Peaking in 2011, the growth of Mongolia''s economy has rapidly decelerated due to declining foreign direct investment and falling commodity prices. This slowed growth has caused serious economic difficulties, including large revenue shortfalls and cuts in government investment, which are expected to continue beyond 2018 and further require the government to reduce inefficiency in public spending. Their negative impacts have already started being felt in the education sector, such as an increase of junior secondary graduates left out of school due to the suspension of monthly stipends for students in technical and vocational education and training. The tightening education budget, compounded by the growth of school age population and high costs of operating kindergartens and schools, will aggravate difficulties with sustaining access to and quality of education, especially for disadvantaged children and schools. Against this background, the government requested Asian Development Bank''s (ADB) support.
Cuts in capital expenditures add considerable pressures to existing kindergartens and schools which have already been experiencing overcrowded classes and multiple shifts. As a result, some children will not be able to enroll in kindergartens and schools. Continuous migration to Ulaanbaatar and some aimag centers is making classes increasingly scarce and overcrowded and run in two or three shifts, which exposes children to unnecessary risks. Moreover, most children with minor and severe disabilities have been left out of school outside Ulaanbaatar, because schools lack adequate facilities to accept them.
The reduction in the education budget further affects the provision of essential inputs to education and lowers the quality of student learning. Since the government barely affords to maintain salaries and operational costs of kindergartens and schools, the supply of textbooks, teaching-learning materials, tools, and equipment will be kept to the minimum. At the same time, students in the majority of non-laboratory schools will be more disadvantaged than those in laboratory schools as non-laboratory schools have already been suffering from insufficient teaching-learning materials, textbooks, library materials, and science laboratory materials and supplies. Lack of educational resources will further limit access to a full range of elective courses for senior secondary students in some of those resource-poor schools. On the other hand, out-of-school children and youths (more likely to be boys from poor households, herder families, and/or ethnic minority groups, and those with disabilities), whose number is on the increase especially during the economic difficulties, can only have limited access to quality alternative learning opportunities, which will further diminish their chances of success in life.
Lack of resources for teacher training and continuous professional development will also affect the quality of student learning as well as access to education. The child-centered methodology introduced with the latest core curricula remains yet to be mastered by many teachers at the pre-primary, primary, and junior secondary levels. Teachers at lifelong learning centers have rarely received training, which largely accounts for low quality alternative education programs for out-of-school children and youths. Moreover, the lack of resources for teacher training constrains the government's efforts to expand access to kindergartens which are currently understaffed, and to schools for children with disabilities where teachers and school staff trained in special needs education are unavailable.
A total of 20 person-months of international and 44 person-months of national consulting services will be required. Individual consultants will be engaged (6.5 person-months of international and 20 person-months of national consulting services) to conduct thematic assessments and related due diligence (environment and ethnic minorities), while 13.5 person-months of international and 24 person-months of national consulting services will be engaged through a firm (quality- and cost-based selection [90:10]; simplified technical proposal) to develop the project design, conduct due diligence of the other aspects, and prepare the RRP and PAM. ADB will ensure coordination of the outputs developed by the individual consultants and the firm. All consultants will be engaged in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). Output-based contracts and lump sum payments will be used under the TA.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF ADB
The Accountability Mechanism is an independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an Asian Development Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Accountability Mechanism, they may investigate to assess whether the Asian Development Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can learn more about the Accountability Mechanism and how to file a complaint at: http://www.adb.org/site/accountability-mechanism/main