Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 22, 2014 Part II



Zavkhan hosts “Mongolian Teenage Chess Players-9999”
September 22 (news.mn) “Mongolian Teenage Chess Players -9999” was organized in 24 soums in Zavkhan aimag and the results for players entering the final rounds of competition were announced on September 20 and 21st.

The winners will compete in the final in Uliastai in Zavkhan, on September 22 to 23rd. The chess tournament is being organized by the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism under World Chess Federation (FIDE) rules. This is the first time that 9,999 chess players have competed at once.
President of the FIDE Kirsan Ilyumjinov is visiting Mongolia for the chess tournament.
Kirsan Ilyumjinov was expected to land on Sunday morning but his flight was delayed due to bad weather, and he stayed in Moscow. He told reporters about his disappointment, as he was excited to be present at the tournament in Mongolia.
Later that evening, the President of FIDE landed at Chinggis Khaan Airport.  Kirsan Ilyumjinov headed to Zavkhan for the chess tournament as soon he arrived.

23 year-old beauty crowned "Miss World Mongolia 2014"
September 22 (news.mn) The final competition of the Miss World Mongolia 2014 national beauty contest was held at the State Academic Drama Theatre. Twenty-three year-old T.Battsetseg was crowned “Miss World Mongolia 2014” to represent Mongolia at the 63rd Miss World pageant being held in London in November.
Miss World Mongolia 2014 has been organized as a reality show for the past three months.
T.Battsetseg has previously been recognized as a top Asian model, Miss Manchuria, and she took second place in Miss Mongolia 2010. She is now a teacher art Shileml Zagvar fashion agency.
A model from Mongol Model Agency, J.Enerel, took second place in Miss World Mongolia 2014, and D.Dolgion took third place.
Related:
Mongolian to Attend “Miss World 2014”Montsame, September 22

Developing education
By B. Uuriintuya
September 22 (Mongolian Economy) Public Private Partnership (PPP) in education has been growing rapidly the last two decades. Although the term is not new, its scope has been recently gathering attention in low- and middle-income countries.
Traditional schooling is largely provided and financed by governments. However, due to unmet demand for education coupled with shrinking government budgets in the public sector, many parts of the world are developing innovative partnerships with the private sector, says the World Bank.
As for Mongolia, the education sector has experienced poor recent development. In fact, standards and recruitment are falling lower with each passing year. The government is not able to subsidise the sector with the money needed to meet growing demands and needs. For this reason, the government of Mongolia is focused on finding alternatives for financial resources in the education sector. According to officials, one alternative could be Public Private Partnership.
According to official numbers, children aged 0-19 years old comprise about 37.7 percent of Mongolia’s total population. Besides the growing demand for schools, most existing school buildings are nearing the end of their usage period. In some cases, children are taught in non-school buildings, because there are insufficient schools.
Parliament’s proposal on improving provisions states that about MNT 829.5 billion is needed to build 686 new schools, kindergartens, sport halls, and dormitories to accommodate196,300 children by 2015. Unfortunately, the government cannot achieve such a lofty goal in such a short time. Many experts working in the field say the government must rely on other domestic resources, such as the private sector, to meet the high demand. However, they also acknowledge the fact that Mongolia lacks experience and practice in PPP.
UNESCO reported in its ‘Education for all—Global Monitoring Report 2013-14’ that the world’s top donors are likely to reduce their financial support to the education sector globally. Thus, for countries like Mongolia, the importance of a partnership between the government and the private sector could ease the pressure on financing and developing education. “PPP is not wholly new in Mongolia. But now that there is a policy concerning the partnership, its implementation will proceed according to higher standards,” said D.Bailikhuu, Project Advisor to the Asian Development Bank. He added, “There is no specific standard on PPP. However, the implementation should fit certain peculiarities. And regulations should go on as stated in the agreements.”
Often governments lack the money, the capacity, or the latest technologies that the private sector has. On the other hand, private sector participants are often uncertain about the legal environment they are working in. So, the right cooperation between the two could bring about great results, explained D.Bailikhuu.
PPP in education is based on three main services: infrastructural, support, and educational. Infrastructural provisions include private sector construction, ownership, and operation of facilities, which the government then uses to run a school through a long-term agreement that can often span up to 30 years. With support services, the private sector provides certain basic amenities in the school—like school meals, IT facilities, laboratories, gyms, transportation services, and so on—for which the government pays. Educational services deliver both infrastructural and support services at once. In this case, the whole school is run by a private sector associate.
In Mongolia, private sector participation does not exceed granting scholarships or opening new laboratories for schools, explained M.Enkhee, Officer of the Department of Strategic Policy and Planning. She continued, “There are various forms of participation of the private sector. For example, subsidised loans on importing equipment with the purpose to use in schools is a form of PPP.” She also added, the State could not afford to finance all the demands coming from the education sector. Thus, partnering with the private sector could improve the deteriorating condition of public education.
At the moment, the one and only progressing work in this field is a building project of 72 schools and kindergartens regulated by a Consortium Agreement. The Ministry of Economic Development is in charge of the project. With the private sector introducing the latest experiences, and a public sector that fully understands the necessity of mutual cooperation, the future holds bright opportunities for Mongolian children and citizens, explained both D.Bailikhuu and M.Enkhee.

