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Improving teaching quality in Mongolia
Demand for high-quality education is becoming more prominent throughout the developing countries to contribute to considerable investment for economic and social prosperity of the country (Gore, 2017). The Mongolian educational system has experienced several transitions since 1991 due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, the Mongolian education system has been changed to align with that of the developed countries. The first Education Sector Master Plan in Mongolia (ESMP) 2006-2015 was established, with support from the Asian Development Bank, and updated in 2009. A 10-year education system changed to an 11-year education system in the 2004.2008-2009 academic year, the Mongolian Parliament amended the Education Law, replacing the 11-year education system to a 12-year education system. The transition completed in 2016.
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However, the quality of teaching has discussed because of the more unfortunate outcomes of students. The transition to the new system needs to be supported by curriculum reform, development and textbooks for each subject and grade level, and practical training for teachers. All manuals for secondary education were published between 2015-2019 according to the new curriculum. According to the World Bank Report (2018), the Mongolian Government spends a relatively high percentage of its budget (4.6 percent of its GDP) on education to improve learning outcomes compared to countries in the East Asia Pacific. Moreover, in terms of Mongolian students’ learning outcomes, it is considered one of the lowest among the regional countries. (K. Aminaa, 2018) This essay aims to examine the current situation of the impacts influencing the training quality, explore the issues, and identify two solutions: teacher development and classroom management. In 2018, the Government of Mongolia commenced the preparation of a second Education Sector Master Plan (ESMP-2 2018-2030) through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports MECSS. (UNESCO/IIEP/UNICEF )
Teacher development or teaching quality is a crucial factor in the best education systems around the developed countries. Skillful and quality teachers are the keystones of developing the talent of the next generation and improving learning outcomes. Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi, the best teacher of the world, was praised for his “dedication, hard work, and passionate belief in his students’ talent” (Brooks, 2019). Although the Mongolian Government has introduced many new international models and standards in the last years and there are some notable achievements, it did not have significant improvements. The Mongolian Master Plan of Education (2016) states that most of the teachers still follow traditional approaches and struggle with managing the classroom activities and lack professional support that can improve motivation and performance, even though they attend national or local professional development training and workshops regularly implemented by the Education Departments and schools. More specifically, the Mongolian State University of Education is the largest teacher training institution in Mongolia, covers basic professional compulsory training for all teachers working in the first, fifth and tenth year to get a certificate of achievement. However, a recent study reveals poorer outcomes in teaching quality because of the weak correlation between theoretical knowledge and classroom practices. Of these 6911 students have been examined the Mongolian language and only two children received the highest score of 800. There are 5973 students out of 400 or D ratings, while the remaining 938 are rated the worst, or F. (Government news, 2017). The reality of the Mongolian education system shows that organizing training with certificates and granting credit hours are ineffective measures of empowering teacher’s performance. (Ariunaa, 2018) In the spring of 2016, a total of 17499 students from Ulaanbaatar took the entrance exam.
Although there are various solutions proposed to solve these issues based on international experience and some developing nations’ surveys, two main remedies may be practical to apply in Mongolia. One feasible solution for this problem is to update the educational and professional development policy for pre-service and in-service teachers at the school level that provides more opportunities for teachers to develop their skills and abilities independently in the workplace based on their individual needs. It will show more realistic and beneficial results if each school encourages teachers to innovate their professional and methodological skills, improve the working environment in accordance with standards. Teacher education and partnership programs also encourage collaborative learning, sharing practices and improve professional knowledge.The main idea expressed is the teaching is one of the most challenging and hardest jobs to do for young teachers and proves that beginning teachers need to be assisted and given orientation during their first few crucial years of teaching. The statistics one -third of novice teachers documents support for these claim quit their jobs in their initial three years, and 47 percent of them say their reason for leaving their job is due to lack of support. Also, Mongolian education has to develop a sustainable educational policy that focuses on the quality of entrants who are prepared to become teachers such as enhancing the enrollment requirements of the pedagogical universities to make considerable progress in pre-service teachers. The qualifications of students entering teacher training courses have fallen dramatically and are one of the major problems affecting the quality of teacher training course delivery and outputs.
Another viable solution to improve the quality of education is to implement innovative and interactive approaches in classroom management. Brophy defined (1996) that classroom management is process purposed on organizing and maintaining a pleasant environment to conduct by facilitating. Also, it requires the implementation of regulations to follow the rules, standards of behavior, interactive communication between teachers and pupils. (Marzano, 2003, p. 88). It means that classroom management has to be different from classroom discipline involving the factors above that are related to quality teaching in which the teachers regularly interact with the students by facilitating them to solve problems in class. Crookes (2003) compares the similarities between the well-organized classroom and a tidily arranged room.
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However, a plethora of methods have been suggested to cope with the failure of classroom management during the lessons; it is considered a problem for pre-service teachers in their practicum because of the students with different backgrounds, disciplines, and abilities. Each student can bring diverse perspectives to learning and teaching that require the importance of knowing them properly. Teachers should understand and encourage them with kindness and respect, especially in a mixed level classroom. Some students dominate the conversation, and the others feel embarrassed to even try after seeing a peer’s ability. On the other hand, at the school, the students need to know by that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes that even professionals make mistakes.
In conclusion, this essay mentioned about some aspects of poor teaching such as unproductive training and workshops. Policymakers and administrations should be aware that there are other variable methods to design more productive teacher education programs, more effective professional development strategies, and education requirements that make a difference to the teachers’ abilities and their students’ outcomes. The current education curriculum is overloaded with subjects and content requirements and there is a need for greater flexibility in subject selection and a student-centered teaching environment (Asian Development Bank, 2016). During the last 16 year period, students’ textbooks and curriculum have changed five times. As a result of educational reform and the unstable policies of the educational system, teaching and educational quality and students’ achievements and performances have seen some deterioration.
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