Mongolia is located in the Northern Asia, bordering with China and Russia (landlocked). Mongolia has a territory of 1,564,116 sq km. The population is 2,791,272 (July 2005 est.), the literacy rate is 97.8% (World Fact book, 2005). The education system consists of pre-school education (kindergarten), general education (primary school 1-5, secondary school 1-9, complete secondary school 10-11), and professional education (universities). Primary and secondary education is free to all by law. In 2004-2005 academic years, 557346 students were reported to be studying at 710 general education schools nationwide.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) were introduced to the Mongolian education sector relatively late. The computer training and informatics as a subject has been included in the secondary school curriculum in Mongolia since 1988 and in the university curriculum since 1982.
This paper presents current situation of usage of ICT in secondary education in Mongolia, including national policies, strategies and programs, hardware and software, teaching staffs, informatics curriculum and related projects and initiatives. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis and conclusions are also presented.
Keywords: Information and communication technology; ICT in education; secondary education; informatics; curriculum; ICT training; ICT policy; Mongolia
NATIoNAL PoLICIES, STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMS
Concept of ICT Development of Mongolia by Year 2010, Government of Mongolia, 2000
In 2000, the Parliament of Mongolia adopted the ICT Vision-2010 as a blueprint for ICT development in the country. It recognizes ICT as an important pivotal tool for development in Mongolia. ICT Vision-2010 has three major components: government-legislation framework, business-economy framework and people-society framework. Within this concept, following activities related to ICT in education are to be implemented: Create structure to provide education on ICT for all citizens; Set up knowledge and education-based hightech centers in Ulaanbaatar and in the centers of the socio-economic development regions; Create a set of opportunities to access IT at mobile sights running sustainable common services, libraries, aimags 1 and soum 2 schools; Create info structure for education; Resolve in detail human resource development issue of the national info structure (user, trainer, specialist); Introduce electronic version of library system such as ordering, searching and others; Develop lifelong learning through open and distance learning; Introduce electronic services such as leisure and entertainment (virtual libraries, museums, etc,.) (Government of Mongolia, 2000)
ICT Vision 2010 in Education Sector of Mongolia, MoECS, 2001
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (MoECS) has used Vision-2010 as a model to implement ICTs in the education sector, developing an action plan which was officially approved in 2001. The vision for ICTs in education has four major components, covering following areas:
* Training: Full utilization of ICT in each educational level's curriculum and contents in order to introduce ICT possibilities and gain knowledge end skills in using it;
* Hardware: Supply of hardware allows the conduct of training according to different level of modern ICT development and provides possibilities of free access to information;
* Teaching staff: Supply of teaching staffs which have the capabilities to develop themselves in terms of their own knowledge and skills in line with rapid development of ICT;
* Information ware: Creation of possibilities of available and accessible information service by establishing educational information database and network (MoECS ICT Vision, 2001).
E-Mongolia National Program, Government of Mongolia, 2005
The vision of the e-Mongolia National Program is to establish the information society and the foundation of the Knowledge based society in Mongolia by enhancing extensive application of ICT in all society sectors. …