Mongolia's Foreign Ministry Works in US to Promote V Freedom Online Conference in Ulaanbaatar, May 2015
September 22 (infomongolia.com) In April 2014, Mongolian delegates led by Foreign Minister L.Bold have attended at the IV Freedom Online Conference (FOC) held in Tallinn, Estonia, and during the Conference, the FOC member countries unanimously agreed electing Mongolia to chair the Coalition in 2015 and the V Freedom Online Conference will be organized in Ulaanbaatar in May 2015.
Th e Freedom Online Conference is a dialog forum that aims to deepen the discussions on how freedom of expression on the Internet is helping to promote social, cultural and economic development worldwide and in this scope, as part of preparations for the V Freedom Online Conference Ulaanbaatar, Mongolian delegates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are conducting a working visit to the United States meeting with leading internet-related global companies’ representatives starting from September 17th and currently Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral and advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat are working in New York, USA.
Meeting with Google Company representatives
Ambassador-at-Large, Mr. S.Badral and advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. O.Mashbat had a meeting with Global Head of Free Expression and International Relations at Google, Mr. Ross LaJeunesse in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 2014.
At the meeting, the latter said the Google Company has been promoting online freedom initiative by the Government of Mongolia and stressed that Mongolia has been setting an example to other countries by developing democracy. In this regard, the Google Company is highly interested in taking active part in Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference to be hosted in Mongolia in May 2015.
Meeting with Facebook and Linkedin representatives Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral met with Facebook Company Vice President, Mr. M.Levin and LinkedIn Company Vice President, Mr. Pablo Chavez on September 17, 2014.
The Ambassador-at-Large talked about the Mongolia’s chairmanship of Online Freedom Coalition and shared views on possibilities for the cooperation in the IT sector and promotion of values of democracy and online freedom. Mr. Levin and Mr. Chavez thanked for inviting to the Ministerial and proposing to arrange special company events during the upcoming conference.
Meeting with Mozilla representatives
Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral and advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat held a meeting with Mozilla Company senior policy engineer, Mr. Chris Riley on September 18, 2014.
Mr. Badral invited the Mozilla Company representatives to take part in the Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference. Mr. Chris Riley accepted the invitation and said that the company is interested in promoting the cheapest in the world smart phones during the event.
Meeting with U.S. State Department representatives
Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral and advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat had a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, Mr. Scott Busby and U.S. Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Mr. Christopher Painter.
The sides shared views on cooperation opportunities during the Mongolia’s chairmanship of Freedom Online Coalition. The American side expressed its readiness to provide a support in the organization of the Ministerial Conference.
The same day, Mr. Badral and Mr. Mashbat had a meeting with Deputy Chief of the FCC’s International Bureau, Ms. Nese Guendelsberger and senior advisor and Acting Director of the Office of Policy and Outreach at the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs, Ms. Susan Ritchie. The sides talked about their participation in the 5th International Conference on ICT Convergence to take place in Busan, the Republic of Korea in October 2014 and shared views on possibilities for the cooperation in the IT sphere.
Meeting with Twitter and Microsoft Company representatives
On September 19, 2014, Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral and advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat had a meeting with Twitter Company’s Vice President of Global Public Policy Mr. Colin Crowell and the Senior Director, Trade Policy & Strategy, Microsoft Corporation, Mr. Dorothy Dwoskin in Washington D.C., United States.
During the meeting, parties shared views on cooperation opportunities during the Mongolia’s chairmanship of the V Freedom Online Coalition in Ulaanbaatar and welcomed the latter parts to take part in, who are warmly accepted the invitation to copromote the values of democracy, internet freedom and IT.
Link to article

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