Mongolia: Early Childhood Education for Rural, Nomadic, and Migrant Children

Sovereign Project | 42222-012

Summary

The proposed project will (i) improve access of poor children from rural and nomadic families to ECE programs; (ii) mobilize communities (teachers, parents, social workers) and key national, provincial, and district leaders in promoting ECE; (iii) train teachers, parents, and caregivers in ECE delivery; (iv) develop ECE curriculum, teachers' guide, and reference materials; and (v) develop proactive strategies leading directly to the provision of ECE that will be integrated into and be complementary to the formal education system in Mongolia and ensure robust monitoring and evaluation of project implementation to produce evidence for oilicy making.

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Project Name Early Childhood Education for Rural, Nomadic, and Migrant Children
Project Number 42222-012
Country Mongolia
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9138-MON: Early Childhood Education for Rural, Nomadic, and Migrant Children
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 2.89 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Education - Pre-primary and primary
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description The proposed project will (i) improve access of poor children from rural and nomadic families to ECE programs; (ii) mobilize communities (teachers, parents, social workers) and key national, provincial, and district leaders in promoting ECE; (iii) train teachers, parents, and caregivers in ECE delivery; (iv) develop ECE curriculum, teachers' guide, and reference materials; and (v) develop proactive strategies leading directly to the provision of ECE that will be integrated into and be complementary to the formal education system in Mongolia and ensure robust monitoring and evaluation of project implementation to produce evidence for oilicy making.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Mongolia's National Development Strategy (2008) states that one of the key priorities of the Government of Mongolia (the Government) is improving the quality and access to basic education and health services, to support employment and income-generating activities, thereby improving the social safety net and supporting sustainable human development. In implementing these activities, the Government will ensure that the poor and vulnerable groups of society have equal access to basic social services, thus supporting their opportunities for employment and participation in economic activities. It means that having a person access satisfactory education, food availability, and health is the prerequisite to prevention of, and moving away from poverty and vulnerability, especially intergenerational poverty.

The Asian Development Bank's (ADB?s) country strategy and program update 2007-2009 confirms the overall direction of the 2006-2008 country strategy and program and its priority focus on poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals. The country operations business plan 2009-2011 (currently under preparation) identifies early childhood education (ECE) as a priority issue and makes improving access to ECE, particularly among rural and nomadic children, part of the overall outcome to be attained by 2015. As a lead development partner in Mongolia's education sector, ADB is in the process of reprogramming its assistance to Mongolia to address immediate needs in the social sectors, including education.

Impact Improved access to quality early childhood education (ECE) programs among children aged 3-6 years from disadvantaged families in Mongolia
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Availability, awareness, and demand for ECE programs increased in project areas; and MECS capacity to coordinate, finance, monitor, and implement ECE programs developed
Progress Toward Outcome The project has been completed as of 31 December 2014. The project set-up 135 ger-kindergartens in the target 4 aimags and 2 districts of Ulaanbaatar city in 2012-2013. The parents were very pleased for having an opportunity to send their children to the kindergartens. Series of in-service teacher training have been provided for the teachers to work at the project ger-kindergartens. The curriculum, teachers' guidebook and handbook for parents were developed and distributed to the parents who enrolled their children in the project ger-kindergartens. Guideline for behavior change campaign for parents was approved by MEDS under which 2 types of TV programs and 6 types of TV social advertisements on ECE have been prepared adn aired. The provision of ECE through a mobile phone service has been successfully piloted under the project.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Pilot approaches to ECE delivery for vulnerable children designed and tested

2. Awareness of and demand for ECE programs increased and capacity to plan, finance, coordinate, and monitor ECE enhanced

3. Guidelines, policies, and strategies developed and discussed with the Government

4. Project management, and monitoring and evaluation system established

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The project has been successfully implemented and competed by December 2013. The only remaining activity is completion of the project final audit.

Below are the main highlights of the project:

" 22 master trainers have been trained by the Mongolian Education Alliance, the project consulting entity, in 2010. In total 391 daycare workers and caregivers participated in the training held at the aimag level.

" The second phase of the refresher teacher training module was developed by late 2012, and 22 local master trainers from the project areas were trained. The refresher teacher training was organized for 160 teachers and assistant teachers of ger-kindergartens in 2013. The MEA also conducted the first module of training for parents. The second module will be delivered in August 2013.

" Healthy food for kindergarten's children training for cooks and principals was conducted by Health for New Society NGO. 150 cooks and principals of ger-kindergartens got involved in the training.

