Since 2004, Yamaguchi-Takada laboratory has planned and implemented educational development to assist different aspect of education sector by introducing various types of ICT. In these research and project activities, our laboratory accumulated experience, knowledge and networking with the government and research institutions in Mongolia. Long term commitment is behind our current activities to furtherimprove teaching and learning in Mongolia. This page shows the overview of our Mongolian projects in earlier days.
Sustainable ICT use in Education: Developing teacher training materials using ICT funded by MEXT (2010 – 2012)
Phase I (2010 – 2011)
Introduction and objectives
In early 2000s, Mongolia had gone through a rapid development of ICT in many different sectors including education. However, the use of ICT for teacher training was still at the initial stage. In 2010, in close cooperation with Mongolian State University of Education (MSUE). This project, funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), is also a response to UNESCO’s action to assist teachers worldwide to achieve quality in-service training using ICT. Its design was based on the teachers’ needs identified by the previously implemented UNESCO project on “Rehabilitation of rural schools and teachers training in Mongolia (2004 – 2006)”. The purpose of the project was to develop quality training materials for primary teachers who need special methodological assistance for their new tasks associated with transition to 12-year schooling in Mongolia. Potential of ICT was found in the form of VCD and web-based platform for the teachers.
Figure 1. Map of the phase I activities
1. Production of teacher training VCDs and guidelines in six subjects.
The six subjects are Communication, Mongolian Language, Human and Environment, Human and Society, Art and Technology, and Mathematics. After developing, piloting, revising, and improving, these VCDs and guidelines were distributed to 700 primary schools in Mongolia.
2. Organization ofteacher training.
In this project, teacher training is a nationwide training that consists of the training of trainers, interviews with methodologists, and training and interviews of teachers. This project summarized many constructive findings from the interviews. The training for trainers involved Department of Education and Culture (DEC) primary education specialists from all aimags (provinces) and Ulaanbaatar districts. As for the training for teachers, primary education teachers from three districts of UB (Bayanzurkh, Bayangol and Nalaih) and primary education methodologists from the UB districts(total of 20) and Tuv aimag primary education teachers (total of 20)participated.
3. Assessement of web-based portal and development of the prototype.
“Bagshiin Hugjil” (BH portal), which means “Teacher Development” in English, is a web portal site developed under FTI project funded by international catalytic fund pooled by major donors to support EFA Initiatives. Under the project, a team of six professors and IT specialists from MSUE was formed to analyze the original requirements of “BH portal”, identify major obstacles for running and usability, and develop manuals for end-users and content developers. The project team also developed prototype Web-based interactive mini-tests for two subjects, Mongolian language and Communication. The team conducted a survey and obtain constructive findings for the web-based interactive materials.
4. Review of ICT in education policy documents.
The project team collected and reviewed policy document related to the use of ICT in education in Mongolia. This coveredalso major interventions of the government with support of international community to enhance ICT use in education including (1) Education Sector Development Programs and a specific project to assist rural schools in their familiarization with common software application funded by ADB; (2) Japanese Government funded Sakura project to pilot free open sources in selected rural school settings; (3) introduction of internet-assisted English teaching at all public high schools in urban settings and some large rural villages; (4) small-size involvement in “One Laptop Per Child” program, and others. The report suggests that these investments and activities were implemented rather in a fragmented way with weak coordination with the policies adopted by central authorities and each other.
- Primary school teacher guideline for 6 subjects.
- VCDs in six priority subjects.
- Project brochure.
- The analysis report with recommendations of ICT in education policy.
- User manuals for trainers, teachers, and guests that use “Bagshin Khugjil” web portal as well as recommendations for expanding this web portal.
- Analysis of current condition of ICT use in primary school in Ulaanbaatar city.
- Training of trainers and primary education teacher training.
Major findings and recommendations
Although small in scale and short in duration, this project provides some useful insight into implementation of similar projects in the future. The following can be regarded as the lessons learned and recommended for future similar interventions:
1. Training and guideline for developing VCDs.
Limited experience of VCD team members reflected in the content and methodology of VCDdevelopment. In the future, it is recommended to develop a simple guideline for developing VCD or DVD contents and train the team members.
2. Strong local IT team.
Most of the time, one expert of, MSUE, was responsible for recording, designing, making animations, integrating and editing all VCD. Since recording and editing of VCD is important part of high quality of VCDs, in the future, a strong IT team needs to be created includingcamera operator, assistant operator, and editor.
