Improvements for schools, lunches and academics underway

Teachers and students assemble for the first day of the new school year
Few days remain until the start of a new academic year. According to statistics, it is expected that 50,300 children will newly enter primary schools this year. More than 523,000 children attend 753 schools nationwide. There are about 540,000 children going to 809 kindergartens, where 25,900 teachers teach in grade schools and 4,200 at kindergartens. Although the country is still in an crisis, investment was increased for the educational sector. Construction of a total of 55 buildings including 30 new kindergartens and 12 schools, 7 dormitories and 6 sport halls are underway. For this academic year, 18 kinds of textbooks have been published at printing companies which established a specific agreement with the government and currently textbooks for 1st grade have already been distributed to schools. Publication and distribution of textbooks of other grades will be succeeded before September 1.

D. Erdenechimeg, chief of General Educations Department at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences, said, “As in previous years, textbooks of primary education will be distributed free of charge while 40 percent of textbooks for secondary and high school children will be provided with government help. This means that textbooks are supposed to be given to half and full orphans, children of single parent families, disabled children and children of poor families free of charge.” To a question by MONTSAME Agency’s reporter about how the nationwide ‘Lunch’ program will be implemented this year because many children were poisoned from school lunches and it was on focus of much criticism last year. Mr. Erdenechimeg answered, “We are going to submit a proposal to the government for ensuring food safety and how to implement the Lunch Program. One of the important goals of the new academic year is to pay special attention to ensuring food safety and strict compliance of standards of safety service. From this year, we plan to transfer the Lunch Program into a lunch service stage by stage. For this, government set a policy goal to introduce services of unified food factories with highly safe new technology in Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet and Darkhan cities. For rural schools, meals will be produced in the school cafeterias.” “A transitional process into 12- year educational system will continue this year. A feature of this academic year is to begin standard reforms to develop current standards of general educational school in meeting with Cambridge international general education program. We intend to launch operation of first model laboratory school at which the new standard will be experimented. A main purpose is that every teacher should focus on organizing quality teaching for every class, be well-organized for each class, as well as to improve the quality of every class,” said Mr. Erdenechimeg. “Moreover, we have more work planned that includes a new regulation to assess knowledge and ability in schools. Overall, it will direct to encourage enthusiasm of primary school children to study. Judgment marks must not be a thing to punish children; therefore the assessment principle will be modified,” he said.
source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper


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