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SURVEY OF ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES: THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN MONGOLIA
Mr. S. Enkhjargal
Executive Director
Room 323, National IT Park building, Baga Toiruu-49, Tel: +976 11 329902; 976-99129385 E mail: sukhbaatar@yahoo.com; secretary@ict.mn
Website: www.ict.mn/midas
Ms. L. Ariunaa,
Civil Society Programs Director,
Mongolian Foundation For Open Society (Soros Foundation) XacBank building, Prime Minister Amar’s street, E mail: lariunaa@soros.org.mn
1. National policies, strategies and programs The Mongolian ICT sector has had a lengthy period of development, which received a boost in 1994 with the establishment of the first Internet service provider in the country – Datacom Co. Ltd. Then, after a period of relative inactivity, the next serious attempt to address ICT policy was undertaken in 1999, when the First National ICT Summit was organized
and the “ICT Vision-2010” policy document developed with contributions from
representatives of government organizations, the business sector and civil society.
The Parliament of Mongolia adopted the ICT Vision-2010 in 2000 as a blueprint for
ICT development in the country. The mission is to: “develop a knowledge-based
society and to improve the quality of people’s lives.”i
ICT Vision-2010 has three
major components: a government-legislation framework: a business-economy
framework and a people-society framework. Within the people-society framework,
the goal of the Vision-2010 is to: “create a favorable environment for Mongolian
citizens to communicate freely among themselves and with the world community,
ensure opportunities for their equal and active participation in social life, and
improve quality of people’s lives.”I

In January 2002, representatives of government, the private sector and NGOs sat together to develop a mid-term strategy and action plan to implement ICT Vision-2010. Both the mid-term strategy and action plan had three major components. Each component had outlined activities, specified time lines, an organization responsible for implementation and the donor or national support required to achieve the objectives. Although the mid-term strategy, action plan and Ministerial policy document are in place there has been no monies allocated in the state budget for its implementation. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (MOECS) has used Vision-2010 as a model to implement ICT in the education sector, developing an action plan which was approved by Minister of Education, Culture and Science in 2001. MOECS’s vision for ICT in education has four major components: training (to utilize all possible resources to introduce ICT in all levels of education), hardware (to provide hardware and software necessary for training in ICT), teaching staff (to provide support for highly motivated staff) and information wareii (to develop sectoral information and database to improve conditions for better information services). The limiting factor in integrating ICT into education is that the focus has been on the teaching of ICT as a subject rather than the way in which ICT can be integrated into the teaching/learning process. Mongolia has taken steps to create or amend laws concerned with the development and use of ICT. The telecommunications law of 1995 was amended in 2001, there is a law on radio frequency, and minor amendments have been made to the patent laws, Civil Code and technology transfer law. Recently, the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) developed draft IT law after securing input and recommendations from stakeholders. A working group of 15 members (representatives of NGOs, government, business and others) was established to revise the law. According to the MOI, the revised draft IT law was originally planned to be presented to Parliament in September 2003. Representatives of the working group and donor organizations approached the Minister of Infrastructure requesting a delay in submitting the draft law stating a need for broader public discussion with NGOs, government organizations, members of Parliament, media, and business as well as expressing a need for consulting with international experts. 2. Current level of ICT access and use in education a) Basic education (primary/secondary) According to statistics of the MOECS, published in April 2003, there are 2041 computers in 518 schools, of four PCs per school in average. Most of the computers are used for teaching Informatics in grades 8 to 10 with a limited number of computers available for use by staff and teachers. Within the Informatics curriculum, the pupils are taught logistics, programming languages, and applications of Microsoft Office. The use of computer-assisted instruction in other secondary subjects is quite limited. In urban areas there are a number of projects evaluating the deployment of ICT in basic education. One of these projects addresses utilization of open source standard applications and software, such as Linux. b) Vocational education Vocational education is currently in a revival phase after near abandonment in the 1990s. At present, the greatest activity is in fee-based, short or long-term computer based training courses offered by individuals, private sector, or private institutions. c) Teacher training This aspect of the plan is being addressed in two ways: pre-service and in-service. The pre-service teacher training is offered mostly at the Pedagogical University, the leading institution for training secondary