3. Importance of integrated approach.
This project did not follow traditional top-down approach. However, it was not really grass-root initiative-based project, although we attempted to respond to the needs and wishes of primary school teachers. In the development of teacher training materials using ICT it is important to combine both approaches. Therefore, we recommend that future projects should include activities that would encourage grass root initiatives from rural and urban teachers and schools in using ICT in education. An example of such activity would be open competition among teachers for developing e-content and interactive training material for teachers’ professional development.
4. Meeting needs of education sector.
Currently, there is a huge need for teacher training materials developmentusing ICT in Mongolia. This project has made an importantfirst step towards developing ICT based teacher training materials. Thus, we recommend that similar activities should be continued by using any possible means.
Photo slides for Phase I activities:
Phase II (2011 – 2012)
Introduction and objectives
Due to the remarkable development of information technology, the introduction of information technology in the field of international development has attracted increasing attention.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) states clearly in one of the goals to “Achieve universal primary education” (Goal 2) as well as to “make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies” (Target 18), as part of “Develop a global partnership for development” (Goal 8). In order to realize the MDG, the use of information technology is considered more and more important. In the recent to-be-published textbook “Millennium Development Goals and International Development” authored by professors from 5 universities in Japan, the topic of “education and ICT” has also been widely reported.
UNESCO, in its Beijing Declaration (2001), suggested the importance to use ICT in education, including points like supporting ICT for promoting the EFA goals to increase access to education and to improve the quality of education, and developing teacher training and distance education through proper utilization of information technology, etc. Furthermore, the recent report “ICT for Literacy”(UNESCO Bangkok, 2008) identified 5 keys that ICT that is effective in promoting literacy (enhancing learning, broadening access to literacy education, creating local content, professional development of teachers, cultivating a literacy-conducive environment), suggesting more ICT introduction in the education environment.
Mongolia became a democratic country in the early 1990s. Since then, new education laws have been issued twice (1993, 2003). The new education law decentralizes the management and operation of public schools. While expecting freedom and uniqueness, the roles of local officials and teachers have greatly expanded. In particular, the introduction of ICT in education is seen as an important element to improve and maintain the education quality. The integration of education development and ICT is expected to be as sustainable way to promote education development and human resource development.
Tokyo Institute of Technology has been in collaboration with UNESCO and Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (MECS) to develop distance secondary education teacher training materials for 9 subjects including radio, cassette, video CD (VCD), since its participation in the Mongolia Project. In the 2009 survey “Baseline survey on ICT use in Education” targeting 854 primary school teachers in Mongolia (approximately equivalent to 10% of all primary school teachers),
- 80% want VCD and guideline (manual) as training materials
- Most schools and teachers already own VCD equipment
- To take advantage of the high-quality training material in remote areas, there were also many cases where solar panels were used to ensure power.
Nevertheless, teaching materials that uses ICT including VCD and Web have not been produced for primary school teachers due to lack of funding.
1. Development of teacher training video CD (VCD) materials.
5 additional subjects proposed by the teaching material development team: Mongolian II, Communication II, Human and Environment II, Music, Physical Education.
2. Development of web-based teaching materials and prototyping for teacher training.
Regarding the web-based training materials prototype (2 subjects: Mongolian and Communications) that started in the first phase, a self-evaluation to test the understanding of the contents of the training material is being developed. This is a new type of teacher training materials and requires analysis based on much feedback. The prototype received good reviews from training specialist, and 4 additional subjects would be expanded based on participants’comments, aiming at more enrichment of the contents.
3. Trial run and assessment of the new teaching material. (teacher training by the cascade model)
- Training for teacher training specialist in capital Ulaanbaatar (25 people)
- Teacher training in 1 city and 5 provinces (90 people)
- Monitoringsurvey related to the effective distribution of the teaching materials and usefulness of the trainings in 6 regions
- Distribution of the teaching material to all primary schools after improvement (708 schools)
- Regional symposium co-organized by UNESCO, Tokyo Tech, and MECS.
