Boarding schools in transition: A post-socialist analysis of “relevance” as an education policy problem in Mongolia
Abstract views: 3275 / PDF downloads: 218
Keywords:Mongolia, Boarding schools, Nomadic herders, Post-socialist childhood, Education policy
The rural boarding schools that were established in the socialist era to serve children in Mongolia’s herding communities remain integral to national policy for ensuring universal access to formal education. Education policy actors demonstrate commitment to the socialist legacy of the schooled herder child, while at the same posing legitimate questions as to boarding schools’ quality and contemporary relevance. This questioning is framed with reference to a globally-orientated discourse of standards, outcomes measurement and skills for employability. The paper argues from a post-socialist perspective that this orientation forecloses a nuanced, contextualised understanding of “relevance” as a complex educational policy problem. Drawing on policy documents and secondary literature, it develops and applies a post-socialist conceptual framework to explore the temporal and spatial orientations of rural boarding schools and their “relevance”. The analysis evidences multiple, intersecting layers of change which situate the schooled herder child and constitute Mongolia”s “unfinished business of socialism” in education. The paper concludes that the layering revealed in this analysis needs to be more visible to educational policy; and that to resist oversimplifying the complex problem of education”s relevance is an ontological imperative.
Ahearn, A. (2018). Winters without women: Social change, split households and gendered labour in rural Mongolia. Gender, Place and Culture, 25(3), 399-415. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1443910
Ahearn, A. (2020). The New Mongolian State Herder: Examining invocations and improvisations of the state in rural Mongolia. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110(3), 882-898. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1638750
Ahearn, A., & D. Bumochir. (2016). Contradictions in schooling children among Mongolian pastoralists. Human Organization, 75(1), 87-96. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7259-75.1.87
Allemann, L. (2018). “I do not know if Mum knew what was going on”: Social reproduction in boarding schools in Soviet Lapland. Acta Borealia, 35(2), 115–142. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08003831.2018.1536115
Batbaatar, M., Ts., Bold, J. Marshall, D., Oyuntsetseg, Ch. Tamir, & G., Tumennast. (2005). Children on the move Rural-urban migration and access to education in Mongolia. Save the Children UK: Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre.
Bat-Erdene, R., Costa, V., & Yeager, J. (1996, March 8). The impact on structural adjustment in the Ministry of Science and Education, Mongolia. Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia.
Batkhyuyag, B., & Dondogdulan, T. (2018). Mongolia case study: The evolving education needs and realities of nomads and pastoralists. Background paper to the 2018 Global Education Monitoring Report. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000266084
Caskey, B. (1979). The pedagogical theories of A. S. Makarenko: A comparative analysis. Comparative Education, 15(3), 277–286. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0305006790150306
Chankseliani, M., & I. Silova. (2018). Reconfiguring education purposes, policies and practices during post-socialist transformations: Setting the stage. In M. Chankseliani, & I. Silova, (Eds.), Comparing post-socialist transformations: purposes, policies and practices in education (pp. 7-25). Symposium Books. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15730/books.104
Demberel & Penn, H. (2006). Education and pastoralism in Mongolia. In C. Dyer (Ed.), The education of nomadic peoples: Current issues, future prospects (193-211). Berghahn Books. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv287sfk7.15
Dyer, C. (2014). Livelihoods and learning: Education for all and the marginalisation of mobile pastoralists. Routledge.
Dyer, C., & Rajan, V. (2021). Left behind? Internally migrating children and the ontological crisis of formal education systems in South Asia. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2021.1907175
Engel, J., Prizzon, A., & Amgaabazar, G. (2014). From decline to recovery Post-primary education in Mongolia. Overseas Development Institute. https://cdn.odi.org/media/documents/9054.pdf
Golubev, A. (2020). The things of life: materiality in late Soviet Russia. Cornell University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501752902
Hendrick, H. (1997). Constructions and reconstructions of British childhood: An interpretive survey, 1800 to the present. In A., James,.& A. Prout (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood (pp.). RoutledgeFalmer.
International Organization for Migration. (2018). Mongolia: Internal Migration Study. Ulaanbaatar: International Organization for Migration. Available: https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/mongolia_internal_ migration_study.pdf.
Jelača, D., & Lugarić, D. (2018). The “radiant future” of spatial and temporal dis/orientations. In J. F. Bailyn, D. Jelača, & D. Lugarić (Eds.), The future of (post)socialism: Eastern European perspectives (pp. 1–16). State University of New York Press.
Kelly, C. (2007). Children’s world: Growing up in Russia 1890-1991. Yale University Press.
Kojanic, O. (2020). Theory from the peripheries: What can the anthropology of postsocialism offer to European anthropology? Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 29(2), 49–66. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2020.290204
Kraftl, P. (2020). After childhood: Re-thinking environment, materiality and media in children’s lives. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315110011
Krätli, S., & Dyer, C. (2009). Mobile pastoralists and education: Strategic options. IIED. https://pubs.iied.org/10021iied.