" Cognitive development toys and a mini-library with 96 kinds of books were provided to the project ger-kindergartens. CDs with fairy tales and children's songs were duplicated and disseminated to the kindergartens and caregivers. MECS approved PIU's proposal of providing additional necessary items to existing 76 ger-kindergartens. Budget estimates and technical specifications of items to procure were approved by MECS. Contract was awarded to the supplier of children's toys for additional 60 ger-kindergartens. MECS decided to provide 99 kinds of books for additional 60 ger kindergartens, and selection is being reviewed by ADB.

" The EA/PIU developed the ECE program/model to operate ger-kindergartens for extended period of 9 months. The ger-kindergartens have been delivered in summer 2012 starting the implementation of the model. Totally 76 ger-kindergartens along with equipments, appliances and a mini-library were supplied to the target areas. 75 ger-kindergartens have been established enrolling 1,917 children. Unfortunately, the ger-kindergarten of in Khishig-Undur sum of Bulgan aimag was burnt down because of an electricity wire issue. In order to increase the ECE enrollment, the MECS decided to set-up additional 60 ger- kindergartens in the project areas. The procurement of Mongolian gers and goods for new ger-kindergartens have been completed.

" 10,000 pieces of handbooks for parents were printed and delivered to 76 ger-kindergartens and other stakeholders. 10,000 pieces of CDs with fairy tales and children's songs were duplicated and disseminated. A guideline of media campaign was approved by MECS. Within the framework of the campaign 6 types of short television advertisements and 2 types of TV spots were produced. Advertisements and TV spots are being aired on Mongolian National Broadcaster. TV live discussion is planned to be held in August 2013.

" Training on ECE policy and planning was conducted in 4 aimags with 173 participants including local authorities and ECE specialists. Guideline for administrative personnel of ECE was printed and disseminated. Capacity building strategy for ECE teachers was developed by PP consultant and submitted to MECS.

" The project developed and submitted draft amendment to the law on Preschool Education. The regulation on alternative ECE, developed by the project consultants, was approved by MECS in November 2012. The project team submitted a draft regulation on School Readiness Assessment to MECS for approval.

" Alternative ECE curriculum for the pilot program was approved by MECS and is being piloted at the project ger-kindergartens. The curriculum was published and distributed to the teachers and parents. The curriculum will be revised in the third quarter of 2013, and piloted at the new ger-kindergartens to be provided by 3rd quarter of 2013.

" The project printed the National Standard for ECE and Child Development for distributon to all kindergartens nationwide.

" Guideline and methodology of school readiness assessment were developed. The Project team conducted the first assessment in target areas. 329 children aged 3-5 years old were surveyed. Overall result was consolidated. Assessment result indicates that general development of children who are enrolled in project ger-kindergartens is 13% higher than children who are not enrolled in kindergartens at all.

Geographical Location Mongolia
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects None
Involuntary Resettlement None
Indigenous Peoples The Project will consider targeting Kazakhs, an ethnic minority group that represents 4.4% of Mongolia's population by selecting Bayan-Olgiy (an aimag with high concentration of Kazakhs) as one of the project sites. The Project is expected to positively affect Kazakhs, as it will provide focused ECE programs to Kazakh children in project sites, and thus promote increased primary school enrollment among this group
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design MECS has set up a multi-sectoral working group to prepare the Project. In April and May 2008, consultation meetings with MECS and key stakeholders (UNICEF, UNESCO, and Save the Children UK) were held to discuss the proposed Project. The Japanese embassy in Ulaanbaatar, MOH, MOSWL, and local governments will be consulted during project preparation. MECS and development partners are highly supportive of ADB's initiatives.
During Project Implementation MECS holds regular consultations with stakeholders in carrying out the project activities, and seeking for joint collaboration opportunities with similar projects and initiatives.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Please refer to Supplementary Appendix B.
Procurement Please refer to Supplementary Appendix C
Responsible ADB Officer Itgel Lonjid
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Mongolia Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education,Culture and ScienceMr. B. Mishigjavmishigjav@mecs.gov.mnRoom # 204, Government Building III, Ulaanbaatar 11, Mongolia
MongoliaMongolia
Timetable
Concept Clearance 15 Jul 2011
Fact Finding 15 Mar 2008 to 15 Jul 2011
MRM -
Approval 28 Aug 2009
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 15 Jul 2009
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2015

Grant 9138-MON

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Aug 2009 16 Sep 2009 16 Sep 2009 16 Sep 2012 31 Dec 2013 30 Jun 2015
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 3.09 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 28 Aug 2009 0.00 2.75 95%
Counterpart 0.20 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 2.89 28 Aug 2009 0.00 2.75 95%
Title Document Type Document Date
Early Childhood Education for Rural, Nomadic and Migrant Children Procurement Plans Mar 2013
Early Childhood Education for Rural Grant Assistance Reports Jul 2009

Safeguard Documents

See also: Safeguards

No documents found.

Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

No documents found.


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