This way, teacher education becomes closer to school reality and student needs, and schools, in turn, help student teachers to become good and effective teachers.In addition, extracurricular programs have been developed mainly by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The NGOs work with other supporting actors in all provinces in managing citizen and health education programs. This collaboration has produced a number of textbooks and developed programs on human rights, democracy, and health education. For example, the Mongolian Open Society Institute has also produced a textbook on human rights and organizes training for all basic education teachers. Other institutions (for example, the Informal Education Center, Academy of Political Education, Center for Children’s Rights Protection, and other NGOs) organize similar training activities.

6.  What ways have institutions in your country/region used to monitor, be accountable and/or measure effectiveness of (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

Currently none.

7.  What strengths exist in your country/region for including human rights education into: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

8. What weaknesses exist in your country/region for: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

A number of factors have contributed to the ongoing problems of the education system, especially teacher training in Mongolia. Economic difficulties have led to a decline in public funding for education from around 11.0 per cent to 5.0 per cent of GDP. Currently, teachers’ professional development has been stopped because in-service teacher training is high in costs. Some weaknesses of the teacher training system include:

9.  What opportunities are there in your country/region for human rights education in: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

Currently, Mongolian State University of Education is putting forward a project proposal to the UNICEF Representative Office in Mongolia to establish a Human Rights Education Center at the University. This HRE Center will implement the following goals to advance pre-service and in-service teacher training:

Therefore, the teacher training institution would also cover training of trainers of human rights education. Most educational authorities and experts believe that there is sufficient technology available to teach any subject at a distance. Therefore, most of teacher training programs of in-service would be implemented through distance learning.

10.  What are threats/obstacles exist in your country/region for human rights education in: (a) pre-service teacher training (b) in-service teacher training/professional development

  1. B. Robinson. Mongolia in transition: a role for distance education? Open Learning, 1995. Page 6
  2. Mongolian Educational Structure. Available at:
  3. Mr. Barry Hitchcock Country Director, Mongolia Resident Mission Asian Development Bank  First Education Sector Development Program Available at:
  4. Robert Sedgwick, Education in Mongolia By Editor, WENR Available at:
  5. Refer to the World Education Services Grading Scale for Mongolia Available at:
  6. Asia-Pacific Centre of Educational Innovation for Development: Mongolia Country Report  Available at:
  7. Mongolian Educational Alliance, By Mercedes del Rosario,
    The Mongolian Drop-Out Study: Report  Ulaanbaatar 2005 (unpublished)
  8. Street Law Project in Mongolia, Available at:
  9. Narangerel Rinchin, Mongolia: Human Rights Education in Schools A Paper presented in HURIGHTS OSAKA. 1998
  10. By Mijid Baasanjav, Begzjav Munkhbaatar and Udval Lkhamsuren The Changing Structure of Higher Education in Mongolia
Written by: Altangerel Choijoo
Department of Social Sciences. The Mongolian State University of Education
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Friday 27 May, 2005

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