In Mongolia, children with disabilities were denied, for years, the right to education. However, advocacy efforts of civil society organizations to introduce inclusive education in the country are starting to bear fruit.
The state of education for children with disabilities in Mongolia has seen significant improvement in recent years, owing to a combination of policy changes, increased funding and social awareness.
The Mongolian government has implemented various legal frameworks and policies that focus on the rights and needs of children with disabilities, including the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2016) and the National Program on Inclusive Education (2017-2020).
While the government has made an effort to construct accessible infrastructure in schools and establish specialized institutions, many children with disabilities still face barriers in accessing quality education, especially those in rural areas. Limited teacher training in special needs education, inadequate learning materials and lack of comprehensive support services have hindered the effective implementation of inclusive education policies.
Mongolia has been a GPE partner since 2006 and has since received nearly US$45 million in grants. The current $5 million grant - implemented by Save the Children Australia - supports the project Enabling Equity to Advance Learning which aims to increase all children’s access to primary and secondary education and promotes inclusive education services.
Additionally, Education Out Loud – GPE’s fund for advocacy – has been supporting the All4Education network to build partners’ capacity to ensure the needs of children with disabilities are catered for. These initiatives have focused on improving teacher training in special needs, building accessible infrastructure, distributing learning materials that are disability sensitive and promoting awareness campaigns on the rights of children with disabilities.
Oyunjargal, a 17-year-old student living in the rural village of in Arbulag, who has a hearing impairment, has reaped the benefits of these efforts. She is now attending school, and learning sign language.
Mongolia has made important strides in becoming more inclusive - data from 2021 shows that more than 80 percent of children with disabilities are now in school. Sustained investment in inclusive infrastructure, teacher training and comprehensive support services remain essential if the country is to continue improvements to ensure that all children with disabilities have equal access to quality education.
00:03 – 00:17 – Aerial view, Oyunjargal’s home in the countryside
00:15 – 01:30 – Oyunjargal’s daily life with her family
01:33 – 01:56 – Aerial view, Murun city
01:56 – 02:15 – Oyunjargal studies at her aunts house in Murun
02:15 – 02:37 – Oyunjargal spends time, communicates with friends
02:37 – 03:10 – Oyunjargal takes part in a gym class, studies at school
03:12 – 04:36 – INTV – Oyunjargal – 17-year-old student
04:39 – 06:05 – INTV - Tungalag Dondogdulam, General Coordinator of All for Education!” National Civil Society Coalition
06:10 - 07:30 – INTV - Enkh-Amgalan – Minister for Education
07:33 - 08:19 – INTV - Gansugh Ulziitogtokh – Oyunjargal’s father
08:19 - 09:28 – INTV - Enkhjargal Baljirkhuu – Teacher
Oyunjargal – 17-year-old student
Tungalag Dondogdulam, General Coordinator of All for Education National Civil Society Coalition
can make an impact on this change.
Enkh-Amgalan – Minister for Education
Education itself should be inclusive, should be equitable to all people, because this is a fundamental right, a human right, that means that all kids, all children, regardless of their parents, they must have equal opportunity and access to quality education.
Societal participation and engagement is very important, especially,
we have to improve the public awareness of inclusive education. We have to change our mentality and mindset, our approach.
This area has become a very big challenge because we need strong participation from civil society, of stakeholders, including parents, kids, and non-profit organisations.
Definitely we need to improve this real challenge of public awareness, this is on a societal level.
Gansugh Ulziitogtokh – Oyunjargal’s father
Enkhjargal Baljirkhuu – Teacher