About the project
The Mongolian Development Centre (MDC) was established in 1993 to empower individuals, institutions, and local communities through programs centered on education and development. MDC’s early childhood development program began in 2000 and is rooted in the conviction that every child is created noble and endowed with innate capacities and potential. As part of the program, a character development curriculum was created to nurture moral reasoning in children between three and five years of age, emphasizing service to humanity.
How we help
Mona Foundation believes that teacher training and continuous learning are at the core of teaching and learning, particularly in the early years of life. For this reason, Mona has been supporting the Mongolian Development Center early childhood education program for the past eight years. We are now beginning to see how early childhood education is being transformed and practiced in Mongolia. The following quote from one of the teachers who participated in the training program is illustrative:
“First of all we need to change our mindset. We have many things which we know but never put into action. I learnt many skills and methods such as how to help children become active member of the society and how to correctly work each individual child, and ways of encouragement and conversing with them. This training is real encouragement for new teachers who have just started working as teachers. The training was very different that other trainings which we participated. For example, all teachers were able to participate and that it helped us to learn to work as teams. I was inspired to learn more and I will work hard to become a better teacher.”
The course materials are called, “Hidden Gems.” It provides character development material at three levels focusing on moral capabilities. The material includes children’s workbooks, a teacher’s manual, parents’ manual, display material with quotations and pictures illustrating moral capabilities and a CD of songs and stories.
Teachers study materials called, “‘The Teacher as a Model” and “Encouraging Children and Bringing Joy to their Hearts.” They also meet with parents during trainings to find out their views on the role of teachers as models for the children.
“Educating our Children” is a training course for parents, which helps them understand that moral education is fundamental to all branches of education and to reflect on their attitudes and practices in the education and discipline of their children. Facilitator’s training courses were organized for 72 teachers from six localities, and each planned a Parents Training for their own kindergartens.
One little kindergartener lives in an orphanage. Recently her caregiver from the orphanage met with her teachers and shared the following story. “Every day when she comes home from school she calls together every child and shares quotes, stories, songs and poems related to good behavior. This sharing has become a habit. Now everyone eagerly waits for her to return and share what she learned from school.”
The caretaker asked what kind of lessons the teacher uses and, if possible, to get some of the materials. The teachers happily conversed with her about the Hidden Gems curriculum and gave some relevant materials to her to have and use.
COVID19 forced schools to transition online during the year
Served 2,648 preschoolers and kindergarteners
Trained 11,892 parents to reinforce learning at home across 33 schools in 6 communities.
MDC staff visited 21 schools in 5 localities totaling about 100 classes
2021 Project Goals
- Will continue to hold activities online until restrictions are eased
- Conduct the Hidden Gems curriculum, including science, for all levels in 5 localities for 18 teachers.
- Train 45 facilitators to conduct training for parents. Anticipate 1,000 parents to attend.
- Continue teacher reflection gatherings, field visits to all schools, and gathering to advance discourse on early education