Valuing international volunteers in the Mongolian education sector

The Mongolian Education Sector: the Role of International Volunteers
Emily Hickson
By Emily Hickson: August 3rd, 2011

Last month, VSO Mongolia published The Mongolian Education Sector: the Role of International Volunteers, a research report written by VSO staff, Tsolmon Gundenbal and VSO volunteer Aliénor Salmon.

The report reveals that although education is a priority for the Mongolian Government there are still many challenges. The findings showed the overwhelming majority of stakeholders in education gave a negative response when asked about the performance of the sector at present, in terms of quality, access and inclusiveness . The research team interviewed public officials, teachers, international volunteers and parents.

However, the report did show that international volunteers have, and continue to, make a significant impact in the development of the education sector. Sixty-seven per cent of respondents regarded international volunteers as having played a crucial role in education in Mongolia.  International volunteering is  helping to tackle the challenges of achieving quality and inclusivity in education in Mongolia with an aim of achieving the ultimate goal of ‘education for all’ as well as the millennium development goals.

The report was launched at the Khan Bank theatre on 30 June 2011 in the presence of the country’s key education actors. The key findings were presented by authors Tsolmon Gundenbal and Aliénor Salmon and there were panel discussions involving various education stakeholders. The event was the first to celebrate IYV+10 (the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers) in Mongolia. IYV+10 is being celebrated around the world by many volunteer-involving organisations, including VSO.

The report has been distributed to all important decision makers in Mongolia including the President, the Minister of Education, UN agencies and provincial education department directors. UN Volunteers headquarters has also requested a copy of the report and may reference it in this year’s report of the state of world volunteerism.

The report received widespread coverage and was published online by the UN and UNDP in Mongolia as well as in the Mongolian English language newspaper, the Mongol Messenger.

The report is a real achievement for VSO Mongolia as it continues to promote the value of volunteering in education. VSO has been working in education in Mongolia since 1991.


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