MONGOLIA PROGRESSING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, KUDOS!Erle Frayne D. Argonza
The scions of Genghiz Khan have slept for so many centuries since the heydays of their great ancestor. Genghiz Khan began an accelerated formation of central institutions of power and the growth of civilization among his tribes, thus transforming tribal primitivism to civilizational oasis.
Genghiz Khan’s lineages are that of Kublai Khan in China and the Mogul emperors Akbar, Shah Jehan, and others in India. Such is the greatness that Mongolia left upon the entire planet, to which I am in full awe and admiration for its people. And, I am saddened by the long dormancy or sleep that befell the great emperor’s scions, who at one time aped the Stalinist devils of Soviet ignominy to no avail.
“Time’s they are a-changing” today in Mongolia, and economic growth is rapid. Like the thunderous East Asia to the south and east of its borders, Mongolia is upbeat from economics to human development pursuits (health, education, gender empowerment).
The same pattern of growth is now wakening the education sector in Mongolia, inclusive of its tertiary education. Below is a very gladdening report from the Asian Development Bank about the innovations taking place in tertiary education in Genghiz Khan’s land.
[Philippines, 02 September 2011]
ADB Supports Mongolia's Push for More Relevant Higher Education
29 Jul 2011
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $20 million equivalent loan to help Mongolia improve the quality of its higher education system and increase enrollment by youth from poor, remote communities.
The ADB Board of Directors yesterday approved the financing for the Higher Education Reform Project. Along with strengthening the relevance of existing higher education programs, it will also address issues such as governance and management, financing, and access.
“The ultimate goal is to boost the number of graduates who have the skills to match Mongolia’s changing economic needs, and who can bring international standards to its labor markets,” said Robert Schoellhammer, Country Director of ADB Mongolia Resident Mission.
Mongolia has over 100 higher education institutions but only about 40% of graduates manage to find employment. In response, the Government of Mongolia has drawn up a plan to rationalize higher education which includes reducing the large number of public universities from 42 to 16, and improving teaching and programs.
The project will aid the government’s plan by funding research facilities, staff training, e-learning centers and testing centers. It will aim to strengthen management capacity at universities to improve accountability and transparency, and will support new public-private partnerships and twinning arrangements with industry and foreign institutions to develop labor market-ready graduates.
It will also seek to tackle current imbalances in the system where few students from poor families in remote areas take higher education courses, and boys—despite being strongly outnumbered by girls—get the bulk of jobs on offer after graduation.
“Assistance will be given to increase state support mechanisms for students who are poor or living in distant areas, and for policies that can improve gender balance,” said Eisuke Tajima, Education Specialist in ADB’s East Asia Department. “As part of this initiative four rural institutions will be chosen to pilot distance learning courses to reach out to more students.”
ADB’s loan from its concessional Asian Development Fund has a 32-year term and will fund 90% of the project cost with the government providing an additional $2.2 million. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will manage the project which is due for completion by December 2016.
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