Your excellency, Vice Minister Urgamaltsetseg, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and children!
It is my great pleasure to be here to represent the World Bank for the opening of this kindergarten which was supported by the Global Partnership for Education – Early Childhood Education (GPE-ECE) project.
The Government of Mongolia has been working to meet the challenge of ensuring schooling for all while at the same time addressing the pressures posed by a surge in fertility rates. This project helps by providing access to early childhood education for children in disadvantaged communities and seeks to reduce social inequality in Mongolia.
A total of US$ 12.12 million is dedicated to finance the project in the period of 2012 – 2015 in building 17 kindergartens in Ulaanbaatar, as well as establishing and equipping ger kindergartens in 100 soums in 14 aimags.
This project is one of several initiatives of the Government and the World Bank to support education in Mongolia over the years. The Rural Education and Development (READ) project provided classroom libraries and teacher training on literacy to all rural primary schools throughout the nation. Similarly, the Global Education for All - Fast Track Initiative upgraded education quality at all levels of schooling and ensured that education services can be accessed by children in all parts of the country, including rural areas, and by poor and vulnerable groups. The Community Initiative Funds under the Sustainable Livelihoods Project is also assisting in the development of the education sector, upgrading facilities and allowing more rural children from nomadic families to go to school full time. We hope to continue this partnership in the future with the Education Quality Reform project, focusing on school level planning.
But our purpose today is to celebrate the construction of this kindergarten, and the purpose to which it will be put! On behalf of the World Bank team, I wish to express my thanks to the Ministry of Education and Science and to the project team for the Global Partnership for Education – Early Childhood Education project for making this kindergarten a reality. I hope that Kindergarten 42 brings many years of learning and opportunity for the children who come here!