In 2006, the Government of Mongolia and the education sector were recovering from the fall of communism and the subsequent departure of Soviet support. The government was working hard to protect public spending on education and to recover from a drop in enrollments that occurred in the mid-1990s.
Education remained a high priority within the government’s overall action plan, which supported strengthening basic education in Mongolia by raising the capacity of education administrators and teachers and by fostering competition.
The government knew that low levels of educational attainment were key determinants of poverty and that poverty could be a key factor that limited access to and quality of schooling. Therefore, investment in education was important because improvements in the sector could break the intergenerational transmission of poverty and were consistent with Mongolia’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The project assisted Mongolia in enhancing the quality of education in rural primary schools, grades 1-5, by improving students' access to, and use of, quality learning materials and improving teachers' skills through the promotion of professional networks.
This has been achieved specifically through:
- The establishment of classroom libraries in rural schools and selected kindergartens, dorms and non-formal education centers;
- The improvement in learning conditions in rural schools through the provision of classroom furniture for grade 1 students and bookshelves for grade 1-5 classrooms;
- The development and implementation of a training program to promote improved teaching strategies among teachers, methodologists in early childhood development, school principals and managers, and librarians;
- The promotion of reading activities for families and children while at home and at school.
The introduction of classroom libraries with an appropriate, child-friendly approach to teacher training made teachers, students and parents more engaged in the education process.