Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA) was established in 2004 as a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization as a successor to the education program of the Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros Foundation) with the aim to strengthen and sustain a network of local and international partners, who contribute to open society values in the Mongolian education sector identifying underserved areas of education reform and initiating programs and projects to enhance equal access to education, transparency and accountability in civil society. With this aim, MEA contributes to its mission to create a society where every young person in Mongolia enjoys their right to a quality education and develop their full potential, irrespective of social and economic barriers.
Currently MEA operates in three programmatic areas of early childhood development, youth development and teacher and school development. Over the past 12 years of its existence, MEA has reached all public schools in Mongolia including small rural schools through various programs and projects
- to improve the access to quality early childhood, primary and secondary education,
- support school development in the areas of inclusion, community involvement, and school management,
- disseminate child-centered methodology as well interactive and innovative teaching methodologies and critical thinking to teachers and other professionals working with children,
- foster extra-curricular, after-school programs that support children’s right to expression and right to participation,
- identify issues that are affecting access to and quality of education, equity as well as accountability in education through qualitative research and bring it up to discussion among the education community and the general public
- advocate for inclusive education, quality of education, professionalism of teachers, effective governance as well as informed, participatory decision-making in the education sector.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF PROGRAM AND ITS ACHIEVEMENTS
Critical reading and writing methodology:
Reading, loving books, reading for comprehension, expressing oneself in writing and orally, having discussions and dialogues based on their reading, thinking creatively and critically all contribute to the skills that are crucial to lifelong learning, meaningful life, willingness to contribute to the wellbeing of the society and becoming better human beings. In close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, World Bank and other international organizations and individual supporters, MEA has reached over 15,000 teachers and 140 000 children from 834 schools through a variety of complex activities, such as training on critical reading and writing, developing and disseminating books and manuals, creating children's picture books, establishing classroom libraries and community Book Gers, organizing summer reading camps, and guiding parents in supporting their children’s literacy.
Child centered teaching methodology: The methodology to create a warm, welcoming learning environment that supports early childhood development and to organize integrated learning activities based on children’s needs and interests has been promoted and disseminated to 3 teacher training institutions, over 15890 children in 480 kindergarten classes, 150 general education classes, their families, and more than 780 teachers. Child-centered learning environment and methodology has been served as policy models for schools, parents, as well as at the national and regional level in close collaboration with ISSA, OSF, Save the Children Japan, World Vision and Good Neighbors.
Supporting youth rights to participation and expression: Through implementing after school programs, such as Student journalism, Youth leadership, Debate education, and Film clubs MEA has been ensuring children and young people’s participation in expressing their views, promoting discussions and dialogues, seeking pluralist attitude towards issues and making decisions, promoting and protecting human rights by reaching more than 7,000 teachers, children and young people from 250 schools nationwide in collaboration with OSF, UNICEF Mongolia, and UNESCO Beijing.
Community school: MEA has been working with over 50 urban and rural schools to support them to become a development and an enlightenment centers in their communities through promoting Management and Co-operation, Community involvement and service, Volunteer activities, Lifelong learning, Community Development, Parental involvement and School culture partnering with International Community School initiative that operates in 10 countries.
“Open school” monthly newspaper: We have been publishing a monthly newspaper “Open school” for 18 years reaching teachers, educators, researchers and policy makers. It aims to contribute to school-based reform, innovations in teaching and learning, community involvement in the educational reform, promotion of rights, voices and partnerships among all stakeholders and is an important tribune for exchange of best practices.
School based teacher professional development activity: School-based, on-the-job teacher professional development training is MEA's brand activity. It has been promoting and disseminating education reform on school and teacher development, communication and attitude change, child-centered and interactive teaching methodology through more than 40 different training modules reaching over 20 000 teachers from 990 schools nationwide. Besides training delivered, the counseling, mentoring and feedback activities are organized on a regular basis as training follow up. This initiative is supported by the MECS, TPDI, local education departments and international development partners.
Parent education: By emphasizing active involvement of parents, caregivers and family members in child growth, development and education, and based on the schools and communities, variety of basic training and development activities are organized for parents in the area of parental involvement and their role in child development, working with children and preparation to school in order to support them to create favorable home environment for their children to learn and develop.
Inclusive education: Regardless of social, economic, health and other barriers, every child should enjoy the right to education. To this end, favorable environment for the child development and child-centered learning activities should be promoted. The aim of inclusive education is to support schools, preschools, parents and communities in pursuing these principles. Based on the experience gained in inclusion of children with disabilities into education, MEA has been continuously supporting schools and kindergartens in changing their methodologies and attitudes and establishing policies and cultures that nurture inclusion in close partnership with OSF, UNICEF Mongolia, All for Education National Civil Society Coalition.
Research: In identifying the issues facing the education sector, drawing public attention to them, and offering solutions and recommendations, MEA has actively been participating in policy discussions and advocacy activities towards development of education sector through international comparative and national studies such as School dropouts, Private tutoring, School teacher, Proposal to change secondary school "normative cost-based" funding formula, Impact of the government Free Kindergarten Meal program. Our research initiatives are supported by and in partnership with the ADB, UNICEF Mongolia, OSF, NEPC, and All for Education National Civil Society Coalition.
Network: MEA is proud of being an active member of following international and national professional and civil society networks sharing their experiences and voicing themselves: International Step by Step Association, Network of Education Policy Centers, International Consortium for Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking, Asia, South Pacific Association of Basic and Adult Education, International Debate Education Association, “All for Education” National Civil Society Coalition, “Citizen budget watch” NGO network, and Inclusive Education network.