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AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
I would like to introduce comparison between Mongolian and Australian Education system in several areas such as general statement, access, quality and efficiency.
First of all I would like to introduce general statement for both countries. Education in both countries follows preschool, primary and secondary education and technical education and vocational training and tertiary education.
Both countries preschool education is non compulsory. Mongolian preschool education is offered to children aged 2 to 5 in kindergarten, but Australian preschool education offered children aged 3 to 5. Mongolian preschool education is an instructional institution and by the "Mongolian Preschool education law" kindergartens shall provide preschool education to children of preschool age and ensure their school preparedness. Australian early childhood education has many types of preschool education such as kindergarten, child care center, Montessori center and act.
Also, there are many similarities on primary and secondary education in two countries which means 12 year schooling system. The official enrolment age is 6 year old children in two countries. In addition, the Mongolian Government initiated transforming primary and secondary schools into a 12 year system in 2008. This transition will be complete by 2016. In Mongolia, that 6 years of primary, 3 years of lower secondary and 3 years of upper secondary schooling. In Australia that 7 years of primary and 5 years of secondary. In Australia, in the some states territories, primary schools often include a pre-school 5.
In Mongolia, technical education and vocational training (1-2.5 years) sub-sector comprises specialized upper secondary schools as well as post-secondary diploma programs housed in higher education institutions. Therefore, in Australia, each state has a Vocational Education and Training or Technical and Further Education system. It is prepares people for work in a career that does not need a university degree5.
In Mongolia, higher education is awarded by colleges, institutes and universities. At the higher education level, bachelor programs usually last four to five years and six years for medical programs. Masters programs usually require one to two years and doctorate programs require three to four years to complete. Likewise, Australian higher education (6+) awards are classified as follows certificate, diploma and associate degrees, which take one to two years to complete, some aspects of higher education are the responsibility of States and Territories. In particular, most universities are recognized under the State and Territory legislation5.
Secondly, I would like to compare access of education in both countries. In Mongolia, 76.3 percent preschool age children attended in preschool education services. In 2009/2010 academic year, there are 785,8 thousand students enrolled in institutions of formal education. There were 102,6 thousand children in 814 kindergartens. In 2009, 58.6 percent of pre-school children who are 2-5 year olds enrolled at institutionalized education programs and 17.4 percent of total pre-school children enrolled in alternative forms of educational services. 2
In Australia 97.5 per cent of children attended for early childhood education the year before school. The year before a child is due to attend primary school is the main year for pre-school education. This year is far more commonly attended, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays. Preschool is in some states and territories relatively unregulated.5
In Mongolia, in 2009/2010 academic year, 557,3 thousand pupils in 710 primary and secondary schools. The primary and secondary education net enrollment rate was 91.5 percent. An addition, girls enrollment in primary and secondary cycle is greater than boys.5
In Australia, primary and secondary education is compulsory between the ages of 6 to 17, depending on the state or territory. The primary and secondary education net enrollment rate was 99.3 percent. In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate about two thirds of Australian students, with the other third in Catholic and Independent schools. A small portion of students are legally home-schooled.5
Higher Education in Mongolia has universities and colleges. There are 146 universities, which is 42 are public, 99 are private and 5 are international. During the last 5 years number of students' enrolled in higher education institutions increased by 70,1 per cent. The proportion of female students is 61.8% of total higher education enrolment. That data indicate an unusual reverse gender gap in higher education. This is particularly noticeable at the higher levels of education where typically female greatly outnumber male students.
Last 5 years enrolments in occupational programs such as foreign languages, law, computer science, engineering, medicine, and tourism was more than double.