school teachers. There are two curriculums: one for Informatics teachers and another for non-informatics teachers. They, of course, differ in course content, the intended use of the computers, as well as application to the course. The Informatics teacher-training curriculum involves instruction in the use of logistics, programming languages, and applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and web design. Recently, a limited number of classes have been offered to provide training on basic hardware maintenance and troubleshooting. The non-Informatics teacher training curriculum is limited to instruction in office applications with future extension likely to the other subjects. Recently, the Computer and Information Technology School of the Mongolian State Pedagogical University has been involved in the development of a curriculum for non-Informatics teachers iii as part of the Teacher-2005 project of MFOS.iv In-service teacher training appears to be abandoned with no new, upgrading, or re-training courses offered. According to a recent survey, teachers state there is a lack of hands on opportunities for practice using computers and that there are a limited number of computers for use in classes and for after schoolwork. d) Non-formal education. In past years the non-formal education sector has been using TV or radio almost exclusively, rather than computers, because there was little penetration of computers in the rural areas where most recipients of non-formal education were residing. However, recently the number of computers in aimag centers has increased and there is a greater access to the Internet enabling non-formal education to become involved in distance education offerings. According to some surveys and research, two types of digital divide exist in Mongolia: that between urban and rural areas, and that between the downtown and suburbs. The digital divide has increased dramatically lately with the introduction of PC game rooms and centers dominated by male-oriented action games which has resulted in increasing interest in computers by boys. The Telecommunication and Information Technology School of Mongolian University of Science and Technology and Post and Telecommunications authority will provide retraining for public servants. Training is to be delivered in 12 aimagsv and Ulaanbaatar using distance education techniques and technologies. The recently developed and introduced education portal www.mongoleducation.mn is an example of a tool used for sharing experience and knowledge among teachers on any subject or policy issue. 3. Illustrative examples of major initiatives • www.knowledge.mn A project was initiated in 1998 by the Internet and Information Centre, an NGO, and supported by IDRC of Canada with the aim to provide web-based information for teachers and students. • www.mongoleducation.mn This is a project of the Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros Foundation) that provides a web-portal for secondary school teachers. Its purpose is to supply a forum for public discussion, sharing knowledge and experience in the development of curriculum materials, teaching methodologies, etc. • Internet for schools of MFOS (Soros foundation) vi In 1999, following implementation of the Education Sector Development program of ADB, the Internet for schools project was developed and supported by MFOS (Soros foundation). The former supplied 10 PCs to each aimag school while the latter allowed local area networking between computers to occur at each school and enabled access to World Wide Web. • I*EARN (International Education and Resource Network)vii and ThinkQuestviii The International Educational and Research Network (I*EARN) and ThinkQuest projects were implemented by MFOS (Soros foundation) to provide access to already developed content and to assist in content development by Mongolian pupils and students. • Education Sector Development program of ADBix In 1998, the Education Sector Development program of ADB was launched with the purpose of: furnishing over 90 secondary schools in rural and urban areas with computers, providing training for Informatics subject teachers, and, providing technical support for the equipment supplied. • Academic network – Erdemnet As an initiative within the Education Sector Development program of ADB, in 1999, a network of academic institutions and schools established an Internet Service Provider, Erdemnet. It was set up at the Computer Science and Management School of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. • Sakura project of JICA The Sakura project of JICA provides second-hand computers using open source software (Linux based operating system), the Star Office package, and access to an e-mailing system to some schools. The connection to the Internet was made available through Erdemnet. Within the framework of the project, manuals were developed on using Linux OS and the Star Office package as well as training provided to teachers and students on their use. • MIDAS project x The Mongolian Information Development Application Scheme (MIDAS) project, supported by MFOS (Soros Foundation) and UNDP/APDIP, has assisted in the development of a variety of Mongolian language education software packages, such as the Library for University software (LIB4U), RENOR 2 (an application for teaching Math and the alphabet to primary school pupils), on-line and off-line dictionaries, on-line Math applications, Mongolian language typing tutor (Fast Type), and others. • E-learning xi This project of IDRC of Canada will pilot