The JICA Grassroots Technical Cooperation Project organized the study tour from 15 to 25 December 2019. Eleven members of the Mongolian project team composed of local government directors, methodologists, a school principal, lower secondary school teachers, and a local project coordinator participated in activities in Japan. The purpose of the study tour was to learn effective ICT use at schools with good practices and apply it to their teaching material development and lesson plans in the Mongolian context.
During the study tour, the team visited three lower secondary schools, three high schools, and Tokyo Metropolitan School Personnel Inservice Teacher Training Center. Also, the team participated in the annual assembly of the Super Global High schools (SGH) and the World Wide Learning (WWL) associated schools organized by MEXT, in which students from designated schools all over Japan discussed on global challenges towards sustainable development in thematic group sessions and poster presentation sessions.
Through the school visits, the Mongolian team observed various lessons with ICT and had discussion on curriculum and lesson content development. For eample, in Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology, the team members were controlling robot car with instruction by students who developed the robot in the engineering class. In Oomori 6th Lower Secondary School, team members discussed unique ESD curriculum and activities with school principal. In Hakuo High School, especially the use of online quiz creating platform, Kahoot! program and online interactive communication platform, Mentimeter program used in the lessons drew team members’ attention. Team members joined the practical session using Kahoot! program. Also, Mongolian team members shared their big interest in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative which is currently tested in Japan to promote students’ use of their own smartphones and tablets for educational purposes in the classroom. Team members discussed with school teachers about effective use of students’ own ICT devices in schools such as support for students who do not have ICT devices and control over students’ appropriate use of ICT devices at school.
In the teacher training institute, the Mongolian team enthusiastically observed the training for an experiment in biology subject. Team members said that the training was quite instructive because the experiment demonstrated with locally available materials such as magnifying glasses and garden flowers in a schoolyard was applicable to the Mongolian school curriculum. Team members also mentioned that it was interesting to learn the training contents focusing on practical methods for raising students’ curiosity by considering students’ points of view rather as well as theoretical aspects.
Students’ active discussion on global issues in the annual assembly of the SGH and WWL schools impressed the Mongolian team members. Team members were excited to bring the idea of “think globally and act locally” back to Mongolian education to encourage students to use their knowledge to address global issues. Also, inspired by students’ diverse activities addressing different SDGs, team members emphasized that all SDGs can be students’ learning contents. Besides the intensive visiting schedule mentioned above, the Mongolian team experienced a unique atmosphere of Tokyo, visiting Senso-Ji temple in Asakusa and Tokyo Tower, and enjoyed visiting Shibuya and Ginza to bring the scent of the city to their families.