Primary and secondary education teachers in the future are expected to possess higher level of professional competency and self-efficacy. Education has been recognized as one of the basic human needs and human rights. Today it is playing even more important role to drive people towards future sustainable society. This concept is promoted as Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 4 is set to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education by 2030. In this context, the target 4. c specifies that increasing supply of qualified teachers is a vital element to realize SDG 4.
The Mongolian latest national strategy, Education Sector Master Plan 2006-2015, identifies the importance of setting up good teaching environment and conditions to provide quality education. Especially, secondary education teachers face challenges with increasing responsibility to cope with specialization of curriculum with limited resources. As Mongolian education system has shifted from 10 years (5 years of primary, 3 years of lower secondary, 2 years of upper secondary) to 12 years of education (5, 4, 3) since 2014, teachers are expected to have multiple skills and high competencies to be effective in such a challenging school environment. However, the sufficient financial or human resources to cover 12 years education have not been allocated.
To improve this situation, various international cooperation projects have been implemented. In this context, a five-year project named “Sustainable Use of ICT for Improving the Quality of Lower Secondary Education in Rural Mongolia through Development of STEM Teacher Training Materials” project started since 2018 under a close collaboration between Tokyo Institute of technology and Mongolian National University of Education. This project aims to enhance secondary school teachers’ skills and competencies by introducing digital teacher training materials. To illustrate the current condition of this skills of teachers, a baseline survey data was collected in 2017-2018.
Research objective and research question:
This study focuses on the secondary education teachers in Mongolia. The purpose of the study is to examine factors that affect teachers’ competencies. The study results can be used by policy makers as a useful reference for the further teacher training development.
A research question is set as follows; What are the major factors that significantly influence the teachers’ perception of their competencies? The analysis is conducted by using demographic factors, infrastructures factors, location factor, school support and collaboration as independent variables.
The competency theory was used to examine characteristics of high performer in particular professions. Blömeke, S., & Kaiser, G. (2017) explained that teacher competence can be conceptualized from personal, situational, social and professional contexts. Based on this concept, this study applies a quantitative approach by using multi regression model to identify the influence of different variables surrounding the teachers on their professional competencies. The data of the baseline survey of “Sustainable Use of ICT for Improving the Quality of Lower Secondary Education in Rural Mongolia through Development of STEM Teacher Training Materials” project, collected in 2017-2018 are analyzed. The survey covers 4provinces and a district of Ulaanbaatar that represent four regions and capital city. As a result, data from 2,023 teachers were collected while the total number of secondary teachers in Mongolia was 11,708. This sample size was adequate for statistical analysis.
Teacher’s job satisfaction, their use of computer, and the collaboration between teachers show significant and positive effects on the perception of combined professional and ICT competencies
It is found that teachers who show more job satisfaction, use computer longer hours, and actively collaborate with other teachers highly recognize their competency. It is recommended for education policy makers to take into consideration these factors in order to design effectively teacher’s professional development training.