Luke, A. (2018). Youth and the Cuban revolution: Youth culture and politics in 1960s Cuba. Lexington.
Maruyama, A., N. Blöndal, N. Yondonjamts, A. Tseveen, T. Purevsambuu, N. Danzan & M. Bayansan. (2019). Impact Evaluation Baseline Survey of School Dormitory Environment in Mongolia. Asian Development Bank. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22617/TCS190595-2
Marzluf, P. (2015). The pastoral home school: Rural, vernacular and grassroots literacies in early Soviet Mongolia. Central Asian Survey, 34(2), 204–218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2014.991611
Marzluf, P. (2017). Literacy under authority: The Mongolian cultural campaigns. The Journal of Asian Studies, 76(1), 135–157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911816001194
Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. (2020a). Towards Mongolia’s Long-term Development Policy Vision 2050: Advancing education equity, efficiency and outcomes. A synthesis report. Government of Mongolia: Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. https://www.globalpartnership.org/sites/default/files/document/file/2020-12-17-towards-mongolia-long-term-development-policy-vision-2050-advancing-education-equity-efficiency-outcomes.pdf
Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. (2020b) Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan 2021-2030. Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. https://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/en/2020/education-sector-medium-term-development-plan-2021-2030-7059
Mongolia Institute of Educational Research (2019). Education in Mongolia: A country background study. Mongolia Institute of Educational Research. Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. https://www.globalpartnership.org/sites/default/files/document/file/2020-12-17-towards-mongolia-long-term-development-policy-vision-2050-advancing-education-equity-efficiency-outcomes.pdf. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1596/34397
Morris, E., & Bruun, O. (2005). Promoting employment opportunities in rural Mongolia. International Labour Office Subregional Office for East Asia.
Penn, H. (2001). Culture and childhood in pastoralist communities: The example of Outer Mongolia. In L. Alanen, & B. Mayall (Eds.), Conceptualising child-adult relations (pp. 86-98). Routledge.
Penn, H. (2011). Quality in early childhood services : An international perspective. McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.
Pohrib, C. (2016). The afterlives of communist things: Archiving feeling in post-communist Romania. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19(6), 724–743. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549415597926
Prout, A. (2005). The future of childhood: Towards the interdisciplinary study of children. RoutledgeFalmer.
Prout, A., & James, A. (1997). A new paradigm for the sociology of childhood? Provenance, promise and problems. In A., James, & A., Prout (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood (pp. 7-33). RoutledgeFalmer.
Sanjaa, N. (2015). Mongolia: Improving school dormitory environment for primary students in Mongolia. Report submitted to the Asian Development Bank under proposed grant no. 49168.
Save the Children Japan. (2015). Child rights situation analysis in Mongolia. Save the Children Japan.
Shore, C., & Trnka, S. (2015). Peripheral vision as anthropological critique: How perspectives from the margins can illuminate the exploits of twenty-first-century global capitalism. Focaal, 2015(71), 29–39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/fcl.2015.710104
Silova, I. (2018). Comparing Post-socialist Transformations: dead ends, new pathways and unexpected openings. In Chankseliani, M. & Silova, I. (eds) Comparing Post-Socialist Transformations: purposes, policies and practices in education. (pp. 193-206) Symposium Books.
Stearns, P. (2021). Childhood in world history (4. Edition). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003161752
Steiner-Khamsi, G., & Stolpe, I.(2005). Non-traveling “best practices” for a traveling population: The case of nomadic education in Mongolia. European Educational Research Journal, 4(1), 22-35. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2005.4.1.2
Stenning, A., & Horschelmann, K. (2008). History, geography and difference in the post-socialist world: Or, do we still need post-socialism. Antipode, 40(2), 312–335. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2008.00593.x
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2020). Mongolia, education policy review: Towards a lifelong learning system. UNESCO https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373687#:~:text=Mongolia”s%20Education%20Policy%20Review%20process,team%2C%20led%20by%20Nergui%20Nerendoo.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2019). TVET policy review: Mongolia. Mongolia: Ministry of Social Labour and Protection/UNESCO. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374199
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. (2017). Mining-related in-migration and the impact on children in Mongolia. Research findings and recommendations. UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/mongolia/reports/mining-related-migration-and-impact-children-mongolia
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2010) Reaching the Marginalized. Education For All Global Monitoring Report. UNESCO. https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2010/reaching-marginalized.
Wells, K. (2021). Childhood in global perspective (3. Edition). Polity Press.
Wyness, M. (2012). Childhood and society (2. Edition). Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-230-35725-9
Yembuu, B., & Munkh-Erdene, K. (2006). Literacy country study: Mongolia. Background paper prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006 Literacy for Life. UNESCO.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Attribution: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial: You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Author(s) must confirm that the Journal of Childhood, Education & Society retains all the copyrights unconditionally and indefinitely to publish articles.