IN­CREAS­ING KINDER­GARTEN AC­CESS

The UB Post - - EDITORIAL - By T.BAYARBAT

This September, 1,422 pub­lic and pri­vate kin­der­gartens have re­ceived 252,753 chil­dren be­tween the ages of two and five through­out Mon­go­lia.

Some 76.6 per­cent of all chil­dren be­tween the ages of two and five at­tended kin­der­gartens in 2016, and as the gov­ern­ment built 13 new kin­der­gartens this year, chil­dren’s at­ten­dance in kinder­garten has reached 81.5 per­cent, but 20 per­cent of chil­dren (nearly 57,000 chil­dren) have not been able to re­ceive preschool ed­u­ca­tion, and over 32,000 of them are in Ulaan­baatar and more than 24,000 are in prov­inces.

As 227 pub­lic and 443 pri­vate kin­der­gartens op­er­at­ing in Ulaan­baatar have re­ceived 113,597 chil­dren on September 1, kinder­garten ac­cess for chil­dren in the cap­i­tal has in­creased by more than 8,000 chil­dren com­pared to last year.

In re­cent years, many par­ents used to spend two to three days to se­cure kinder­garten en­roll­ment for their child, which cre­ated mas­sive queues out­side pub­lic kin­der­gartens in Ulaan­baatar be­fore September 1. But this year, the Ulaan­baatar Mayor’s Of­fice started an on­line registration sys­tem from July 25 to Au­gust 24 to ease the kinder­garten registration process, which was con­sid­ered as a bet­ter ap­proach by most par­ents.

To deal with kinder­garten short­age is­sues, the gov­ern­ment wants to build new kin­der­gartens, fund restora­tion of old kin­der­gartens, in­crease kin­der­gartens un­der pub­lic and pri­vate part­ner­ship and pro­mote child care ser­vices, but this alone ef­forts could not dis­man­tle chal­leng­ing is­sues with re­spect to preschool ed­u­ca­tion as the na­tional birth rate has in­creased by 10 per­cent in re­cent years.

Se­nior of­fi­cial of Preschool Depart­ment of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Cul­ture, Sci­ence and Sports L.Ot­gon­suren pointed out that to in­crease kinder­garten ac­cess, the min­istry is work­ing to in­clude funds for pur­chas­ing or rent­ing pri­vate kin­der­gartens that pro­vide chil­dren with com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment and meet rel­e­vant stan­dards in the 2018 state bud­get, and noted that 29 pri­vate kin­der­gartens of Ulaan­baatar and prov­inces pro­posed to trans­fer the fa­cil­ity to the Cap­i­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity.

He added that the min­istry is col­lab­o­rat­ing with 136 pri­vate kin­der­gartens to pro­vide 3,087 chil­dren who were un­able to en­roll in a pub­lic kinder­garten with preschool ed­u­ca­tion ac­cess.

Head of La­bor and So­cial Pro­tec­tion at the Min­istry’s Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment S.Tun­galag­tamir em­pha­sized that the gov­ern­ment de­voted 3.8 bil­lion MNT to pro­vide child care ser­vices to 5,496 chil­dren, in­clud­ing 297 chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties.

She noted that the min­istry wants to draw out 5.8 bil­lion MNT from the 2018 state bud­get to pro­vide child care ser­vices to over 5,200 chil­dren through­out the coun­try through 426 cen­ters. S.Tun­galag­tamir pointed out that the min­istry is giv­ing pref­er­en­tial treat­ment to chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and chil­dren of low-in­come fam­i­lies in its child care ser­vice.

Head of the Cap­i­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity (CEA) J.Gan­tulga stressed that as last year the gov­ern­ment is­sued an or­der that pro­motes the es­tab­lish­ment of kin­der­gartens un­der pub­lic and pri­vate part­ner­ship, sev­eral state or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Gen­eral In­tel­li­gence Agency and Law En­force­ment Uni­ver­sity opened kin­der­gartens for their em­ploy­ees. This year, five pub­lic and pri­vate part­ner­ships were made to open new kin­der­gartens, in­clud­ing the Gov­ern­ment Of­fice of Khan-Uul District, Ther­mal Power Plant No.4, and Wed­ding Palace.

J.Gan­tulga said that as open­ing a kinder­garten to pro­vide its em­ploy­ees’ kids preschool ed­u­ca­tion cre­ates many ad­van­tages for an or­ga­ni­za­tion, es­pe­cially for their em­ploy­ees, or­ga­ni­za­tions should work to open a kinder­garten or cen­ter for child care ser­vice.

He noted that to re­duce kinder­garten short­age, CEA is sup­port­ing all or­ga­ni­za­tions seek­ing to open a child care cen­ter for their em­ploy­ees by pro­vid­ing ad­vice on how to meet kinder­garten or child­care ser­vice stan­dards.

Par­ents leave home ear­lier due to traf­fic con­ges­tion to get their chil­dren to kinder­garten on time and to not be late to work, and they also leave work early to pick up their kids from kinder­garten on time. But if their or­ga­ni­za­tions have their own kin­der­gartens for staff chil­dren, they will no longer face such prob­lem.

Three of the new 13 kin­der­gartens this year were built with fi­nanc­ing from the state bud­get; an­other three were built with fi­nanc­ing from the cap­i­tal’s bud­get; two were com­mis­sioned with a loan and aid from for­eign coun­tries; an­other two through con­ces­sion agree­ments; and three more with funds from dis­tricts’ bud­gets.

Although the gov­ern­ment is ex­plor­ing many av­enues to pro­vide preschool ed­u­ca­tion ac­cess to all chil­dren, find­ing more financial re­sources to build more kin­der­gartens is the best way for the coun­try to deal with its preschool ed­u­ca­tion chal­lenge as the na­tion’s birthrate is in­creas­ing at an ever grow­ing rate.

Photo by E.KHARTSAGA

Kids at the Kinder­garten No.198

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