distance learning course packages that have been developed by Infocon, ESPI, Datacom and others to address English language, gender, on-line Math and ICT education issues. • Cyber aimag projectxii As part of the Cyber aimag project of MFOS, three secondary schools of three aimag centres were connected to the Internet via wireless radio-modem connection, enabling access to the World Wide Web. This access has now broadened training on both basic computer and application skills and web page development for teachers and pupils. • Parliament members’ projects As part of their election agenda most members of Parliament included support for computer supplies in schools. At present no specific data is available on how many computers were supplied and to which regions and schools. • Rotary club projectxiii The Rotary club of Mongolia and its branches have developed initiatives to furnish secondary schools with computers and equipment. At present, over 20 schools have been supplied with at least 5 computers each. • Project of the Mongolian Association of Cooperation with Oceania Countriesxiv The Association, in cooperation with Oceania Countries, has supplied 64 second-hand computers to 17 rural schools. • Indian government Project The Indian Government committed support of one million USD for ICT in Mongolia. A teleconferencing facility with computer labs was established in the Communications School of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. In addition, five Internet centres with 5 computers were established in five aimags. • Japan-Mongolian Centre The Japan-Mongolian Centre, established in 2002, is providing professional training for Mongolian ICT professionals. A number of scholarships and fellowships were offered to Mongolian ICT professionals to study in Japan for a period of six and more months. • Private school initiatives To be competitive in the market driven situation in Mongolia, private schools and institutions are offering short, long and degree computer and ICT courses. Most of the initiatives and projects described herein are recent projects that face the sustainability issue upon completion of the project, since secondary schools have limited budgets for ICT development and staff. The major partners for ICT education and ICT in education are the Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros foundation), ADB, UNDP, and, JICA. 4. Examples of training being provided As the projects and initiatives in the previous section were discussed some training issues were also mentioned. • Education Sector Development programme of ADB Training workshops were conducted on the MIS, computer training for staff of educational and cultural centers, teachers of informatics, pupils and others. • Cyber aimag project of MFOS (Soros foundation) Training on computer use, access to the Internet, development and update of websites, hosting websites, on-line chats and discussions, troubleshooting and technical support were conducted. • Internet for School project of MFOS (Soros foundation) Training was conducted on use of computers, applications, accessing the World Wide Web and using an e-mail system, etc. • Joint pilot project of MIDAS, MFOS and Khuree ICT Institutexv Training was conducted for non-Informatics teachers of Darkhan-Uul aimag on computer use. Laptop computers were utilized in the sessions to demonstrate their mobile capability. A needs assessment on computer availability was conducted with participants. At the end of the week, ICT companies and institutions showcased their software and their application(s). • Joint project of MIDAS, UNV-JTF and Khuree ICT Institute Piloted in the Khentii aimag (East of Mongolia), the training was conducted for secondary school teachers and administrators of the local governor’s office on the use of computers for everyday activities and troubleshooting. • E-learning Training on use of on-line content in English, gender, Math and ICT was conducted for teachers in order to assist them in using computer-aided learning. • Mongolian Development Gatewayxvi Pilot training was conducted in the Umnugobi aimag on the use of the Internet and development of websites. • CISCO Academy project of UNDP/APDIP and CSMS Established in 1997, the Cisco Academy offers courses on CCNA with on-line access to the Cisco Academy website. Over 100 people have been trained. • Project of Indian Government The staff and teachers of the Communications School of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology have attended short and long-term specialized training in India. • Sakura project of JICA Training was conducted among teachers and pupils on the use of computers, followed by training on use of Linux, StarOffice packages and mailing software, prior to the distribution of computers. • E-learning center The goal of the E-learning center, which was established with the support of the Center for International Cooperation for Computerization of Japan (CICC) at the Computer Science and Management School of MUST in October 2003, is to develop e-content for distance education. The center is equipped with two servers, four host machines, and CULTIIVA-2 software. • Open Web Center project of MFOS (Soros foundation) xvii The goals of this project are to provide access to computers and the Internet for civic organizations, to develop training materials, and to provide on-line and off-line support for development and update of websites. • UNV-JTF project for disabled children and teachers of the Pedagogical University The purpose of the project was to introduce a new communication tool to deaf and mute children. With the support of a sign-language teacher, 29 students from a special school were trained in the use of computers and development of websites. Even though extensive training and courses were conducted, there is still a considerable demand and need for basic to advanced levels of ICT training for Informatics and non-Informatics teachers, students, NGOs, and others. Although the comprehensive ICT education strategy was developed and adopted by the government of Mongolia, almost all projects lack sustainability, Action plan and activities to achieve set goals. 