Tertiary education in Australia provider is university self-accrediting provider, non self-accrediting provider. In 2009, the Australian higher education system consisted of 41 universities, of which 37 are public institutions, 2 are private, and 2 are Australian branches of overseas universities; 2 other self-accrediting higher education institutions; and non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by State and Territory authorities, numbering more than 150 as listed on State and Territory registers. These include several that are registered in more than one state and territory.2,5
Thirdly, in short, I want to compare and contrast quality of education both countries. The most important aspect for quality education is the learning achievement. According to the Program for International Student Assessment for 2006 ranks the Australian education system as 6th on a worldwide scale for Reading, 8th for Science and 13th for Mathematics. The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, however Mongolia lists as 71, the medium level. In addition, many universities in Australia have gained international recognition. Two of the most acknowledged are the Academic Ranking of World Universities, produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the THES - QS World University Rankings, which in 2006, had no fewer than 13 universities amongst the world's top 200. That is why many foreign students wants to study in Australia at schools and universities.
Quality in education is not good in Mongolia. Particularly, urban-rural gap in education quality still exist. According to some recent research, children attending rural schools perform significantly worse than children attending schools in aimag centers and Ulaanbaatar. Rural schools have limited access to resources needed to support higher learning achievements.
Another main issue of qualitative aspects in education is teacher and children ratio. In Mongolia teacher and children ratio in the preschool is 25:2 and 30:1 is for secondary school.2 But 18:3 is for preschool and secondary is about 20:1 in Australia.5 It depends states and territories.
Teachers are key players in implementing of the education sector, especially in classroom and teaching and learning quality, which is highly dependable on their professional capacity and supply. Two countries teacher qualification and professional knowledge and skills are similar, but teaching method is different.
As I mentioned the last another issue of qualitative aspects in education is curriculum. The Mongolian Government approved a new set of competence based education curriculum/standards for pre school, primary and secondary education emphasizing the quality of education. These new curriculum is being introduced in the school year of 2005/2006. On the other hand, national curriculum /standard has renewed to be promoting a human development as develop pupils' competence in terms of communication skills, self-confident, a critical thinking and problem solving abilities etc. In Australia there is a mandatory curriculum in addition to elective subjects. For the students are required to take state-wide external tests in English-literacy, mathematics, science, Australian history, geography, civics and citizenship and computing skills in.
Finally, I want to write a few words about educational efficiency. The Mongolian Law on Education stipulates that at least 20 percent of the government budget is allocated to education. Government expenditure on education as a percent of GDP is 9 and a percent of GNP is 19.09 in 2004. Education expenditure has significantly increased over the last few years.3
Education's share of public expenditure has also remained consistently high, averaging 18.6 percent over the 2008-2010 period, although it has not quite reached more than 20 percent share as required by the Education Law, (revised in 2006). But the national education budget has increased by 2.5 times in 2004 as compared to 1996. The education sector is financed principally from two sources: the Central budget (81.7 percent in 2008) and the local budget (9.3 percent) with revenue raised at province and city levels. Other sources of revenue include tuition fees (4.1 percent), donations from individuals and organisations (1.6percent), project funds (0.1 percent) and others (2.7percent).3
In Mongolia, school and kindergarten financing is operated based on per child normative variable expenses with adjusting indexes. Indexes used to adjust the different situations in terms of population density, distance as remoteness of school location so on. However, some of remote and rural schools are still facing problems related with financial shortages due to not enough children attending in their kindergarten and school.
Since 1997, state financing only fixed costs such as heating, electricity and water in higher education institutions. Student tuition fees constitute the major income source for universities, institutes and colleges. It makes up 80% of higher education income.1
In conclusion, it can be clearly seen that Australian and Mongolian education system are a few similarities some area such as general statements and accesses. However, the quality in education two countries is very different. Quality in education in Australia is the highest in the world, although in Mongolia, such as many indicators of the education quality and efficiency are not good enough and we have to change trends also, remind that there is need for policy and operational strategy reforms. Therefore, Mongolian education sector is undergoing new stage development reform. It has encountered new challenges created by poverty and social deprivation. The following issues are considerable in future development of education sector in Mongolia. Generally, Australian education system has a good policy, management, and sustainable development for every part of the education sub sectors. Finally, I believe that to improve relationship and to expand cooperation between Australian and Mongolian education sector.