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Only in Mongolia: Schools that work in six shifts

Trans. by B.Narantuya

Schools that are not up to standards are closed and torn down in Ulaanbaatar, but the process of rebuilding and repair work is taking long, giving rise to many problems.

For example, the students of School No.3 have been studying in different schools for three years because it was torn down for reconstruction.

Furthermore, 50 school and kindergarten premises are registered as out of use buildings in the capital city. The State Professional Inspection Agency closed six schools due to outdated infrastructure: School No.3 and No.11 of Sukhbaatar District, School No.38 and No.73 of Bayangol District, School No.32 of Khan-Uul District and School No.14 of Bayanzurkh District. School No.3 and No.11 will be built through state funding, while four will be built through a concession. Authorities said that contractors of the projects will be announced within this year.

The following are reports of schools that are operating in different building.

Bayangol District, School No.73

Overall 1,000 students study at School No.73 and since they don’t have their own building, students study in two different places. Students of the primary school, grades one to five, study at Gan Zam School No.20, while their secondary and high schools study at School No.51. This school has a dormitory because children from Tuul, Emeelt and Rashaant regions study there. Some students even study at the dormitory. The children of primary school study in three shifts. After the second shifts finishes the third shift, study in a room with no air circulation. The third shift classes finish at 19:30 which is a difficult condition for younger children. Since the library is not working children are not able to read new books, said the school’s librarian.

 The following is an interview with the teacher of class 5B of School No.73, D.Tuvshinjargal.

When will the school’s reconstruction begin? Do you have any information?

 We get information about the school only from our director and he says that the contractor has been announced but we don’t know the reason why it’s taking that long [to start the contruction]. The new school was planned to be commissioned by the first of September of next year. I think it is not possible. Some parents say that the land is going to be sold. This kind of news are really stressful for us. We fear of losing the school and our jobs.

 What kind of issues are you facing in your daily operation?

 Of course, I think that there is no place like Mongolia, where the schools work in six shifts. After School No.20 finishes its third shift, my school faces a lot of troubles. We used to have about 1,000 students, and now many of them have transferred. Children, parents and teachers are all facing hard conditions.

 Would you say that children’s rights are being violated?

 Children can’t enjoy their certain rights in the field of study. Officially, classes must be taught for 40 minutes but we have only about 35 minutes. Kids can’t study in an appropriate and comfortable environment.

Sukhbaatar District, School No.11

 The students of School No.11 of Sukhbaatar District are studying at the building of School No.31. School No.11 has approximately 600 students. The school is working in two shifts. An average class has 38 students.

According to the director of the school, they have no problem teaching, but basic needs such as toilets, dining halls and facilies for students to spend free time are the issue. The new school is planned to be built through the state fund. Officials say that the selection process of the contractor was announced on August 29, 2014 and the deadline for registering ended on September 29. School No.11 is optimistic that they will have their premises built soon.

 Sukhbaatar District, School No.3

School No.3 was founded in 1921 and has over 1,485 students. Since 2012, students of the school have been studying in two shifts at School No.4 and No.16. Children of primary school used to study in three shifts before, but now it has been changed to two.

 The following is an interview with the director of School No.3, B.Khorolgarav.

Since 2012, students have been studying at different places. When was the school building originally planned to be commissioned?

 At the time of the agreement, I was not the director. So I have no idea about this first agreement. Officials say that the rebuilding process will be finished by September next year.

At what level is the building’s construction currently at?

 The concrete framework has been finished. The overall budget for the reconstruction of our school is 6.8 billion MNT.

 You said that there is no problem in teaching and studying. Are there any other issues?

 We are facing some trouble in developing our student’s talent and abilities.

 Bayanzurkh District, School No.14

 In December 2013, the State Professional Inspection Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency inspected School No.14 at the report that a ceiling of the restroom on the first floor collapsed. As a result, the school was closed. Since then, the students of the school have been studying at Shavi complex, School No.92 and No.44. The director of the school refused to be interviewed and did not provide any information.

 Khan-Uul District, School No.32

School No.32 was founded in 1954 dedicated to the animal laboratory. In 1965, the laboratory was recommissioned into a school, where about 600 children of Zaisan area studied until 2013. The school was officially closed in May 2013 as a ceiling broke down due to water pipeline issues. The reconstruction of the school is estimated to cost 5.8 billion MNT and the construction work hasn’t started yet. Currently around 350 students of grades one to five study at a gym premise that was built in 2009, while the students of grades six to 12 have been studying at School No.15 for the second year.

Director of School No.32 G.Munkhbayar said that when he started working as the director in 2011, the school building was not up to standards.

“At the moment, our students study at the lobby of School No.15. Since the teachers of School No.15 lock the doors of classes, our students and teachers have no way of working. I have made requests several times to the related departments, there was no response. The teachers of the secondary school, education manager, social workers are at School No.15, while the archive and the library are located at the gym. The ministry aims to develop every child but we have no opportunity to develop our students under these circumstances. I would like to ask authorities to resolve the inactive concession agreement and the budget problem for renewing the school building.”

 

Source: Undesnii Shuudan

 

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