5. Constraints in the use of ICT in the country There are a number of constraints on ICT development in the country, each of these needs to be addressed within the following framework. • Policy There is a need for a thorough policy approach that addresses such issues as the choice of operating systems, the development of software and training materials, staff training, and the way that ICT is applied in education. The connectivity situation in Ulaanbaatar and some of the relatively developed aimags is no longer an issue, although the provision of certain bandwidth for education purposes should be negotiated with the Internet providers. o Hardware In the last 2 years, the hardware situation has improved drastically in aimag levels; however, there is a need to address the issue of supplying computers to some schools. Moreover, the number of students per computer, maintenance, troubleshooting, and use of computers by teachers still require attention. o Affordability As was mentioned earlier, the budget of secondary schools is limited for maintenance, troubleshooting, telecommunications and Internet connections, which affects maximum utilization of hardware and software. • Human Development and Capacity Building There is a need for total revision of staffing in schools and development of pre- and in-service ICT training for all teachers and administration of schools because of low computer penetration, lack of professionally trained Informatics teachers in rural schools and households, and lack of training materials and curriculum. The curriculum for prospective Informatics and non-Informatics teachers should be revised and include compulsory ICT training for all. The lack of off-line training, teaching materials, and curriculum (CD-ROMs, DVDs, manuals, guides, etc.) has affected the computer knowledge and skills of Secondary school graduates, hence they are penalized entering post secondary institutions. The increasing number of Internet cafés and game centres provides favourable conditions to introduce touch-typing software in the form of games, which is somewhat alleviating this problem. 6. Researcher’s analyses The following issues are ones that need to be addressed in order to enable wide scale ICT application. • There is a need for a specific action plan for introducing ICT in education rather than ICT education itself. Policy documents need to be developed with a legal and regulatory framework favourable for involvement of business included. The approach should cover ICT use in distance and classroom education. In order to develop a sound policy document on ICT in education, a number of stakeholder meetings should be held. Stakeholders should not be limited to educational experts, but should include ICT businesses and companies, NGOs, representatives of parents, students, media, and governmental officials. The meetings should develop recommendations on policies to attract businesses which would support education and to encourage institutions to develop content and training packages as well as materials that can be delivered through schools by teachers, advanced students, clubs, etc. • There is a need to introduce a nation-wide pro-computer literacy program for teachers, pupils, school staff, and parents that has a management information system component which is user friendly. Further, there is a need to address the copyright issues around software and its application to education. • The development of manuals, guidelines, and textbooks (including e- textbooks and e-contents) needs to be addressed. • ICT training should be integrated into all school subjects were possible. For example, computers can be used for writing essays, reports and presentations, or for analysing data in Physics etc. This can be done with minor adjustments to the curriculum of Informatics and non-Informatics subjects. • There is a need for on-line and off-line Mongolian language content of manuals, guides, teacher and student books, course materials, on-line and off-line help and support desks, etc. Special attention should be paid to the development of computer-based teaching materials on specific subjects of the curriculum. APPENDICES
Appendix A: Glossary of acronyms
Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme Centre for International Cooperation for Computerization, Japan International Educational and Research Network Information and Communications Technology International Development Research Center Japanese International Cooperation Agency Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros Foundation) MIDAS NGO Mongolian Information Development ASsociation, NGO MIDAS project Mongolian Information Development Application Scheme project, Open Web Centre project of MFOS (Soros Foundation) United Nations Volunteer-Japanese Trust Fund
Appendix B: List of contacts (in alphabetical order)