Photo slides for Phase II activities:
- Sustainable ICT use in Education: Developing teacher training material using ICT project Final Report
- Sustainable ICT use in Education: Developing teacher training material using ICT project Executive Summary
- Introduction of Development of ICT teacher training materials for sustainable teacher training in Mongolia‐2nd phase
Fast Track Initiatives (FTI)-ICT Monitoring and Evaluationfunded by the World Bank (2007 – 2008)
Introduction and objectives
Mongolia has made remarkable economic progress since its transition in 1990 from a planned economy to a market-based one with democratizing along the way. The growth of economy helped toexpand government revenues and reduce poverty. One of the factor that behind the increasing poverty was identified as significant urban-rural disparities in both educational access and quality. With the overall goal to ensure universal basic education and to close the urban-rural gap as well as the gender gap in enrollment and school completion by 2015, the World Bank implemented the FTI-ICT project tohelp Mongolia move towards the goal of quality basic education for all.
With theexperiencesof engaging in educational development projects in Mongolia, the laboratory conducted a monitoring and evaluation mission of FTI-ICTproject in Mongolia: ‘Level-up’ training on advanced level of ICT for primary school teachers. The purpose of the monitoring was to observe and assess the project activities. It aimed at the following specific objectives: 1) to access the training materials and implementation method; 2) to assess the impact of training on primary school teachers; 3) to survey the actual application of ICT in the primary education; 4) to provide recommendations for the future activities.
1. Baseline survey: Baseline survey was conducted covering 858 teachers prior to the phase 3 training. The purpose was to investigate teachers’ ICT skills and condition of infrastructure before the training.Summary of the surveyed items:
- General information on respondents
- Basic infrastructure
- Teachers’ basic ICT skills
- Current situation of Using ICT into teaching
- Teachers’ attitude on ICT use
- Self-evaluation (confidence, motivation, readiness, and perception of others)
2. Monitoring field visit to five aimags: The visit in each aimag consisted of a survey of three soum schools and two aimag center schools. On-site observations included observing classes with the use of ICT tools provided during training to facilitate their daily work and classroom teaching. In addition, the monitoring team surveyed equipment and infrastructure of schools and governors’ offices.
- Bayankhongoraimag: Bayankhongor, Galuut , Jargalant , Shargaljuut
- Selenge aimage: Altanbulag , Saikhan , Javkhlant , Sukhbaatar
- Bayan-Ulgiaimag: Ulgii , Bugat , Sagsai , Buyant
- Dornod aimag: Kherlen , Bayantumen , Bulgan , Choibalsan
- Umnugobi aimag：Dalanzadgad , Bayandalai , Sevrel
Figure. Map of the five field visit aimags in Mongolia
- The training contents were highly appreciated by teachersfor their usefulness and applicability into teaching and other daily work.
- The cascade model of the training worked effectively in this project. According to the survey, the teachers appreciated the fact that their trained colleagues were available and accessible in their schools for the follow-up.
- Teachers felt more confident and became independent as professional teacher after participating in the training. They were also motivated to further improve their ICT skills. At the same time, interest level of the teachers increased, and this made them to learn more with self-studying.
- Schools were making various efforts to encourage teachers to use ICT in class. School administrations understood well the needs and advantages of the use of ICT, and created incentives for teachers’ use of ICT. In Bayankhongor and Selenge aimags, most of the schools organized ICT skill competitions among teachers. Some schools provided bonus payment incentives further promote ICT use.
- It was also found that ICT was utilized in organizing public education activities. The schools were recognized as key players to introduce and communicate its advantage of ICT in community education.
- ICT was effectively used in the classes that use variety of visual aids, such as mathematics, Mongolian Language and Technology. Also the development of teaching materials using computers (PowerPoint slides etc.) enhanced the information and resource sharing among teachers.
Recommendations for the future activity
- Cascade model should be promoted with special attention given to capacity building at school level.
- Training should cater for different levels of teachers’ existing skills and knowledge of ICT.
- Distribution of printed modules should be managed urgently.
- The community should be involved in ICT use in education as a key stakeholder.
- Size of the school should be taken into consideration when designing distribution of equipments.
- Systematic financial support should be considered to further promote ICT use in educational environment. In this viewpoint, the use of free and open source software (FOSS) should be explored as an alternative for sustainable ICT use in education as it may be a feasible option for the future.
- Constant needs and infrastructure assessment should be carefully carried out covering the beneficiaries of urban, rural and semi-urban teachers.
- Easy access of teachers to Internet in schools should be carefully considered and explored.
- Risks of ICT use in school should be discussed at early stage in response to the rapid promotion of introducing ICT.
