J.Bayartsetseg: Three youth teams have been selected and received the grant

Since 2020 Save the Children has been implementing a 4-year project titled “Entrepreneurship-Focused Socio-Emotional Skills for the Most Vulnerable Youth in Rural Mongolia” in 25 soums of Khovd, Zavkhan, Uvurkgangai, Gobisumber, and Sukhbaatar provinces. This project aims to develop soft skills mostly required for the labor market, provide target youth with entrepreneurship education, improve their learning outcomes and progress and furthermore prepare them for future jobs. Success stories of project teachers/counselors, graduates, and business coaches shall be presented and this time we are introducing J.Bayartsetseg’s story.

The teacher/counselor has been selected by local authorities

“Entrepreneurship-Focused Socio-Emotional Skills for the Most Vulnerable Youth in Rural Mongolia” project has been implemented in Shiveegobi soum of Gobisumbur province since 2020. At the beginning of the project, four local teachers/counselors, including Bayartsetseg were selected and trained. She graduated from the Mongolian State University of Education majoring in computer science and mathematics, and now she is working as a training manager at Shiveegobi soum general secondary school. Explaining the reason why she decided to become a teacher/counselor she said, “When I received information about the project, I had a feeling that the training curriculum reflected current social demands, and it seemed to give me a chance to learn along with my students and develop myself personally. So I am really happy to work as a teacher/counselor.” Teachers, who have been involved in training, learned to identify adolescence and youth’s hidden talents and help them with defining personal goals, and as a result, they acquired skills required for developing young people’s entrepreneurship-focused socio-emotional skills.

Face-to-face and online trainings have been blended

COVID-19 pandemic’s spread all over the world was the biggest challenge faced at the beginning stage of the “Entrepreneurship-Focused Socio-Emotional Learning (ESEL)” training course in Shiveegobi soum. After 10 days when the training started, there was a quarantine announced by the local administration which restricted further regular activities. For this reason, 9 hours of training had to be conducted online, and the trainees have been asked if they were willing to continue taking online training. So according to 65 percent of surveyed trainees, 36 hours of training have been conducted virtually. Students successfully completed 21 hours of classroom training and 45 hours – virtually out of a total of 66 hours. Everything has two ends – therefore virtual training had both advantages and weaknesses. Advantage was that trainees learned using new methodology and technology during their decision making. At that time, Bayartsetseg’s computer science specialization was one of the advantages too. She investigated effective software programs and helped trainees in using them. In addition, 10-12 grade students did not have any problems using online platforms for the virtual training. J.Bayartsetseg noted, “Shiveegobi soum governor, project team members and secondary school director D.Buyandelger all worked together providing comprehensive assistance to run the training smoothly and successfully.”

Graduates gained a lot of success and achievements

The first 23 graduates of entrepreneurship-focused socio-emotional skills training (ESEL) gained a lot of success and achievements. They formed three teams in the academic year of 2021-2022 and developed mini-project proposals such as “Child development classroom”, “Dual literacy” and “Our art workshop place” for taking part in the project pitch selection. These project proposals have been selected and each of them received a financial grant of 2.8 million MNT. J.Bayartsetseg proudly said, “The fact that proposals of our three teams have been selected and received funding indicates one of the results of our successful training”. The “Child development classroom” project received funding last year in December, and team members with the support of the school administration set up the classroom and made the project ready for implementation. The other two projects “Dual literacy” and “Our art workshop place” are going to receive funding soon. The student A.Svetlana has successfully completed ESEL training which played a role in her successful application for the scholarship from the Russian Government. Her personal engagement and participation in out-of-school activities turned to be one of her advantages. The resident of Shiveegobi soum S.Maraltuya expressed, “I have learned a lot from the training. Besides writing a project proposal, planning, spending money, and team working, I learned to freely express my personal views to others, writing and filing documents, etc. The trainer taught everything clearly in an interesting way, appropriate to trainees’ needs and interests. While working in teams, the trainer made everybody feel responsible and provided opportunities for personal development. Our team project proposal was selected and received the grant. As a result, we were able to set up the “Child development classroom” by our own efforts, making maintenance which was the most incredible and unforgettable memory”.

In this way, the project “Entrepreneurship-Focused Socio-Emotional Skills for the Most Vulnerable Youth in Rural Mongolia” in Shiveegobi soum of Gobisumber province, implemented since 2020 has been successfully running, and the trainees are happy with their achievements. Furthermore, we will introduce other provincial experiences and best practices.