1. Altan-Och G., Team-leader of ICT policy research of IDRC, Canada project, Phone: 976-99097666, Fax: 976-11-329902 Email: altanoch@magicnet.mn 2. Ariunaa L., Civil Society Programs Director, Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros Foundation), Room 202, XacBank Building, Prime Minister Amar Street Phone: 976-99112176 Fax: 976-11-324857 Email: lariunaa@soros.org.mn 3. Badamjav, officer of MOECS responsible for ICT education in primary and secondary schools, Room 117, Government Building No. 3, Baga Toiruu 44, Ulaanbaatar 11, Phone: 976-11-320409 Fax: 976-11-318181 Email: badamjav@med.pmis.gov.mn 4. Bandii R., Executive Director, Second Education Development project implementation unit of ADB and MOECS project, Rooms: 114, 116, Government Building No. 3, Baga Toiruu 44, Ulaanbaatar 11, Phone: 976-11-327263, 310266 Fax: 976-11-325282 Email: esdp@mongol.net 5. Batbold G., Head of Primary and Secondary Education Department, MOECS, Rooms: 216, Government Building No. 3, Baga Toiruu 44, Ulaanbaatar 11, Fax: 976-11-318181 Email: batbold@med.pmis.gov.mn 6. Batjargal A., General Director of National IT Park, Room 101, National IT park building, Baga Toiruu-49, Ulaanbaatar - 46 Phone: 976-99110699, Fax: 976-11- Email: batj@magicnet.mn 7. Bat-Erdene J., General Director of ICT Department, Ministry of Infrastructure, Room 420, United Nations’ street 5/2, Government Building No. 2, Ulaanbaatar - 46 Phone: 976-99110202, Fax: 976-11-322720 Email: baterdene@mongol.net 8. Bat-Erdene Sh. Officer at Government of Mongolia Cabinet Secretariat, Government House, Ulaanbaatar – 46 Phone: 976-99112811 Fax: 976-11-320124 Email: baterdene@pmis.gov.mn 9. Begz, Director of Institute of Education, Barilgachdyn talbai (Builder’s square)– 2, Ulaanbaatar – 44, 10. Bold, Director of School of Information Technology, National University of Mongolia Ulaanbaatar, POB 46A/520 Phone: 976-11-325305 Fax: 976-11-320159 Email: bold@num.edu.mn 11. Choojoovaanchig, Director of School of Computer and Information Technology, Mongolian State Pedagogical University Room 205, Building B, Baga toiruu -49, Ulaanbaatar - 46 Phone: 976-99134143, 976-11-321556 Email: choojoovanchig@mspu.edu.mn 12. Damdinsuren, Director of Telecommunication and Information Technology School of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, POB 29, Bayanzurkh duureg postal office, Ulaanbaatar - 51 Phone: 976-11-99112503, Fax: 976-11-458589 Email: damdinsuren@itie.mng.net 13. Enkhjargal S., Executive Director of MIDAS NGO, Room 323, National IT Park, Baga Toiruu-49, Ulaanbaatar – 46, Phone: 976-11-329902, 99129385 Fax: 976-11-329902 Email: sukhbaatar@yahoo.com, Web: www.ict.mn/midas 14. Erdenebaatar A., President of Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Room: 201, Building of Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Baga Toiruu-49, Ulaanbaatar -46, Phone: 976-99119943, Fax: 976-11-324120 Email: erka@must.edu.mn 15. Hireoke Ide, “SAKURA” Project Coordinator of JICA, Room: 101, Phone: Advisor to Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Phone: 976-99116089, Email: hiroide@mobinet.mn Room 401, Government Building No. 3, Baga Toiruu 44, Ulaanbaatar 11, Phone: 976-99162610, Fax: 976-11-318181 Email: zaya@med.pmis.gov.mn 17. Namsrai, Professor, Head of Department, Computer Science Management School, Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Phone: 976-11452728, Fax: 976-11-458151 Email: ny@csms.edu.mn 18. Nanjidjamts, General Engineer of Erdemnet and Instructor of Academic Network ISP and Cisco Academy, Ulaanbaatar – 49, POB 313 Computer Science and Management School, MUST Phone:976-11-99170067 Fax: 976-11-458151 Email: nanjid@csms.edu.mn 19. Narantsetseg B., Director of InfoCon Co. Ltd, Room: 401, MonroImpex building, Baga toiruu, Ulaanbaatar - 46 Phone: 976-99119163, Fax: 976-11-328469 Email: narantsg@magicnet.mn 20. Narantuya, Director of Social Sector programs, Mongolian Foundation for Open Society Prime Minister Amar’s street, XacBank building, Ulaanbaatar 46, Phone: 976-11-313207 Fax: 976-11-324857 Email: narantuya@soros.org.mn 21. Selenge, Head of job training center, Khuree ICT School, POB 780, Central Post office-13, Phone: 976-99880908 Fax: 976-11-318539 Email: slng@ict.mn Endnotes

i ICT Vision 2010
ii Degree No 151 of Minister of Science, Technology, Education and Culture, Ulaanbaatar
iii Choojoovaanchig, Curriculum of informatics subject for non-informatics students, iv “Teacher-2005” project of MFOS (Soros Foundation), Starting from 2003. v Aimag is a second by size administrative unit of Mongolia. There are 21 aimags in Mongolia of size 15,000-45,000 of population each. vi Annual report of MFOS (Soros foundation) 1999-2001 vii I*EARN (International Education and Research Network) is a global network to enable young people to use Internet and new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects www.iearn.org viii ThinkQuest is an international contests, where teams of students are engaged in the development of educational websites www.thinkquest.org, ix Report of Education Sector Development Program of ADB and MOECS, Ulaanbaatar - xi www.elearning.mn xii Annual report of MFOS - 2002 xiii www.rotarymongolia.mn xiv Purevjal, A. 2003, Mongolian and Korean Cooperation in ICT implementation in Education and Science sector of Mongolia. “Multiple Language Processing for Globalization and Korean-Mongolian IT Exchange”, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia xv Report among schools and teachers in Darkhan-Uul aimag, Joint project of MFOS,

Source: http://itconsulting.mn/docs/MongoliaFinal%20revised.pdf

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