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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article analyzes multi-shift schooling and its effect on the quality of education in the city of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Highlighted are the features, advantages and shortcomings of multi-shift schooling, achievements of middle-school pupils, satisfaction of parents and pupils with the quality and accessibility of education. Also evaluated are opinions on multi-shift schooling. After the downfall of socialism and a transition towards a free market, multiple migratory flows from provinces to the country’s capital city have led to a specific increase of the population, and as a result of government policy to admit all 6-year old children into schools, as well as an increased strain on account of transitioning from a 10-year education system to a new 12-year one, schools have encountered a lack of funds, as well as a shortage of teachers and equipment. In an attempt to solve these issues, some schools have increased the amount of pupils attending one class to 45 or more, while also instituting a third shift, which has become common practice among many of Ulaanbaatar’s middle-schools. Within the framework of a 2016 research project, the Mongolian State University’s department of sociology and social work has conducted research and evaluated the multi-shift schooling system, while utilizing various research methods (survey, interview, observation, content analysis). Under the guise of a study called “Multiple shifts in Ulaanbaatar’s secondary schools and the quality of education”, conducted in 2016-2017, scientific approaches were used such as structural functionalism, phenomenology and exchange theory in order to analyze qualitative and quantitative data. A multi-shift schooling system, especially one with three shifts, creates some serious problems. Based on our research, the main parties concerned (teachers, parents and pupils) for the most part see it as detrimental to the quality of education, and as a liability when it comes to pupils’ opportunity to enroll into the highest tier universities, given that those who go to schools working three shifts receive 20% less learning hours compared to schools working two shifts. Three shifts were introduced mainly in schools attended by children from vulnerable social groups. Such a practice creates social discrimination and violates children’s rights to an equal and quality education. 17.9% of respondents who took part in our study receive an income of less than 185,000 tugriks a month (which is less than 80 USD), while 5.4% have no income at all. A three shift system of schooling has a negative effect on health and safety in the school environment, with an increase in the disease rate among children and the number of absences.
multi-shift schooling, education quality, pupils, secondary school, three shift education
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