Photo slides for project activities:
Rehabilitation of Boarding School and Provision of Refresher Training Course for Headmasters and Teachers in the Dzud affected Gobi Desert Provinces in Mongolia funded by UNHSF & UNESCO (2004 – 2006)
Introduction and objectives
In the northern part of Mongolia, there several provinces affected by Dzud. The temperature of some of them can drop even at minus 40 °C in winter. In such severe weather condition, deteriorated heating system is not enough to heat the classroom, which resulted in the absent of the students. Meanwhile, new Education Law was passed in 1991 and 2002 to support the democratization process and transition from a centrally-planned to a market-oriented economy in Mongolia. There were several major changes such as reconstructing the basic education from 10-year system to 11-year system as well as shifting the teaching approach to student-centered approach.
To support the Dzud affected provincesand improvetheireducation quality to adapt to the new system, this project, funded by United Nations Human Security Funds (UNHSF), was implemented. This project comprised two components: school rehabilitation and headmaster and teacher training. Our laboratory mainly participated in the project activities related to the headmaster and teacher training. The main objectives are: 1) to improve and sustain the motivation and commitment of principals and teachers for their profession and 2) to raise the general quality of principals and teachers through provision of in-service training for school principals and teachers.
Tokyo Tech received a letter of appreciation from UNESCO Beijing for its successful implementation in 2007.
Phase I (2004)
- Conducted detail discussions with the national project team regarding project activities and the development of training materials and training workshop organization.
- Conducted field visit to Dungobi and Zavkhan to collect additional data from stakeholders of the project (local government officials, principals and teachers, students, and parents).
- Conducted interviews at national institutions to review the current status of distance education and other related method of training.
- Observed and assisted in conducting the headmaster training in Ulaanbaatar and collect data through interviews and surveys.
- Participated and assist in conducting the mobile teacher training in Zavkhan aimag and collect data through interviews and surveys.
Recommendation for the future activities
- Continuationof teacher training: 1)Educational training programs should be regarded as fundamental and ongoing development process; 2) Planned, systematic and comprehensive approaches based on the accurate needs are extremely important for educational training programs; 3)Continual provision of training on school management will be a key to ensuring principals’ sound understanding and acquisitions of necessary school management skills.
- Organization of teacher training: 1) the role and position of each ‘regional central school’ need to be carefully clarified in all three aimags; 2) in order to raise the quality if mobile training, both school facilities and accessibility are crucial in selecting a training venue; 3) timing of distribution of manual should be also carefully considered to maximize the training effect; 4) Seasonal factors should be carefully considered for successful implementation of training activities; 5) importance of practical activities should be taken fully into account to further enhance applicability of the training contents.
- Training materials and modalities: 1) it is highly important to explore training modalities which would not to further burden their work; 2) if the human resource and skilled technicians develop attractive training materials, off-line use training materials with CD and videotape can enhance effectiveness of training; 3) when planning for sustainable and long-term training programsfor teachers at school levels, it is important to introduce program with different options with regards to types of media; 4) it is exceptionally important to consider how to improve physical and working conditions in rural school as to maximize the effect of the training program.
- Human resources: 1) it should be an urgent need to clarify roles, responsibilities, and needs of head teachers in the changing educational environment; 2) training for trainers with active involvement of younger generation will be a key factor for the success of future training activities.
Phase II (2005)
- Observed and assisted in conducting the teacher training in selected sites in three aimags. (Zavkhan, Bayankhongor and Dungobi aimags)
- Reviewed and evaluated distance learning materials produced and used among project schools, namely guidelines and radio programs.
- Tested VCD materials on training sites, produced by Mongolian State University of Education.
- Conducted training needs assessment survey for teachers to supplement information of the National Baseline Survey.
- Evaluated mobile teacher training through questionnaires.
- Disparities between aimag center schools and rural soum schools are evident.
- Power lines are gradually expanding in rural areas of Mongolia.
- National policy pushes the installation of optical fibers to all aimag centers.
- Regionalcentral soum schools are playing important role for conducting local training.
- System of “training of trainer” is functioning well at aimag center school level.
- In every school, importance of school-based training program is recognized.
- Local teachers are interested in distance learning materials, particularly VCD.
- Activities following radio programs (and audio cassettes) stimulate discussion, and consequently contribute to the school development.
- Introducing a combination of different kinds of media is advantages in future training.