Mongolia National Virtual Launch of the SDG 4 -Education 2030 Advocacy Month of August 2021

On 6 Aug 2021, UNESCO as custodian agency for SDG4 co-organized with United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRC) – Mongolia, UNCT-Mongolia, UNICEF Mongolia, Mongolia Ministry of Education and Science and the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, the virtual National Launch of the SDG 4 -Education 2030 Advocacy Month of August 2021. The theme of the launch is “Localizing SDG4 for Inclusive, Equitable and Quality Education in Mongolia”. The United Nations Country Team in Mongolia had designated each month in 2021 for one SDG and August was devoted to SDG4.

The virtual launch was chaired by Ms. Uyanga, the Secretary-General of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO.

H.E Mr Enkh-Amgalan Luvsantseren, Mongolian Minister of Education and Science opened the launch. He acknowledged the significant progress in Mongolia’s education sector since 2016 when SDG 4 – Education 2030 Agenda was localized and aligned with the country’s education sector strategy and plan. He assured the United Nations and Development Partners that the Mongolian Government’s strong commitment in reforming the education system towards building an equitable, inclusive and lifelong world-class education system. He appreciated the technical and financial support provided by the United Nations and thanked UNESCO and UNICEF in working closely with the Ministry of Education and Science in enhancing the quality of education towards the achievement of SDG 4 targets by 2030 and leave no child behind.

Mr. Tapan, the UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, reaffirmed in his opening speech the strong commitment of the UN team in supporting the Ministry of Education and Science in its effort in the localization of SDGs and SDG 4 in Mongolia. He highlighted “quality education” is key to achieving the SDGs and 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The United Nations System in Mongolia will always be standing along with the Mongolian Government, institutions and stakeholders to continue promoting policy dialogue, provide technical assistance, building capacity, setting standards and promoting best practices to build the resilience of the social, economic and environmental systems of Mongolia after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Beijing Office, reiterated in his opening remarks the key pillars of SDG4 access, equity, inclusion, quality education and lifelong learning must be embraced by all education systems in any country. In the past five years, UNESCO has been focused providing the technical and financial assistance to Mongolia for the reform of the education system, review education policy and laws, and undertaking an in-depth review and analysis of the challenges of the education sector. From 2018-2020, the UNESCO-led comprehensive Education Sector Policy Review and the TVET Sector Policy Review, highlighted some of the issues and challenges related to quality and relevance of education in Mongolia. In addition, UNESCO had contributed in building capacity in education policy analysis, sector-wide planning techniques, monitoring and evaluation. The policy reviews and analysis of the education sector has significantly contributed to the preparation and approval of the Education Sector Medium Term Development Plan (ESMTDP) 2021-2030 in alignment with the overall framework of Mongolia SDG Vision 2030, socio-economic development strategy and priorities. He reassured UNESCO’s continuing support to Mongolia to further enhance capacity in education, policy analysis, sector-wide planning, education monitoring and evaluation, ICT in education policy and master plan, ESD, lifelong learning, SDG4 benchmarking, education data collection, analysis and reporting and the higher education sub-sector.

Mrs. Speciose Hakizimana, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Mongolia then also gave opening remarks in represtation of UNICEF. Ms. Hakizimana highlighted the UNICEF’s technical and final support to the Education Sector in Mongolia to advance the SDG4 agenda at the country level. She highlighted the contributions made by UNICEF in ECD policy and legislation and capacity development.

Mr. Robert Parua, the Education Programme Specialist from UNESCO Beijing Office, made a keynote presentation. He reminded the education stakeholders in Mongolia about the commitments made at the 2015 World Education Forum of the Incheon Declaration, SDG4 and the 7 targets and 3 mean of implementation and indicators. He highlighted that Mongolia had all the key elements such as the Education 2050 vision and Education Sector Medium Development (2021-30) are approved and the biggest challenge now is to ensure its implementation in 2021. UNESCO and key partners are ready to support the Ministry of Education and Science in the key reform agenda.

Following, Mr Ganbaatar Jadamba, Head of Department of Policy Planning, Ministry of Education and Science made the second keynote presentation to review the progress of localization and implementation of the SDG 4 – Education 2030 Agenda aligned with the education Vision 2050 strategy and the education Sector Medium Term Development Plan (2021-2030) in Mongolia aligned with the Mongolian Government Vision 2030 in sustainable development. He thanked UNESCO, UNICEF and all the UN Agencies in Mongolia in support the Ministry of Education and Science to achieve the SDG4 targets by 2030. Mr. Ganbaatar, confirmed that the Ministry had established the taskforce to prepare the SDG4 mid-term progress report for Mongolia by the end of the year.

UNFPA Mongolia, UNICEF Mongolia, IOM Mongolia and “All for Education” National Civil Society Coalition, shared their relevant activities, reflections and inputs that contributed to the SDG 4 implementation and achievements in Mongolia. Ms Uyanga Sukhbaatar, Secretary-General of the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO closed the virtual launch, which actually, marks the beginning of a month-long advocacy campaign for SDG 4-Education 2030 Agenda in Mongolia.