Today we received news from three learning centers in Mongolia. In Bulgan, Maralmaa started new English classes. Zavkhan and Arvaikheer exchanged ideas and experiences during a week of intense training.
Maralmaa Jargalsaikhan has been at BOOKBRIDGE since 2011. This month, she came back from her maternity leave and started to offer English courses for 26 students. She has also organised an English language competition amongst secondary schools. Welcome back, Maralmaa!
The next task for the learning center is to explore possibilities of providing paid courses in the community. Bulgan is a very small community with many poor and unemployed people who hardly make a living. About 60km away there is a bigger mining town. As this town has attractive employment opportunities, a high number of companies and receives statal development investments, Bulgan hasn’t been able to attract much support and investment from the government. Maralmaa is therefore trying to improve educational and career chances in Bulgan by providing English classes.
The learning centers in Zavkhan and Arvaikheer had an intense encounter. Dulamsuren Dorjtudev (Duya), manager of Zavkhan learning center, spent a week in Arvaikheer to exchange experiences and ideas with the team there. Uugana Gantumur and Buyandelger (Buyana) from Arvaikheer have been with BOOKBRIDGE for more than four years now, well known in their community and have a lot of experience with teaching English.
Although Duya has graduated from university as English language teacher several years back, she hasn’t been able to teach English to students so far. Therefore, she has little experience and confidence to teach English even to beginners. After a week in Arvaikheer where she talked to Uuganaa and Buyana and attended their classes, Duya felt much more confident because she now knows what and how to teach.
A follow-up visit by Buyana in Zavkhan is plannend for the end of May so that Duyas learnings from Arvaikheer have consolidated a bit and she feels supported. Our program goals for Mongolia say that in 1,5 to 2 years, Duya will be able to offer English courses to primary and middle grade students (up to 8th grade in the 12-year Mongolian school system).
We are very happy to hear that despite her little experience Duya is fully committed to teaching English. Duya puts he heart and soul into her job as head of the learning center and librarian. She receives support from three Peace Corps volunteers that help Duya to improve her English teaching skills besides their English language teaching jobs at secondary schools.