VSO is an international charity organization that works to alleviate disadvantage through placing volunteers with different organizations.
Education is one of VSO’s programme areas in Mongolia. The overall aim of the VSO Mongolia Education Programme for 2007-2010 is to make a significant contribution to improvements in the quality of teaching and to make education provisioning more inclusive in Darkhan-Uul, Dornod and Uvurkhangai aimags and in up to two peri-urban districts of Ulaanbaatar.
To achieve this, VSO volunteers works with teachers, social workers and education managers to develop their ability to address the learning needs of disadvantaged students. We work with schools, teacher training colleges and aimag Education and Culture Departments and Universities to develop their capacity to deliver high quality support for teacher development.
Currently we have volunteers placed in Lotus centre, Dharkhan institute, Dornod Mongolian institute, Kindergarten 10, , Mongolian national university save the children UK, humanitarian university among others. In the year 2007, VSO is planning to start working in Uvurkhangai aimag in education issues
Our volunteers include pre-school teacher trainers and methodologists , ELT teacher trainers, social worker teacher trainers, Education advisors, management advisors and child protection advisors, We also have partnerships and are planning to build more partnerships with the Education Departments of the aimags,
VSO volunteers are placed for with organizations or institutes for differing periods of time. Some volunteers are long-term term (1-2 years) or can be placed for a short term duration (ranging from 1 year, 6 months or even a few weeks placement).
Other activities that VSO education programme is engaged in include organising partner exchange visits and study tours. We organize exchange visits for our local education partners to learn from each other and share information and experiences. We also organize international exchange visits for our local partners to learn from other international organizations and education programmes. In the year 2007 some of VSO’s local partners will participate in a links tour to Vietnam to learn more about inclusive education issues.
VSO education programme also works very closely with the national volunteering programme to enable the local Mongolian volunteers to be active in ensuring provision of quality education in their locations. For example with the assistance of a VSO volunteer, Dharkhan institute is training and building capacities of volunteer English teachers who will train other English teachers in their locality. Such volunteers will also be sent to the rural schools where there is a lack of trained teachers
VSO also partners with other national and international education organizations and programmes in Mongolia to increase the capacity of the education system to deliver inclusive and quality education services. VSO has been very active in the education donor consultative mechanism which was working with the Government of Mongolia in the preparation and implementation of the Education sector master plan
VSO Mongolia education programme also develops the capacity of civil society organisations to advocate for pro-poor policies and monitor their implementation. VSO intends to influence implementation of inclusive education policy in Mongolia by working together with other organizations in a coalition of actors in inclusive education. We also intend to work more closely with other organizations to ensure parents and community involvement in the area of inclusive education.
Currently VSO is also partnering with Mongolian education alliance in the teacher development programme especially in training of its national teacher trainers in interactive teaching methodologies. VSO also intends to partner with MEA in other areas like enhancing the quality of preschool education and ensuring access of the disadvantaged children to school and in advocacy for inclusive policies as well as capacity building.
We hope that many of the education organizations in Mongolia will partner with VSO and support us in our work.
Elizabeth N. Mulongo Partnership development advisor, (education programme)